Category: Sports Massage

Kinesiology Taping

What is Kinesiology Taping

Kinesiology taping is a treatment option if you’ve had an injury or illness that leads to mobility and motor function problems. It involves placing strips of special tape on your body in specific directions to help support your joints, like a knee, ankle, or wrist, as well as muscles and tendons. It can be used to help facilitate muscle function, stabilize joints, or inhibit muscles from contracting improperly. It can also be used to help decrease pain, swelling, and muscle spasm.

What Does Kinesiology Taping Do?

……………..and how does it differ from athletic tape? 

While kinesiology tape seems a lot like elastic athletic tape, there are differences between the two. 

  • Kinesiology tape is used to facilitate motion and inhibit pain and spasm, while athletic tape is used for support and to limit motion, typically because of existing pain.
  • Kinesiology tape is a flexible material that moves when you move; athletic tape is relatively inflexible. 
  • Kinesiology tape helps to improve lymph transport and increase circulation. The tight binding nature of athletic tape serves to decrease circulation.

How Kinesiology Tape Works

There are different theories about how kinesiology tape works. First, it is thought to change the proprioception input of the sensory nervous system in the muscles, joints, and skin. This is the sensation that allows you to know where your body is in space (say, how high your arm is raised).

The tape is thought to improve the interaction between the skin and the underlying structures to help reset the circuitry of this part of the nervous system, resulting in improved muscular activation and performance.

Kinesiology tape is also thought to inhibit nociceptors (pain pathways) in your muscles, skin, and joint structures. Decreasing painful input to the brain is thought to normalize muscle tone, resulting in decreased pain and muscular spasm.

Kinesiology tape can be applied in different ways, depending on why it’s needed. Your physical therapist can show you how to use the tape and cut the adhesive strips into the right configuration.

Some of the taping types include:

  • The “I” strip: This shape can be used to make the other types of strips below. “I” strips are used to support muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They are often used to facilitate your rotator cuff, gluteus muscles, quadriceps, or Achilles’ tendon. It can also be used on your low back and middle back to help you maintain proper posture.
  • The “X” strip: This type is used when kinesiology tape is needed to cover a large area or cross multiple joints. The tabs of the “X” strip cross over sensitive areas such as the back of your knees or front of your elbows. This strip is commonly used to facilitate your hamstrings, which cross both your hip joint and the back part of your knee joint.
  • The “Y” strip: This strip is used to cross sensitive areas of your body such as behind your knee or in the front of your elbow. It is also commonly used for applications to control the position of your kneecap. The “Y” strip is typically not as long as the “X” strip.
  • The “fan” strip: This type can help control swelling of your leg or arm. It is commonly used in lymphedema management or for superficial contusions and swelling.7
  • The “lift” strip: Commonly referred to as the Band-Aid, this strip is often used to support injured tissues or to treat muscle knots or trigger points. It helps to lift skin and tissues off sore muscles and trigger points. It is also used to treat superficial bruises.

Your therapist or sports medicine provider can ensure that you’re placing the tape in the proper position and that the tape is not too tight or restrictive. They’ll also let you know how long to wear the kinesiology tape.

Some specific uses of Kinesiology Tape

  • Facilitation: Kinesiology tape can be used to help improve muscular firing and contraction patterns. This can lead to normalized muscular tone and can also help improve athletic performance.
  • Inhibition and pain management: Kinesiology tape can be used to help decrease pain and muscle spasms that may occur after injury. It can help decrease nociceptive input to the brain which can help decrease muscle guarding and protective spasms.
  • Support and stability: If you have a condition that requires a specific joint to be held in place, kinesiology taping may be right for you. Conditions like patellofemoral stress syndrome, iliotibial band friction syndrome or shoulder instability may benefit from extra support provided by kinesiology tape. The tape can support your joint while still allowing for some motion.
  • Swelling management: If you have had swelling from an injury or surgery, kinesiology tape may help decrease the swelling by decreasing pressure between the skin and underlying tissues. This provides a pathway for excess fluids that have accumulated since your injury to travel through. Kinesiology tape is sometimes used in lymphedema management or for superficial contusions.

Your physical therapist may use various treatments and exercises to help treat your specific problem. Kinesiology tape may be a part of your treatment. Talk to your Osteopath or Sports Massage Therapist to learn about the tape and set realistic goals for its use.

How to avoid soft tissue injuries:

How to avoid the most common workout injuries, according to experts

Soft tissue injuries are the bane of any physically active person. They are the most common injuries in sport, can be difficult to heal and often reoccur, knowing how to help prevent them is key to staying healthy and active.

