All kinds of people seek massage therapy for all kinds of different reasons. The end result is almost always pain relief and relaxation.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the most likely types of people who seek and benefit from regular massage. Can you find yourself or someone else you know in this list?
- Betty/Billy Back Pain. Back pain comes from joints, muscles, joints in the spine, bones, and nerves around the back. The pain could be in one area or could have a wider spread effect on an individual. A massage helps this client feel and function better compared to friends who don’t receive any massage treatment. Studies show it improves range of motion and decreases discomfort, too. Continue reading “Can You Find Yourself in these Massage Profiles?”
Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB Syndrome) is one of the most common overuse injuries among runners. You’ll know it when you have it because the “IT band“, the ligament that runs down your outer thighs from pelvis to shin, is super tight, swollen, and often inflamed. The result? Pain, sometimes severe, when flexing the knee.
Some causes of IT band syndrome
ITB syndrome usually results from running on uneven surfaces, wearing work-out shoes, running too long a distance without proper training, or running too many track workouts in the same direction. ITB syndrome affects about 1 in 10 runners and is more common among women and anyone whose hips tilt in a way that causes their knees to turn in. Continue reading “Management of IT Band Syndrome with Massage”
Soccer is the third most played team sport in the US (13 million Americans), behind basketball and baseball. Soccer players get great exercise and training and play increase agility, better coordination, and build team skills. As the sport’s popularity soars, so do the injuries. With a little planning, however, serious soccer players can use massage to help them reduce injuries and increase their flexibility and range of motion on the field.
Most injuries in soccer are limited to the lower extremes. Sprains and strains are common, as are injuries from a knee twist, or a not-too-well placed kick from another play. Overuse injuries also occur.
Continue reading “If You Play Soccer, You NEED Massage”
Your serratus anterior muscles quietly work with other torso muscles to lengthen the reach of the arm by wrapping the scapula forward toward the chest. It’s the muscle we use when we rotate our arms upward, for example, when lifting or reaching for items over our heads. The power of a boxer’s punch and extend of reach also come from the serrates anterior assisting with your scapula protracting and retracting. Serratus stabilizes positioning of the arm and shoulder too, and that’s why it’s a target for yoga poses like turbo dog, downward facing dog at the wall, handstands, forearm balances, dolphin and wheel.
Continue reading “Serratus Anterior: The Big Swing Muscle”
Evidence suggests that massage and other relaxation therapies can have a substantial impact on the quality of your life. Study after study in patients with everything from breast cancer to arthritis, sports injuries, heart conditions, depression, and learning disorders cite real and positive benefits to receiving regular massage.
In both male and female patients with significant illnesses or traumatic injury, the reduction of stress and relaxation of muscles helps speed recover by reducing anxiety, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep quality, and increasing the efficiency of blood flow.
Continue reading “Massage and a Better Life”
Whether you’re new to massage or just exploring the benefits, you’ve probably heard lots of terms used by therapists and in advertisements for services. Like any profession, massage therapy has it’s own vocabulary (jargon). Here’s a quick dictionary of ten common terms to help you understand some of them. “
- Deep Tissue. Releases the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the grain of muscles, tendons and fascia. It is called deep tissue, because it also focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue, not because the therapist necessarily uses firmer pressure.
Continue reading “Common Massage Therapy Terms Demystified”
It seems that Major League Baseball elbows are wearing out more frequently nowadays. And more athletes are experiencing the need for Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction (UCLR aka Tommy John) surgery. The procedure, named after the LA Dodgers pitcher who first had the surgery in 1974, while still relatively rare, is experiencing a resurgence.
According to pitchsmart.org, Tommy John surgeries have nearly doubled over the past three seasons. It’s not just the pros, either. Elbow injuries to youth league players are increasing as well. The American Sports Medicine Institutes suggested that “In many cases, injury leading to Tommy John surgery … began while they were adolescent amateurs.” Continue reading “Baseball and Tommy John Surgery”
It’s Sunday, March 1, a beautiful and sunny California morning and thousands of runners made their way on an 8K run/walk from San Jose’s SAP CENTER (aka Shark Tank), through some of San Jose’s more charming neighborhoods, to the outdoor shopping mecca, Santana Row, as part of the 4th Annual San Jose 408K RACE TO THE ROW.
In addition to being a fun race, the quirky running event features lots of things you won’t find at every race event. Here’s a quick list of a few highlights from the 2015 event:
Continue reading “408K Race to the Row”
You get out of bed and take your first steps and OUCH! You have a sharp pain in your heel. Same thing happens after longer periods of sitting. You “walk it off” and the pain subsides. Welcome to plantar fasciitis (aka “jogger’s heel”).
