10 top tips for Cyclists
Common injuries in Cyclists include knee, lower back, neck and shoulder
Make sure your bike is suitable for the type of riding you are doing
Make sure your body fits the bike
Have a great pedalling technique
Vary your riding from day to day
Stretch and activate, slow build your effort as you start your ride
Target sleep, stress, diet and alcohol
Eat well especially during and after a ride of 2 hours or more
Have a strong and consistent recovery routine
The recovery ride – An easy one our ride at high cadence and low power is essential to good recovery after a hard day.
Remedial massage and its effects on Hormonal/Endocrine healthMany people can comprehend the benefit remedial massage has on muscular, circulatory, lymphatic and fascial (connective tissue) systems of the body, but not everyone realises the advantages massage has on the endocrine system – which is the hormonal system of the body. Researchers have established a direct link between positive touch and a healthy functioning endocrine system.
Adrenaline:Massage therapy can have a positive affect on the hormone regulation of adrenaline. Massage encourages the correct amount of adrenaline to be secreted at the correct time. Adrenaline prompts alertness and the immediate flight or fight response which is vital for our health and safety. However people today hardly experience the same extreme physical threats of early human species. Today most people produce adrenaline in response to stress at home and work. However this is a problem as stress can continue over long periods of time, causing the person to remain in an adrenaline state of high alert. This causes too much adrenaline stored in the body, which isn’t healthy and can cause premature aging, risks of heart attacks, and conditions like attention deficit disorder. Adrenaline regulation through massage is great for people who are stressed, have trouble sleeping, have mental health issues or high blood pressure.
Dopamine:Massage therapy can elevate dopamine levels within the body. Dopamine is a hormone that supports fine motor activities; it encourages inspiration, excitement, feelings of joy and the brains reward and pleasure centres. An elevation of dopamine is really good for people who are quickly distracted, have poor focus and feel a lack of enthusiasm.
Serotonin:Positive touch like massage increases the availability of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that helps regulate your emotions, and boost your mood. It assists with irritability and supports with food cravings. Increased serotonin is good for people who suffer from depression, mood swings, cravings or have trouble sleeping.
Oxytocin:Massage therapy also helps produce the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin. Oxytocin is known as the love hormone because it is increased in the body when hugging, or kissing another. It is essential for reproductive functions, supporting feelings of attachment during sex, childbirth, pregnancy and lactation. It also has physical and psychological regulations in influencing social behaviour and relationship bonding. It also influences feelings of trust and reduces the stress response feeling of anxiety. Increased secretion of oxytocin is beneficial for people who experience depression, postnatal-depression, anxiety, or couples who need support bonding.
Cortisol:Massage therapy can help with correct regulation of cortisol within the body. Cortisol is released at times of stress or danger, and can reduce inflammation. It is essential to have correct amounts of cortisol for human health, and you can have issues if your adrenal glands release too much or too little. Cortisol regulation through massage is good for people suffering from anxiety, high blood pressure and stress. Massage encourages hormones to be secreted at the right time, and in the right doses, enabling the endocrine /hormonal system to function healthily and preventing many health conditions. Let massage therapy help with your hormone regulation, so to encourage your overall health and wellbeing. Rosie Rayner Dip RM Ad Dip STT
Patello-femoral Knee PainAching knees affect 25 % of the population and are commonly caused by dysfunction at the patella-femoral joint (under the kneecap). It is typically aggravated by bending movements such as sitting, walking up and down stairs or hills, jumping and running. It is also common during adolescence as the long bones are growing faster than the muscles, tendons and ligaments putting abnormal stress on the joints.
- Unfortunately genetics have a part to play and this can’t be changes
- Faulty bio mechanics due to muscle imbalances
TreatmentTreatment is very successful and we will look at correcting muscle imbalances throughout your lower back, hip, pelvis and leg. This is done by manual techniques to the knee cap, massage, acupuncture, exercise and taping.
What is the difference between a relaxation massage and remedial massage?Some people, when they think of massage, think of only one style of massage. They aren’t aware that there are different styles of massage that have different purposes and can help you in different ways. Two of the most common styles of massage are Relaxation massage and Remedial massage. Some people may have heard of these two massage styles but aren’t quite sure what the difference is?
