Lately we witness a lot of RSI complaints due to work and sports. RSI is the abbreviation for repetitive strain injury. It is a collective name for complaints due to repeating the same movements. The term does not automatically pinpoint where the pains are. Nowadays we use the term ABBE which stand for affections of the movement apparatus of the upper extremity. The complaints will manifest themselves in the neck, shoulders, arms and hands (CANS chronic arm neck and shoulder complaints) For instance when you are working behind a screen for hours in the same static posture clicking the mouse of your computer. This may cause problems in your blood flow. Chronic nagging and tickling pains may be the result. If you exercise the complaints will sometimes reside because the muscles are used in a dynamic way. The blood circulation will then be normalized. With a relaxing massage and stretching the symptoms can be relieved. Normalizing the muscle balance is important to prevent this disease.
Lower back pains
Pains in the lower back are very frequent for young and old. Eight out of ten people suffer on a regular basis from back pains. Especially sports people suffer from this frequently. It is a complaint of the modern times, mostly brought on by mechanical causes. Exercises can be a huge part of the therapy. However the most important thing is to prevent back problems, especially the lower back is often extremely burdened. During sport exercises the stress can be very high. The lower vertebrae and the connecting inter vertebrae carry the whole body. The forces that work on the pelvis and lower back need to be absorbed by muscles round the pelvis. On the one hand the muscles keep the stomach and the buttock muscles near the pelvis tilted backwards, on the other hand the muscles of the back and the muscles on the front keep the front of the pelvis tilted forward. Very often however, there is a non balance which will cause a bad posture and movement. The sport-masseur can work preventive by keeping the muscles that tilt the pelvis forward such as muscles of the back, upper legs and the hamstrings, in as good a condition as possible. For these muscles the masseur may give you some stretching exercises. Besides this the focus of attention during the massage will be on these muscles. In general the muscles of the stomach and buttock need to be strengthened.
An often heard complaint from runners, but also from athletes who have to burden the muscles of the under legs explosively is the so called shin splint. This complaint is caused by an excessive overloading of the rear shin muscle at the attachment on the rear of the shin bone. When the foot in landing or take off presses too much to the inside there will be over pronunciation of the foot. The rear shin bone muscle help to keep the foot columns in place. As a result of the heavy tightening of this muscle there can be a strong force on the leg and shin bone what may cause infection of the periosteum.
- Unstable foot and ankle joints
- Too intensive training
- Too explosive burdening
- Bad shoes
- Walking on hard ground
Whiplash is an acute overload of the plantair-flexors of the under leg that ruptures many muscle fibers. A healthy muscle will not rupture easily, the cause usually lies in a bad condition of the muscle itself, due to insufficient preparation of the following burdening. Sudden take off for a sprint are usually the direct cause for a rupture of the muscle concerned. Your sport masseur will advise you by ways of exercises and massages to keep these muscles in good condition.
How does sport massage work?
The effects of a good sport massage will be:
-The capillaries in the skin and muscles extend, this way helping the blood circulation enormously. Because the muscles will have a better circulation blood and lactate will be carried off in a better way thus preventing muscle pains (as much as possible)
-The removal of waste matters will be improved by the exterior pressure of massage.
-Muscle tension will be influenced.
There are various massage techniques such as rubbing, kneading, ticking and shaking. The rule is that for the athlete the massage has to be comfortable to a certain extent. Very often the masseur uses a lotion, which is meant to lessen the resistance and relieves pain and irritation of the skin and capillaries for as much as possible. Sometimes a lotion is used to help widen the capillaries in the skin. The lotion feels nice and warm but some people may be over sensitive to it. Besides it can cause loss of warmth through the skin in low outside temperatures. After all the blood must not go to the skin but to the muscles. Massage can be used with tired and stiff muscles. It is not only so that sport massage is always nice and relaxing. A sport massage with very stiff muscles may afterwards make them feel even more stiff and painful. Sport massage may never be undergone when a muscle is ruptured, an infection, wound or when the skin has fever.
When to take a sport massage?
Sport massage is usually done (a day) after a match or a training. After a heavy match or training waste matters of the muscle circulation can build up in the muscles. This can for a great deal be prevented by doing a good cooling- down. A recovery massage stimulates the removal of these waste matters like lactate and fluids so that they cannot build up in the muscles. The body will recover faster and endure the next training better. A recovery massage usually takes 30 minutes.
In short: sport massage will improve recovery and is very useful for athletes who train (almost) daily. It must be seen as a supplement next to cooling down and other recovery measures.