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Sports Massage – Melbourne Endurance Athletes’ Weapon Against Injuries

Since the year 2000, marathon running has experienced a resurgence in popularity. Unlike before where finishing one became an enviable badge of achievement by a select few, today more and more people are joining and finishing running events.

On one hand, this can be seen as a proactive move for people against the trends of a sedentary lifestyle and the prevalence of fast foods. On the other hand, running has become more popular because it is one of the easiest fitness activities one can engage in. Apart from a good pair of running shoes, you do not really need anything else to get started. Simply open the door, step out of your house, and start running.

The same can be said for cycling. Cycling is pretty much a straightforward endeavour, just like running – hop onto your bike and start pedalling. Some fitness enthusiasts have even upped the ante by combining both activities through duathlons, or in combination with swimming as triathlons.

While novice runners and cyclists become prone to injuries (in one part due to over enthusiasm, and in one part due to improper form), it is not uncommon for seasoned athletes to succumb to injuries, thus requiring rehabilitation and other treatments like sports massage. Melbourne runners and cyclists need to know what these injuries are in order to help them minimise the chances of getting them.

Among the most common injuries among endurance athletes are the runner’s knee or patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPD), the Achilles tendinitis which affects the calf muscles, hamstring injuries, plantar fasciitis or small tears in the tendons and ligaments found in the feet, shin splints, iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), and stress fracture.

If you are just getting started in endurance sports, here are a few tips to help you avoid getting sidelined by an injury, regardless of whether your goal is to finish your first 5k or beat your own cycling record:

First, gradually increase your training volume to let your body adapt to the increased stress. Make sure to get the best equipment. If you are a runner, that means getting the right type of running shoes. Many dealers of running shoes offer free feet and gait analyses to help their customers find the right pair. If you are a cyclist, make sure that your bike is adjusted to the right height. Know the value of proper warm ups, cool downs and stretching. As much as possible, incorporate some sort of strength training into your training regime. Finally, make sure that you get adequate rest and recovery.

Sports massage therapy can be particularly beneficial to endurance athletes who push their bodies to the limit. This type of massage can help relieve an athlete from the stress and tension associated with the continuous use of a particular muscle group. It is also beneficial in preventing injuries and is used to treat sprains, strains and cramps. Among the other benefits of this massage are increased flexibility, improved blood circulation and lymph flow and better muscle tissue healing.

Even seasoned athletes succumb to injuries. What is important is how they bounce back stronger. Whether you are just starting out or recovering from an injury, add sports massage into your arsenal of recovery techniques.

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Beat The Blues Away With Remedial Massage

In a report published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2008 entitled National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, the bureau estimated that about 3.2 million or one in five adult Australians will succumb to a mental illness any given year. Among the top mental illnesses included in the report are substance abuse, depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

In a related study conducted by the Department of Health and Ageing entitled People Living with Psychotic Illness 2010: Report on the Second Australian National Survey, it was revealed that individuals who experienced psychosis expected the following issues to follow in the next twelve months: financial issues, social isolation, unemployment and discrimination.

One accessible method to help relieve a person from stress and anxiety is getting a remedial massage. More than being a luxury, massage therapy offers several benefits. For one, it can help a person recover from soreness and tenseness felt in the muscles. It is also used to treat a variety of injuries including muscle atrophy, cramps, headaches, arthritis.

But apart from these benefits, regular massage therapy can be integrated into one’s mental hygiene regime. As the therapist kneads a person’s muscles, the nerve cell receptors are also activated, thus stimulating the release of endorphins, adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin which are associated with the feeling of happiness and wellbeing. At the same time, the presence of the stress-inducing hormone called cortisol is reduced. Regular massage treatment has also been found to have a direct effect on a person’s brain waves, particularly the alpha brain waves.

Apart from these, massage treatment is known to boost energy levels, creativity, self-esteem and the decrease of stress levels. People who suffer from stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, addiction and obsessiveness can benefit from getting massage therapy.

Do take note that massage therapy is not meant to replace treatment by a mental health professional. Rather, it can serve as a complement to such treatments. As such, it is important to find the right massage therapist. The therapist you choose should be properly trained, fully qualified, insured and accredited by a national association. It is equally helpful if the therapist has ties with the major private health funds especially if you want to avail of rebates. Finally, and probably most important of all, your therapist can tailor-fit a massage treatment to suit your individual needs.

Book an appointment now and experience relief both from your aches and pains as well as from stress and anxiety.

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Restore Vigor And Boost Productivity At Work With Deep Tissue Massage Melbourne

People spend a great amount of their waking life at work, probably more than at home or elsewhere. As such, it does not come as a surprise to see the rise of work-related injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries (RSI). Luckily, people suffering from these injuries can find relief through deep tissue massage. Melbourne therapists can help restore wellbeing and boost productivity in workers suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and RSIs.