Your soft tissues support, connect and surround your bones and internal organs, and include muscles, tendons, ligaments, fat, skin and blood vessels. The most common soft tissue injuries occur in the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Think injuries such as hamstring strains, tennis elbow or ankle sprains. These afflictions often happen while exercising or playing sports, although sometimes they occur from unknown incidents.

Soft tissue injuries are generally traumatic or repetitive. That is, they can occur suddenly — rolling your ankle when you step off a curb, for example — or from overuse. While traumatic injuries are the most dramatic, repetitive injuries are more common. 

Repetitive soft tissue injuries occur when a tissue undergoes more damage than it can heal from over time. The ultimate cause of all repetitive soft tissue injuries is simply doing too much, too soon.

To prevent a repetitive injury, you need to take a measured approach to exercise and sports and not have the weekend warrior approach in which you’re inactive all week, then run 15 miles at the weekend. It’s also important to acclimate your body slowly to a given activity. 

A good rule of thumb: Don’t increase your workout volume more than 10% per week. And every four to eight weeks, give your body a rest by significantly reducing the volume and intensity of your workouts. 

Avoiding soft tissue injuries isn’t necessarily all about training, however. Research suggests major changes in your environment may affect your risk of injury, too, so eat well, get plenty of sleep and perhaps skip tough workouts when your stress levels are high. 

Take any injuries seriously

If you do get injured despite your best precautions, take it seriously. Even when people realize they have a soft tissue injury, they often carry on with their program hoping it gets better with time. More often than not, it just gets worse and worse until it hurts badly enough that the person simply can’t train due to the pain.

Instead of ignoring that muscle or ligament strain, see a qualified health care provider, Physiotherapist or Osteopath and expect to spend a few weeks to a month or more recovering, depending on the severity of the injury, your age and other factors. Most importantly, complete your entire rehabilitation process to reduce the risk of another injury.

Sports Massage

What Is A Sports Massage?

Sports Massage is a form of massage involving the manipulation of soft tissue to benefit a person engaged in regular physical activity. Soft tissue is connective tissue that has not hardened into bones or cartilage and includes skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia. Sports Massage is designed to assist in correcting problems and imbalances in soft tissue that are caused from repetitive and strenuous physical activity and trauma. The application of sports massage, prior to and after exercise, may enhance performance, aid recovery and prevent injury.
The benefits of Sports Massage:
Sports Massage through manipulation of manipulation of soft tissue prior to and after exercise promotes physical, physiological, neurological and psychological changes that aid performance and particularly recovery. Some examples of the benefits are:

  • The release of muscle tension and pain
  • The removal of waste products such as acetic acid and carbon dioxide.
  • Reduced soreness from DOMS ( delayed onset muscle soreness) as a result of vigorous exercise.
  • And improved posture and flexibility.

How does Sports Massage differ from other massage?

Whilst other forms of massage have aims in common with Sports Massage (such as physical and mental relaxation) Sports Massage is specifically designed to assist active people in the sports or fitness activities. It works extremely well alongside Osteopathy treatment as a maintenance option.

For further details or to book a session with our Sports Masseuse, Harry Couchman please do call us: 07908415376

Osteopathy and Sports Injuries

Sporting activities are part of everyday life for many of us and a sports injury can be incredibly frustrating, especially when there is potentially a long recovery process and you just want to get back out there and play.

We aim to help by:

  • Restoring joint flexibility
  • Improving joint mobility
  • Restoring structural balance
  • Reducing adhesions and soft tissue restrictions

Sports injuries may be caused by direct contact, an accident such as a fall or a heavy blow, not warming up properly, using inappropriate equipment or poor technique. They often happen if you push yourself too hard or overuse.

The most common injuries we treat are:

  • Knee injuries
  • Hip injuries
  • Ankles
  • Foot injuries
  • Muscle strain
  • Ligament injuries
  • Tendonitis
  • Back pain

An Osteopath will treat these issues accordingly using physical manipulation, muscle stretching and massage. This combination of techniques enables the therapist to improve mobility, relieve muscle tension or soft tissue restrictions by enhancing the blood supply to muscles and connective tissue to ensure your body is in its optimum state and enable you to perform, or train, to your full capacity.
Hannah is our Sports Injury Osteopath, and, having supported Fareham Hockey Men’s 1st X1 players through their premiere league hockey for two seasons, she has experience in immediate first aid as well as short and long term rehabilitation support. The Osteopathy and Injury Management Centre at Abshot Country Club is open to non-club members too, we are here to help: 07908415376
#sportsinjuries #sportsrehab #musclepain #getbackoutthere #abshotosteos #rehab #osteopathy #sportsmassage

