Soft Tissue Therapy applies various massage and movement techniques to the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the body. This includes Sports, Remedial, Deep Tissue and Swedish Massage, as well as Osteopathy and Exercise.
For more information about the different treatments please see below for details:
We all hear about the physical and psychological benefits of regular exercise:
Improve cardio-vascular capacity
Tone and strengthen muscles
Increase the production of endorphins which promote a sense of well being, creating a ‘natural high’
However, exercise can also put significant strain on the body’s soft tissues, especially when done at a competitive level. This is where Sports Massage has been proven to be of great benefit.
Sports Massage is the management, manipulation and rehabilitation of soft tissues of the body including muscles, ligaments and tendons. This therapy is very popular amongst sportsmen and women when dealing with injuries or the prevention thereof. Everyday minor injuries can still be extremely painful and may seriously affect your occupation, sport or quality of life. If not treated properly at an early stage, they can lead to a more serious long-term condition. Massage can treat the majority of minor musculoskeletal problems quickly and effectively.
When Is Sports Massage Required?
The age old adage that ‘prevention is better than cure’ is the main idea behind Sports Massage. By working with each client to prepare the body for exercise, we can significantly reduce the risk of injury, maximise the benefits of their training programme and create optimal performance through injury free training. This is usually referred to as Maintenance Massage or Preventative Massage and is ongoing for all athletes who train on a regular basis.
Pre-Event Sports Massage is given within several hours prior to an event to improve performance and help decrease the risk of injury. It is of a shorter duration than a regular massage session, lasting between 10-15 minutes and is used as a supplement to any warm up. It enhances circulation to targeted muscles and reduces mental tension prior to the performance.
Post -Event Massage
As the name suggests, Post-Event Massage is performed after an event with the goal of improving the recovery of the athlete. The massage session usually lasts 15-20 minutes and focuses on the removal of waste products and cooling the muscles down slowly. An injury that has occurred during the event can also be dealt with at this stage, normally using the principles of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation).
Even with Maintenance, Pre-Event and Post-Event Massage, no one is immune to the risk of injury. This can appear as muscle soreness and can be caused by several factors including:
Minor muscle damage or spasm
Build up of waste products such as lactic acid
More severe damage such as rips or tears to muscle fibres
Our therapists can ascertain the possible cause of the pain or soreness and treat many of the injuries using a combination of the techniques discussed (see above). This often incorporates an Individual Exercise Prescription for long term rehabilitation (GP approval sought where necessary).
Remedial Massage deals with any concern that arises from a cause other than a sporting activity. This could be occupational or recreational, and often results in poor posture and muscle imbalances. The techniques used to address these problems are the same as those used in Sports Massage. Below are some examples of situations in which these problems can occur:
Walking on uneven surfaces
Motor vehicle accidents
Full Body Massage based on Swedish techniques is beneficial for stress relief and relaxation. It does not go as deep as a sports massage but is still highly therapeutic. It is beneficial if you have a lot of muscular tension, need help to relax and unwind, or if you’re feeling sluggish and need to boost your energy levels.
Although one session is highly beneficial, regular Swedish massage treatments maximise its numerous benefits, which include:
- Mobilising tired and sore muscles
- Stimulating the circulation and improving oxygen flow to the muscles
- Improving the suppleness and flexibility of muscle fibres
- Improving skin condition and helps improve muscle tone
- Stimulating the lymphatic system, increasing elimination of toxins
- Reducing mental stress and anxiety
- Strengthening the immune system
- Promoting better, deeper sleep
- Boosting energy levels
- Promoting a sense of general well being
- Leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalised
When combined with exercises and education, the benefits of massage, especially related to pain reduction, can be sustained over a longer period of time. We therefore use different massage techniques plus stretching and strengthening exercises to help with soft tissue recovery. A personalised Exercise Prescription that addresses your specific needs is either emailed, printed or available for you online, and your therapist will go through each exercise with you to ensure its correct execution. We make use of the WebExercises software that allows access to more than 2000 exercises and includes photos and video clips thus improving accuracy of exercise execution and compliance. WebExercises is also linked with PostureScreen Mobile™ for convenience. Your exercise programme will be progressed and monitored by your therapist during subsequent sessions, in order to assist you to adapt it successfully into your lifestyle. Your individual programme can be adapted to complement any exercise regime you are currently doing.
If you would like an Individual Exercise Prescription, please request one from your therapist during your Initial Assessment.