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis the most common cause of heel pain. One in ten of us have plantar fasciitis some time in our lifetimes. The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of connective tissue that originates from the medial tubercle and anterior aspect of the heel bone. From there, the fascia extends along the sole of the foot before inserting at the base of the toes, and supports the arch of the foot.
Continue reading “Oh No, Plantar Fascitis!”
Pecs (Pectoralis muscle group) connect the front walls of the chest with the bones of the upper arm and shoulder. You have two Pec muscles on each side of the sternum (breastbone): a pectoralis major and a pectoralis minor.
Pecs help you move your arms down (adduction), rotate your arm forward, and side to side (lateral). It assist your arms when they’re raised (as in climbing). Pecs assist in deep breathing, too, tugging on the ribs to help lungs expand.
Developed pecs are most recognized in males, because breast tissue typically hides the pectoralis muscles in females.
Continue reading “A Peek at Pecs”
If you’ve ever heard of someone with “swayback” or “no butt”, then you’ve seen the results of postural changes related to pelvic tilt. The pelvis is a bony structure that connects the base of your spine to the upper end of each of your legs. A healthy pelvis is important for movement, stability and posture.
There are basically two types of postural deficiencies involving the pelvis: anterior pelvic tilt and posterior pelvic tilt.
The most common type of pelvic deficiency occurs when your pelvis is tilted forward, known technically as anterior pelvic tilt (APT). APT is more common in females, but many males have it too. This is a relatively common postural deviation characterized by a forward tipped pelvis, increased lower back curve (sway back) and sometimes a bulging (but not necessarily fat) abdomen. The tilt is a result of tight or stiff hip flexor muscles (posts, iliac, rectus femoris, tensor facia late, erector spinae) coupled with poor or unequal gluteal, hamstring, oblique or abdominal muscle strength. Continue reading “Posture 101: Pelvic Tilt”
Anyone who has ever suffered a bump, bruise, sprain, strain or other injury likely knows that ice works well to relieve pain. Modern day cryotherapy (cold therapy) offers more options than the traditional ice bag. So when is it appropriate to seek pain relief from natural cold therapy compounds like Biofreeze and when is a good old bag of ice called for?
The purpose of cold therapy is primarily to reduce swelling, to lower skin temperature, and to desensitize and temporarily deaden pain receptors around the muscles and skin involved in an injury.
What is Biofreeze?
Continue reading “Biofreeze or Ice?”
Over time, gravity and bad habits can take their toll on your body and try to declare victory over the structural muscles that keep our bones and muscles aligned. The result is poor posture.
Classic signs of poor posture include rounded shoulders, a jutted chin, a pot belly, bent knees when standing or walking, back pain, muscle fatigue, and headaches. While we can’t fight gravity, we can take control of posture and do things the help keep muscles strong and your body trained for better posture.
1 Know what good posture looks like. Check yourself out in a mirror. Good posture while standing is a straight back, squared shoulders, chin up, chest out, stomach in, feet forward, your hips and knees in a neutral position. If you can draw a straight line from your earlobe through your shoulder, hip, knee, to the middle of your ankle, you’re good!
2 Sit up straight. Your mom was right. Use a chair that offers lower back support and sit all the way back against the back of the chair. Keep both feet on the ground or footrest. Adjust the height so your arms are flexed at 75-90 degrees at the elbow. Use this technique when driving, too! Continue reading “Six Ways to Improve Your Posture”
Your running shoes provide cushioning, shock absorption and stability and over time, like any other often used item, they wear out.
As a general rule, running shoes last about 300-400 miles, while walking shoes last around 500.
You can also examine the shoes for wear patterns. It turns out that you don’t use the treads on the bottom of the shoes to determine whether to replace them, nor does the fact that they’re dirty mean you need to replace them. Instead, examine the midsole area.
Continue reading “Replace Your Running Shoes!”
Your biceps (biceps brachii) are one of the most used muscles in your body. The muscles are also the target of many fitness training programs. It’s no wonder that overuse, strain, or trauma in these muscles is common.
Where’s the bicep?
Your biceps are muscles on the front part of your upper arm, extending between your elbow and shoulder. They have a “short head” and “long head”, meaning the muscle itself has two parts that work together as a single muscle. The biceps attach to your shoulder joint in two places and the other end of the bicep connects to your forearm bones (radius and ulna). Biceps flex your forearms at the elbow and also assist with twisting the forearm (supination).
The biceps can ache for many reasons, the most common is overuse. That’s when you attempt to lift something that’s too much for the muscle, or you do too many reps on your curls, or overdo the pull ups. In some cases, the over stretching can cause micro tears in muscle fibers or related tendons and cause a strain. Pain and swelling typically come with a strain.
Continue reading “Sore Biceps?”