Relaxation massage aka Swedish massageThe main focus of a relaxation massage is to de-stress, calm and relax the mind and body. It’s a less specific form of physical therapy than remedial massage in regards to pain relief, but is still very therapeutic especially with the busy lives we live today, as it is great at relieving the stress that is held in the body and the mind. This massage style aids with your mental and emotional health, as it calms the mind and settles the nervous system. Relaxation massage provides a general loosen up, encourages blood flow throughout the body, and helps boost the immune system by stimulating the lymphatics. Relaxation massage is great for people who’ve had a stressful week/month, as it allows the body to catch up and recharge. A relaxation massage treatment will usually involve flowing strokes and kneading, performed at your chosen pressure. It’s a pain free therapy and an effective way to de-stress and relax the mind and body.
Remedial massageThe intention in remedial massage is to ‘remedy’ the body. This style of massage holistically looks at the entire body, with its focus being treating pain, structural dysfunctions and helping in injury rehabilitation. Remedial massage therapists use assessments and tests to find out what structures are causing your pain or your postural dysfunction. Usually muscular pain such as low back pain, is caused by either weak muscles, overactive muscles or compensating muscles. Once the remedial therapist has found the cause of your pain/discomfort, the massage will then be focused around treating the muscles that are causing the pain in your body. Therefore remedial massage is specifically tailored to each individual unlike most relaxation massages. A remedial massage will involve a variety of techniques, targeting specific muscle groups. Some techniques include trigger point therapy, PNF stretching, Myofascial release and muscle stripping. The pressure in remedial massage can be at times deeper than in relaxation massage, but always working in what is tolerable for the client. People who will benefit from a remedial massage include anyone who is experiencing muscle tension, or anyone experiencing acute or chronic pain, some examples being low back or neck pain. Like relaxation massage remedial massage is also beneficial at stimulating blood flow throughout the body and assisting in toxin removal. Although remedial massage may not be considered as relaxing at a relaxation massage, it’s still very effecting at calming the mind and body. Especially seems as remedial massage treatments can take away your musculoskeletal pain, which has a direct effect on your mental and emotional state. Both styles of massage are very therapeutic and beneficial. Depending on the individual and their current circumstances, a relaxation massage or remedial massage will be most suited. If you’re feeling stressed and exhausted a relaxation massage is going to be most valuable. If you’re experiencing musculoskeletal or neural pain and tension, or need help in regards to strength or flexibility, then a remedial massage is going to be most beneficial. If you are still unsure of what massage treatment will support you the most, contact Pottsville Physio today to talk to their massage therapist who will help advise you. Rosie Rayner Dip RM Ad Dip STT
How regularly should I get a Remedial Massage?The frequency in which one should get a Remedial massage will depend on a few factors. Such as if their pain or postural issue is a long standing chronic condition, or a new acute injury. Also, lifestyle factors will vary depending on the individual, and this will affect how regularly remedial massage would be recommended. A new Injury (acute): A new injury or pain presentation can usually be treated within a few treatment sessions, with each treatment session being 3-7 days apart for most effective results. It’s good to get a few sessions in consecutively. Long-standing conditions (chronic): Whereas a long-standing condition will usually entail a series of treatments to return the area back to balance and normal functioning. This is because chronic conditions have had a longer time to set in a dysfunctional way and therefore need a longer time to correct. Also, chronic pain often has a few areas involved due to compensation patterns, so the resolving on pain in one area may lead to the next compensating area involved. With long-standing conditions, a number of weekly massages are recommended for best results, which can gradually be spaced out in frequency until a maintenance stage is reached. Maintenance Massage: Ideally, a maintenance remedial massage should be performed regularly. Maintenance massage is usually recommended on monthly basis, or at times quarterly (so around four massages per year), depending on the individual. This is to promote mobility, strength, improved muscle function, and to stop conditions