At Rapid Recovery, we love seeing clients coming in before you hurt yourself.
A good analogy is thinking like you get a car serviced. Ideally you’re getting that service before something goes wrong. When your car starts running a little rough, that service gets a bit more urgent. Ignore that niggle and here come the repair bills.
Maintenance massage treatment helps to keep your body moving and muscles functioning properly. All while reducing the risk of niggles, pain and injury.
We’ve compiled this article to give you more information on how massage can help keep you active, how you can stay injury free and when to seek help if your body does start to struggle.
Using Painkillers to Exercise…
Warning, Rant ahead 😉
Should you use painkillers to help get you through exercise?
The answer is NO, even if you are training for something!
I’m not saying all exercise should be pain free, and little niggles (that you aren’t still feeling the next day) in reality are okay and completely normal.
If these niggles are at a point where you feel you need to take pain meds, they aren’t okay. I know in my clinical experience that this often results in overuse/ repetitive strain injuries. By the time we see them they are often in a worse state compared to someone who hasn’t been trying to push through, taking pain meds to exercise.
The lesson? If your pain is that bad during exercise – seek treatment! Realistically if it’s at that stage you will end up having treatment done… you may as well make it earlier – get on top of the pain & improve your performance!
No Pain, No Gain?
Such a widely used term. It’s something so often used with exercise, when it just shouldn’t be… but I’m not saying never!
When is it okay?
Small niggles during exercise are okay – providing they aren’t there the next day, you’re not taking pain meds for them and you are still able to function how you want to for the remainder of that day.
The other time it is okay is when we feel that lactic acid burn (like someones forearms trying to complete the ninja warrior course!). In saying that, this is only the case when the jump isn’t too much bigger from what your body is used to doing.
When is it not okay….
– The pain is causing your gait or technique to alter
– You’re waking up the next day with the same niggle you had while you were exercising
– The niggle is progressively getting worse
– The pain is caused by training at a level that is a too bigger jump compared to what you are used to
– The pain is at a moderate to high intensity – this is more than just a niggle!
Q. I have a niggle, how bad should it get before I get treatment?
There are a few variables to this question but here’s a really good 4 point guide.
Just to clarify, a little niggle while you exercise is okay – it is okay not if…
1. It is at point where you feel you need pain meds
2. If you are still feeling it the next day (remember we are talking niggle, not general after exercise soreness)
3. It is at point where it is impacting on what exercise you can do
4. It is taking the enjoyment away from your activity
When you answer YES to any of the above, that is when a niggle needs treatment!
Can Massage improve your exercise?
1. Pulling up the following day with specific soreness (not DOMS – the normal post workout soreness)? An example of this would be pain in the shoulder, hip, knee or in the Achilles
2. Consistently feeling tight through certain areas – particularly tight calves, as these predispose you to an array of other injuries?
3. Wanting to improve your performance, get fitter faster and decrease your risk of injury?
4. Taking pain killers for pain that is made worse through exercise?
5. Wanting your body to function better, allowing you to enjoy exercise more?
If you answered ‘YES’ to any of these questions WE CAN HELP!
Don’t let a minor injury slow your progress! Let’s get you active again!
Whether you have shin splints, hip pain or shoulder troubles, don’t let them get in the way of training. Although you should not push through injuries, you also shouldn’t let them hold you back.
If you missed the boat to avoid injury, at least jump on board to recover quicker and avoid further or future injury!
Remedial and Sport massage can kick start the healing process by increasing circulation to the area bringing essential oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the muscles, it also optimises muscle function and restores normal movement.
Trigger point therapy will keep you active!
Trigger point are ‘knots’. They are contracted muscle fibres found anywhere in the body, they are unable to release themselves. These can create referral pains to other areas of the body.
Releasing these trigger points will improve muscular function. Each knot is a bundle of muscles fibres that are not participating in the contraction of the muscle tissue.
Although trigger points are not necessarily a serious condition, they can cause havoc on the body and pain levels at time. If left untreated, these can become very difficult for even a therapist to release in just a treatment or two.
They also change how the muscle itself contracts and can cause surrounding muscles to change their function leading to possible injury!
How often do professional athletes get massage?
Now this isn’t necessarily the case for all sports as funding can dictate this to some degree – but let’s look at the big 3:
AFL, Rugby (Union & League) & National Level Cricket (Sheffield Shield, Big Bash etc)
You may be shocked but many of Australia’s professional athletes receive unto 4 compulsory massage sessions each week… as well as someone on call if they want more!
This shows the level of importance that these athletes put on massage helping them to perform better and reduce their injury risk.
If they are having maintenance sessions 4 times each week. What should you be doing?
Unless you are one of these athletes you don’t need to go to that extent, but realistically most people should be looking at putting massage into a maintenance plan for themselves.
How often do you get a massage?
At Rapid Recovery Clinic we’ve put together this article as a way to give back to our industry. For clients, potential clients, GP’s & other allied health professionals to gain a better understanding of how massage, myotherapy & remedial massage can help keep people active.
Everything in this article is the views of the author and what they have found to be the case in their clinical practice. This information is intended only as a guide. It is up to you to seek your own independent medical advice for your individual circumstances.