Cycling Pain: Self Help or Osteopathy Treatment

Unless you are unlucky enough to have a fall whilst out for a pedal, cycling is one of the best sports you can do for your well-being. Good for your brain, your heart and your bodily health in general, recent research conducted by the British Medical Journal has found that cycling regularly can significantly lower the risk of many serious illnesses, such as heart disease.
However, as with all endurance sports, you can sometimes end up with a ‘pain here’ or a ‘niggling ache’ there. If not managed properly by a medical professional, these cycling injuries can develop into longer term problems that could slow you down and even stop you cycling.
We Osteopaths want to keep you pedalling. Manual therapy can provide an easy solution to your issues, keeping you on the roads while shedding light on the reasons behind your injuries and giving you simple ways to prevent them from happening again.
As a starter for ten, here’s a list of the most common cycling injuries, what causes them, and what you can do about it. An Osteopath can help if you need further explanation, massage manipulation and an individual treatment plan.

1. Neck Pain

Symptoms: Pain and ache in neck, can radiate to middle part of the back. Rotating and bending your head can be difficult, making it feel ‘blocked’.

Common Causes: One of the most common complaints for any cycling discipline, it is often the result of reduced flexibility in the upper back or neck with poor adaptation to sustained posture. Your spine is one of the strongest parts of your body, but it can be very sensitive when overstrained leading to a painful muscle spasm. Muscles like to be active and moving, so holding a static position you aren’t familiar with or for longer than you are used to can make them painful and stiff.

What you can do: Gentle neck stretches can help loosen your neck and get it moving more freely.

2. Hand Pain

Symptoms: Pain, which can be accompanied with weakness and pins and needles, in your ring finger and little finger.

Common Causes: Irritation of a nerve which passes on the underside of your wrist, known in medical terms as ‘ulnar neuropathy’. This is caused by holding handlebars in one position for too long, this can be associated with restriction in the forearm muscles and wrist joints.

What you can do: Try altering your grip position more frequently when out riding to prevent the build-up of tension. If things don’t improve, an Osteopath can help to increase the mobility of your wrist and elbow to reduce any tension on your nerve.

3. Forearm Pain- ‘Arm Pump’

Symptoms: The nemesis of every downhill or bike park rider, an intense ache in the fore-arm that hits at the end of a lap and can make ‘un-gripping’ your hands difficult.

Common Cause: Tired, tight forearm muscles.

What you can do: To start, consider altering the rotation on your handlebars or brake lever angle, so the wrist is in line with the arm when standing on the bike. Including some post ride stretching into your routine.

4. Low Back Pain

Symptoms: A sharp pain or ache in the lower part of the back, which can radiate to the buttock and thighs. This can be accompanied with a feeling of stiffness when getting up from sitting.

Common Causes: Another very common condition affecting up to 60% of all cyclists at some point. Low back pain is often the result of sustained posture with decreased flexibility in the hips. As the low back is relatively fixed when sitting on the saddle in order to encourage efficient power transfer through the hip, this can lead to a strain in the lower back muscles. Having a desk job can also not be helpful, as it can reduce the flexibility in your back if you don’t have regular stretches to keep supple.

What you can do: Check the angle of your saddle isn’t too low or tipped up first. Lower back and hip stretches can relieve tension in the muscles.

5. Hip pain

Symptoms: Pain at the front and outer side of the hip, can travel down the thigh towards the knee cap.

Common Causes: Tightness in muscles at the front of the hip (known as the hip flexors) from prolonged sitting (either cycling or at work) can lead to decreased flexibility and be linked with irritation of bursa located at the front of the hip (these are fluid filled sacs that sit between the muscle and bone to reduce friction). Commonly known as ‘Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome’.

What you can do: Check first that your saddle height is correct. Stretches will help to make your hip muscles more flexible, and seeking treatment from your Osteopath can relieve the tension and get your hip moving normally again.

6. Knee Pain

i) Patella-Femoral syndrome:

Symptoms: Pain or a deep ache around the kneecap. The knee can feel stiff when first getting up from sitting.

Common Causes: An imbalance of muscles on the thigh or at the hip can sometimes lead to a change in balance of tension across the knee cap. This is known as ‘Patello femoral syndrome’.