from becoming painful and problematic. To put things in perspective, most people service their car every year, what about your body? Do you service that regularly? It’s your most important vehicle! Individual factors and Lifestyle factors: However, everyone's an individual so their needs will be a little different depending on their lifestyle, but it’s safe to say that regular remedial massages work best. Lifestyle factors like jobs that involve repetitive movements, or an individual’s sport and recreational activities all play a part in how regularly they’ll require remedial massage. For example, someone who plays competitive sport might need more regular remedial massages so that they can perform at their best. Factors such as age and health status also play a role on how frequent remedial massage would be recommended. For advice on what’s best for your body’s needs, ask your remedial massage therapist today how regularly you should have a massage to function optimally. Rosie Rayner Dip RMT Ad Dip SST
Remedial Massage and its effects on FasciaWhat is fascia? Fascia is a type of connective tissue that essentially holds us together. It is composed of mostly collagen and elastin. The fibres of collagen are the longest and strongest form of protein molecules found within body, they can hold up to ten thousand times their weight. Collagen provides the tensile strength and structural integrity of the connective tissue. Whereas the elastin fibres allows the connective tissue to stretch, providing flexibility and the capability to absorb shock. These fascial fibres sit in an extremely receptive transparent fluid base that is interwoven in many directions all over the body. Types of Fascia:
- Compartment fascia – surrounds individual muscle fibres, muscles, and muscle groups.
- Superficial Fascia – the fascia that lies just under the surface of the skin.
- Fascial sheaths – Superficial fascia that covers joints providing support and stability.
- Visceral fascia – surrounds each organ.
- Myofascial meridians/slings – bilateral systems of receptive connective tissue. These fascial slings relate to how we sense ourselves and how we move through life.
Upper Crossed Syndrome
What is it? And how can Remedial Massage help?Upper Crossed Syndrome (UCS) is an extremely common musculoskeletal imbalance of the upper body. It is usually caused by poor posture or repetitive tasks in prolonged standing or sitting positions. As a consequence certain muscles become chronically tight, while others become long and weak. This muscular imbalance results in rounded shoulders/upper back, winging/tipping shoulder blades, and a forward head position with a poking out chin. The muscles affected in this common syndrome are the Pectoralis Major and Minor muscles in the chest, the Sub-Occipital muscles at the base of the skull and Upper Trapezius and Levator Scapulae in the upper shoulder/neck which all become overactive, short and tight. This excessive shortening of muscles causes an imbalance between muscles groups. Muscles such as Mid-Lower Trapezius, Rhomboids and Serratus Anterior of the upper back and the deep cervical flexors in the neck therefore become underactive, long and weak. The musculoskeletal imbalances of UCS can result in an array of pain or discomfort presentations. For example mid- upper back pain/tightness, neck pain/tightness, headaches, or pins and needles down the arms, just to name a few. Also overtime if untreated, these muscular imbalances can affect the position of the skeletal system leading to other chronic conditions such as shoulder instability, shoulder impingement and shoulder bursitis. Luckily Remedial Massage and correctly prescribed exercises can dramatically help with this condition. Remedial Therapists can use their skills in soft tissue work to release the tight, short and overactive muscles, and can give simple homework stretches/exercises. This is extremely important for while these large powerful muscles such as the Pecs or Upper traps remain tight, it is very challenging to properly strengthen the weak muscle groups. Remedial Therapists can also use techniques to stimulate the long, weak and underactive muscles encouraging them to activate and strengthen. Remedial Massage can be used as an effective complementary treatment for UCS, alongside Physiotherapy allowing the exercises prescribed by Physios to be most effective. If you feel like you relate to any of these symptoms, don’t wait, find the time to care for yourself and book some Remedial treatment today so you can move and feel your best!
Let massage help you through the winter SeasonFor most of us winter means hot drinks, extra layers of clothing, more hours spent in doors and therefore less physical activity and for some a case of the winter blues as the sun sets earlier and the air gets cooler. The good news is that massage therapy can be a great tool to help you through the season.