Office workers, hunched over their computers for extended periods, are among the people most prone to these injuries. Among the reasons for this is poor posture, inadequate rest periods, poor design of workstations and the lack of ergonomic design in the tools used.

But office workers are not the only types of employees who succumb to work-related injuries. These injuries are also prevalent among people who work at grocery stores, mechanics, assembly line workers, butchers, carpenters and tradies.

Apart from the discomfort, these injuries can have far-ranging effects upon both the employees and businesses. These injuries can lead to a decline in productivity due to time lost from work. In some cases, a new employee must be trained to replace an injured employee. These injuries also increase the likelihood of higher insurance premiums. On the part of the injured worker, he or she may have to spend time and money towards rehabilitation, or worse, surgery.

One good thing about work-related injuries is that they can be easily prevented through simple measures. One quick fix employers can do is task rotation. Instead of assigning one employee to do a repetitive task during his or her entire shift, he or she can be assigned to do other work-related tasks to allow the muscles to get adequate rest.

Employers can also redesign the workstations of their employees to ensure maximum comfort and proper posture while performing simple tasks. In the same manner, employers can also provide employees with ergonomically designed equipment.

Employees should also be taught about best practices in the workplace to prevent injuries. This includes taking short breaks for stretching and exercises.

While prevention is indeed better than cure, if you are suffering from work-related injuries, you can use deep tissue massage to complement the treatment given by your medical professional. This type of massage is known to help relieve chronic pain in the back, shoulders and neck. It is also known to be beneficial to those suffering from strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome as well as postural problems.

Through the use of fingertips, knuckles, hands and elbows, an experienced massage therapist can help loosen an injured person’s muscles, improve circulation as well as release toxins. In addition, deep tissue massage can also be used to treat adhesions which limit a person’s range of motion due to pain and inflammation.

Facts About Trigger Point Therapy Melbourne Residents Should Know

Trigger point therapy can be used to remedy a variety of conditions including sports injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, tendonitis and even neck and jaw pain and headaches. But apart from pain relief, trigger point therapy, Melbourne residents ought to know, offers plenty of other benefits including improved flexibility and circulation as well as reduction of stiffness and muscle tension. But what exactly are trigger points?

Put simply, trigger points are parts of muscles which are in a constant state of contraction. They are usually situated at the middle of muscle fibres and are characterised by the grouping of sarcomeres. Trigger points can cause people a great deal of pain. However, they cannot be easily detected. In addition to this, trigger points cause pain in another location of the body. Trigger points can also restrict a person’s range of motion and even his posture. Typically, they cause numbness, a tingling or burning sensation. In some instances, trigger points may cause dizziness.

Trigger points can be created by a variety of causes. This can range from direct trauma, repetitive movements and heavy exertion like lifting heavy objects improperly. Other causes include inadequate nutrition, stress, infections and even hormonal imbalance.

A trained and experienced trigger point therapist can confirm the presence of trigger points by applying pressure on a suspected area. If the pain that you regularly experience is replicated once this is done, then you actually have trigger points. Alternatively, the therapist can test your range of motion. The therapist will ask you to do specific postures, taking note of which positions you have limited range of motion in. He can also look into your medical history and see how past events could have contributed to the creation of trigger points.

In treating trigger points, your therapist will apply direct pressure on it. Afterwards, that muscle will be “re-trained” so that the pain will not come back. This is done through stretching and other techniques.

Note that trigger point massage is different from acupressure which operates upon the principle of activating specific areas in the body to boost the flow of energy and eliminate those that block its path. When a therapist works on a trigger point, he is looking for a particular area which causes pain in the patient.

Because trigger points can be deceptive, you should consider undergoing trigger point massage to remedy pain that has been nagging you for an extended period of time and has not been remedied by other forms of treatment.

Looking For Headache Or Migraine Treatment? Try Therapeutic Massage

Everyone gets a headache from time to time. Some headaches go away on their own while other people find relief with a little help from pain relievers. At worst, these types of headaches can be annoying. However, there are some types of headaches which can be truly debilitating, preventing people from doing their chores or work tasks properly.

Despite their prevalence (or because of this), headaches can be considered costly. On one hand, you have direct costs like medication, hospitalisation, CT scans and the fee of medical professionals. And then you have indirect costs like absence and loss of productivity.

Research shows that headaches can even affect children, with the condition being more prevalent among young boys. But upon puberty, it is those who belong to the fairer sex who are more prone to having headaches.

There are four types of headaches, namely: tension, migraine, sinus and cluster headaches. Tension headaches are the most common type and are caused by the tightening and contraction of the muscles in the neck, face and scalp. Migraines are more painful than tension headaches and cause sufferers to stop what they are doing altogether. While the underlying cause of this headache is yet to be determined, research shows that it can be triggered by a variety of factors like hormonal changes, some types of food and drinks, inadequate sleep and stress.

