Recently I offered massage at the end of a long cycle ride event. There were not as many riders taking advantage of the offer. From the faces some of them were making at the end, they were obvious suffering with cramp and sore, tight muscles.
However, one of my clients mentioned that at a previous event, there were screams coming out of the massage tent as the therapists were working on the ITB. (Work on this tissue does tend to be uncomfortable but it is possible release some of the tension without the client screaming!) Did this put riders off?
People talk about sports massage as if it were a uniform type of massage. It is not. There are actually 4 different applications of sports massage.
Pre-event massage aims to quickly release any inappropriate muscle tightness and to help stimulate circulation in the working muscles.
Maintenance massage generally focuses on the muscles that are used in a particular sport. Any restrictions in muscle movement are released, and general flexibility is maintained. This approach to soft tissue health helps to prevent injury.
Post-event massage aims to flush out the fluids in the working muscles which helps to prevent delayed muscle soreness. It also helps to promote relaxation in the muscles so they can recover.
Finally there is rehabilitation massage which helps to promote recvoery following an injury. This approach aims to limit swelling, prevent the formation of adhesions, and support recovery of the injured tissue.
All of these approaches are part of sports massage. The types of massage strokes/techniques that are used will vary depending on the particular situation. Some of the techniques may be more uncomfortable than others but not to the point that the client is screaming. If it is that painful, it is not beneficial to the client or to their body. Pain after all is a signal to the body that something is not right!
Sports massage when performed with due regard to client's needs should be a part of every sports person's fitness plan. You just need to find someone who you can work with!
Have you ever had an operation such as having your appendix removed or a ceasarean section? Do you have a scar as a result? Does the scar feel and look different?
Your scar is visible proof of your body's self-healing process. What a wonderful process especially when you think about the number of times that you bump into things or injure yourself.
The body reacts to "injury" by first quickly stopping any bleeding through the formation of blood clots. It then tries to close any cuts and repair damaged tissue. This is done by quickly laying down collagen tissue in a haphazard manner. Basically the body is trying to quickly repair damaged tissue. The repaired tissue is different from the original tissue. The differences include: 1) the replacement tissue and associated collagen fibers may be sticking to other structures (ie there may be adhesions), 2) movements may be restricted due to these adhesions, 3) the "new" repaired tissue lacks the flexibility/pliability of the original tissue.
It is possible to re-mould scar tissue as the body reacts to the stresses applied to it. By engaging scar tissue with appropriate techniques underlying adhesions can be broken down. This helps to restore tissue pliability as well as improving movement. Tissues can now slide over each other whether it is fascia, muscles, or internal organs. These same techniques can help to restore flexibility/pliability and to improve tissue strength.
Do you have problems with scar tissue or do you feel less mobile following an injury? You might benefit from approaches that address scar tissue effects such as myofascial release.