The benefits of massage in winter:
It will boost you immune system:The winter months can often bring an influx of colds and flu's, so it’s extra important to have a healthy functioning immune system to fight off these viruses. Being less active in the winter months can also mean poorer lymphatic flow, which means less circulation of the body’s white blood cells. White blood cells are what help your body fight away infections and disease. Studies have shown that massage encourages the flow of your lymphatic system, and therefore white blood cells. The more white blood cells circulating, the stronger your immune system and the less likely you are to get a cold/flu this winter!
It will encourage circulation:In cold weather muscles contract to conserve heat, which constricts blood flow and therefore delivers less oxygen and nutrients to our muscles. This also makes it more difficult for cellular waste and toxin removal. This restriction of blood flow decreases muscle health and function, and at times causes aches and stiffness. Luckily the soft tissue manipulation that is used in massage therapy is a brilliant way to increase circulation and improve your health.
It will keep away those winter blues:For some the colder weather can bring upon stress or feelings of being ‘low’ or ‘under the weather’. One of the beauties about massage is that it releases serotonin and endorphin's, which are hormones that relieve stress/sadness and make you naturally feel happy.
Don’t let the winter blues get you down this season, feel good and get a massage today!
The popularity of golf has increased substantially over the past few years with an estimated 55 million players worldwide. With increased accessibility and participation rates, the sport of golf offers up a diversity of player profiles, ages and levels of experience. Golf is generally considered to be a moderate risk activity with respect to the development of injury. Up to 80% of all golfing injures are due to overuse with the remainder resulting from trauma or contact. The most common areas for injuries in golfers include:
Low back and trunkInjuries represent the highest incidence of injury affecting up to 1/3 of golfers. Due to the increased rotational forces placed on the spine during the golf swing and the asymmetric nature of the swing, the back is subject to increased forces and potential for injury.
Upper limb injuries are far more common than lower limb injuries.
- Shoulder injuries are usually related to overuse and are due primarily to increased rotary forces (internal and external rotation) at the beginning and at the end of the swing. Common injuries include rotator cuff pathology, AC joint pain and shoulder instability.
- Elbows are the second most frequently injured area. Overuse injuries to the tendons of the medial epicondyle (golfer’s elbow) and lateral epicondyle or (tennis elbow) are common. Interestingly, tennis elbow is 5 times more common than golfer’s elbow among amateur players - likely a result of poor biomechanics such as over-swinging.
- Wrist and hand injuries can result from blunt force with the ground or overuse. Fractures, subluxations and tenosynovitis are most commonly seen.
Lower limb injuries are much less frequent and can be attributed to both the swing as well as the walking loads between holes.
- Hip injuries are often a result of the increased rotational forces placed on the hip during the swing. Soft tissue injuries to the groin and gluteals have been noted, as well as trochanteric bursitis.
- Knee pain is often associated with meniscal injury due to the twisting moments placed on the knee during the swing. Osteoarthritis of the knee can also be aggravated during the swing or when walking.
- Foot and Ankle pain are less common, with ankle sprains and plantar fasciopathy of note.
- The main risk factor associated with injury is a lower handicap (increased proficiency) likely due to the increased hours spent training and playing golf – think overuse and/or over training.
- An age of >50 years old was also observed as in increased risk factor, primarily due to the physiological changes associated with ageing.
- Other factors increasing risk of injury include lack of warming-up, reduced mobility/flexibility and poor physical conditioning.
- Muscular imbalances have also been shown to increase injury risk, particularly during intense play or with high practice hours.
- Collision injuries are most commonly related to contact with golf balls and clubs and in some instances, the golf-cart!
- Poor swing mechanics and incorrect grip and set-up.
- Evidence exists for the implementation of a holistic training program to reduce golf-related injuries.
- Flexibility with specific focus on the shoulder and hip (particularly the hip flexors);
- Mobility particularly of the thoracic spine;
- Core stability to support the large rotational forces of the spine during swing;
- Balance to provide a solid foundation for the swing;
- Resistance exercises with particular focus on large muscle groups and scapular stabilisers.
- An adequate warm-up prior to commencing play e.g. dynamic stretching including trunk rotations and knees to chest.
- Assessment and correction of any muscular asymmetries or range of motion deficits;
- Optimisation of swing biomechanics by a golfing coach.