What you can do: Firstly, check the height of your saddle to make sure it is optimal for your height and not placing extra load on one group of muscles. Getting into a routine of hip and knee stretches can also help reduce tension over the knee cap and get things moving a better. Over-training can also be a cause for knee pain, so if you are putting in some hard miles to work up to a sportive, make sure you are sequencing your training appropriately and having enough rest days

ii) ITB Syndrome:

Symptoms: Pain focused around the outside of the kneecap, often accompanied with a feeling of tightness in the hip on the same side.

Common Causes: The ‘IT’ (Ilio-Tibial) band is a length of fibrous tissue which runs from the hip to the outside of the knee and is an important area which many muscles blend in to. With repeated movement and decreased flexibility in the hip external rotators (particularly Gluteus Maximus) this can alter the muscle balance around the knee and create tension on the outside of the knee cap leading to irritation of the knee cap. This can be the result of over training and incorrect saddle adjustment.

What you can do: Take a look at the height of your saddle and check if it is too high or low. Adding some mobility and flexibility exercises to your post cycling routine can help reduce the build-up of tension around the outside of your knee.

iii) Patella Tendonitis:

Symptoms: Tenderness and pain underneath the knee cap on the front of the lower leg. Sore after riding and can be painful during the first few minutes of cycling.

Common Causes: The patella tendon attaches the bottom of your kneecap to the top of your lower leg. Although it is very strong and can handle the large amount of force that pass through it when extending the leg, it can become irritated when placed under too much demand, such as with over training or poor bike set up.

What you can do: First thing is to continue riding but scale back on your training if possible, and make sure you take adequate rest days. A program of stretching and exercises to help strengthen the tendon have shown to be most effective by research, these can be tailored to you by your Osteopath. Lastly, check the size of the frame and saddle height you are riding with to ensure your riding position is efficient.

7. Ankle Pain

Common Causes: ‘Achilles tendonitis’, an overuse injury of the tendon which runs from the calf muscle to the back of the foot. Often the result of training too much, too quickly, where the tendon becomes irritated from not allowing time adequate time between rides to strengthen. Bike set up can affect it too, if pedal cleats are set up too far forward and the saddle is too high, the ankle can be held in a pointed down (‘plantar flexed’) position which can place further tension on the achilles tendon.

What you can do: Break up training to allow for adequate active rest and make sure the tendon gets enough healing time. Applying ice (wrapped in a towel for not longer than 5 minutes) can help with pain relief and then finally checking your saddle height and cleat placement are not placing too much load through the back of the ankle.

8. Foot Numbness

Symptoms: Pins and needles and/or with a loss of sensation in the foot (particularly the under surface), often after cycling for a short period, made worse by slow cadence and cycling up hills.

Common Causes: Ill-fitting shoes or cleats placed too close to the toes can create tension across the metatarsals (the bones in your feet). This can compress the nerves in the foot leading to temporary numbness. Lots of hill climbing can also create more pressure on the foot and create further tension across the joints.

What you can do: Check your shoe size and make sure they are a comfortable fit and not too tight. Additionally, having a good look at the placement of your pedal cleats and making sure that the pressure is directed to the ‘ball’ of your foot can help reduce tension across the metatarsals. If you have been riding lots of hills or training for a hill climb, try and vary some rides so to alleviate some pressure build up whilst out on the bike.

9. Saddle Sore

Symptoms: A real pain the backside. Soreness between the contact area of your buttock and the saddle.

Common Causes: Skin irritation from an increased in friction between the buttock and the saddle. Often from a poorly fitting saddle or old or inadequately padded cycling shorts.

What you can do: Head to your local bike shop and try out some different saddles to see which one is a good fit. Double check your saddle height and angle to ensure you aren’t creating pressure points. If the saddle is angled too far upwards, it can increase the side to side movement in the pelvis increasing friction. Invest in a new pair of shorts and some chamois cream to reduce the build-up of friction on the skin.

10. AC Joint Sprain

Symptoms: Pain on the top of the shoulder around the tip. There can be a raised area above the joint where the capsule has been damaged.

Common causes: Falling onto an outstretched hand from your bike can transmit the force through your arm up into your shoulder, where the joint capsule can be strained.

What you can do: First point of call after any major trauma or fall with prolonged pain should be to consult a healthcare professional. Depending on the grade of the sprain with affect what can be done about it. This can range from manual therapy to surgery.

An Osteopath can assess, diagnose and put you on the right treatment/ rehabilitation plan. If you would like help please call: 07908415376 and speak to Hannah.
​#hbosteopathy #abshotosteos #osteopathyforhealth