The growing popularity of cycling and running in Eastbourne has led to an increased demand for Sports Massage. Massage is no longer just a luxury for elite athletes, it’s for everyone. One of the reasons that more people are joining in with these sports is that Eastbourne has been hosting some fantastic events which have inspired all ages to take part. Fitness enthusiasts are taking advantage of the great natural outdoor playing field that Eastbourne is.
As the popularity of outdoor pursuits continues to grow in Eastbourne, cyclists and runners seek support for performance and sports injury management from therapists at local clinics. Sports Massage is now also a large part of Chiropractic clinics in Eastbourne and for those who are yet to discover it I’ve opened up the benefits of it here.
So, what is Sports Massage for?
Sports Massage uses a variety of different techniques to soften the stress and tension which can build up in the tissues of the body after any physical activity. Micro tears and damage are quickly broken down during a treatment. Whether you are just beginning to run or cycle or if you are a dedicated athlete training hard for a future event, Sports Massage can keep those niggling injuries away that can slow achievement and affect performance.
How does it feel? – Will it hurt?
Sports Massage can be a deeper and more intense experience than having a softer massage like perhaps ‘aromatherapy’ It’s purpose is to ‘fix’ the problem. One of the reasons that some treatments can be a bit painful after training/exercise is because the muscles have been contracted during the workout and the massage is stretching them out, lengthening the muscle fibres and increasing blood flow which promotes speedy healing. A painful massage usually means that you need to have treatment more often. Supple relaxed muscles do not hurt when pressed and squeezed.
How do I know when I need a Sports Massage?
You don’t have to be injured to have a Sports Massage. If you are feeling stiff and it’s difficult to stretch and do ordinary movements then you may have left it a bit long in between treatments. As soon as you feel fatigue and a few tight muscles during your training, book in straight away and keep it regular. Maintenance treatments once or twice a month are usually enough unless you increase your training hours.
The key muscles for cyclists to look out for:
For a cyclist, the main muscles used are in the hips and legs, revolving at 80 – 100 reps per minute they are responsible for producing speed and power. These muscle groups include:
- The Quadriceps- Thigh muscles. A group of four muscles working together. Used at the top of the ‘push ‘ phase of a pedal rotation for forwards propulsion. Look out for Quadriceps Tendinitis- painful thigh muscle where it joins the knee.
- Hamstrings- At the back of your legs. Susceptible to microtear and shortening (feeling tight) especially during strenuous cycling in a low gear. Used during the ‘push ‘ phase of a pedal rotation with the Glutes.
- Calves – Used during the ‘pull-up’ phase of a pedal rotation, calves can become tight and overused this can travel into the Achilles tendon and create irritation and inflammation or Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinopathy.
- Glutes. – Around your bottom. Here you have a group of three muscles working in synchronicity at slightly different points of the ‘push’ phase: a large band of muscle (Glute. Max.) overlaying slightly smaller band (Glute. Medius) which overlay the smaller band of bottom muscles (Glute. Min.) Seated Climbing in too heavy a gear can lead to micro-tear, dysfunction and painful cycling.
- ITB Syndrome (Ilio-Tibial-Band)- A strong band which lies on the outside of the thigh and joins into the Glutes. Biomechanical issues, bad bike set-up and overuse can all lead to the ITB becoming shortened and tight. Left untreated irritation can occur at the knee where the ITB joins into. Known as ITB Syndrome. Painful and restrictive.
The key muscles for runners:
Running is one of the simplest ways to stay fit but it has its down side. Due to the forces placed on the body on impact and propulsion, it has the highest incidence of injuries of all sports. This impact will also create tightness, shortening and hardness of the muscles involved which is why regular Sports Massage is important.
Common running injuries to watch out for are:
- Plantar Fasciitis- under the sole of the foot, this band will become irritated if you run too far too soon or run too much on hard or undulating surfaces.
- Calf strain or tears – forefoot runners are more susceptible to calf problems.
- Achilles Tendinopathy- inflammation of the tendon above the heel. Overuse.
- Hamstring tear or strain.
- Glute tear or strain.
At my Eastbourne runners’ clinic, I encourage athletes to have regular monthly maintenance treatments to avoid injuries.
If you would like to find out how I can help you then book a sports massage with me by telephoning Lushington Chiropractic on 01323722499.
By James Revell
Call now 01323 722499