Sinus headaches occur when the sinuses are infected by bacteria. Typically, this headache is accompanied by runny or stuffy nose. Cluster headaches, on the other hand, refer to the kind of headache that can last from a few days to months, interspersed with periods of being headache-free.

In some instances, headaches can be a symptom of something that is more serious like high blood pressure, aneurysm, brain tumour or stroke. While a short nap or a pain reliever can provide relief to a headache, you should immediately consult a medical professional if the headache persists for an extended period of time, if you lose balance and feel weak, if you are nauseous, if you have lost consciousness and if you experience anything out of the usual.

If you are looking for headache or migraine treatment, you should consider therapeutic massage instead of simply popping another pain reliever pill. Massage therapy can relieve you of the pain you are feeling and even prevent it from occurring.

Massage promotes blood circulation which can help ease pain. Trigger point therapy can help relieve pain that is caused by trigger points. But apart from pain relief, regular massage therapy stimulates the release of endorphins and the elimination of the stress hormone cortisol.

Sciatic Nerve Pain Treatment Options

Those who suffer from sciatic nerve pain claim that when the pain is manageable, it typically doesn’t stay that way for long, and when it’s intense, it’s just pure torture. Because of the great discomfort and the way this unique pain compromises quality of life, many of them are willing to spend a lot of money just to make the pain go away permanently.

There are different sciatic nerve pain treatment options out there, but choosing one to try and invest money in would always depend on the cause (which could be a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, lumbar disc, Piriformis Syndrome, or a pinched nerve) and the gravity of the condition.For example, if one could no longer walk because of the excruciating pain that originates from the buttocks down to the sciatic nerve of the legs and radiates all the way down to the toes, an aggressive treatment will surely be required. As for dull aches that are manageable but last for hours, therapeutic treatments normally would suffice.

For those who are still looking for the best way to treat their sciatica, provided below are the available treatment options and how effective they are.

  1. Heat and Cold Therapy -This works for acute sciatic nerve pain. Just alternate using a hot compress with a cold one for 20 minutes within two hours and the pain will eventually subside.
  2. Over the counter pain-relievers -Ibuprofen, mefenamic acid and acetaminophen, which are all anti-inflammatory drugs, can alleviate sciatic pain. These drugs take effect about30 minutes to an hour after intake, but the relief is only temporary  most of the time, just several hours. Oral steroids work similarly. Pain sufferers should take great caution in taking these pain-relievers, though; many have become addicted to them because the relief they provide is only temporary.
  3. Steroid injections -These are prescribed for really intense sciatic pains. Their pain relieving effect is instantaneous, but some people may be allergic to steroids, so this treatment is definitely not for them. And just like other pain relievers, the effects are also temporary.
  4. Chiropractic manipulation -This can improve spine alignment, which chiropractors and physical therapists claim should help address a number of underlying conditions that can cause sciatic nerve pain. Relief from pain after a set of sessions can last from weeks to months.
  5. Massage therapy -This aids the healing process by means of physical stimulation. Massage sessions can undo tension knots that create pressure on the spine, as well as improve circulation for better distribution of nutrients to the spine to help it recover. Several massage sessions can bring sciatic pain relief for up to three months. But another great advantage of this treatment is that, among all the other provisions, this massage can actually complement other treatment options for sciatic pain. It can reinforce the positive effects of all other treatments and even yield other health benefits. Lastly, it’s more affordable.
  6. Low-impact exercises -Like massage, they promote healing and maintain the strength and flexibility required for recovery. Regular exercise can completely eradicate acute sciatic pains because the body’s natural healing ability is strengthened by it.
  7. Sciatica surgery -This is the best option if the pain cannot be alleviated by other treatment methods and it continues to get worse, such as when there’s progressive weakness in the legs and the person also starts to suffer from incontinence. There are two types of sciatic surgery: a microdiscectomy, which is a small open surgery, and a lumbar laminectomy, which is an open decompression. The success rate in permanent relief from sciatic pain for these two methods is high. For microdiscectomy, 95% of patients claim relief four weeks after getting the procedure, and for lumbar laminectomy, 70% to 80% of patients experience significant relief from pains and claim that they are able to go back to doing their normal activities.

How To Make Back Pain Go Away

A sudden injury, a strenuous activity, or improper posture a lot of things can lead to back problems. When the pain sets in, you could be out of commission for days on end or simply have difficulty bending down. Whatever happens when you get back pains, it’s important not to instantly panic and think that the problem could mean something is terribly wrong with your health. Sometimes, the aches will go away in a few weeks. But you’ll immediately need to take action and prevent the pains from being chronic. Here are a few recommendations to treating back pains.

Take it easy and then sit or lie down in the most comfortable position. When you first experience back pain, don’t strain yourself further by moving things or lifting items. You can lie on your back, place a couple pillows under your legs and let the pain subside. When it does, going for a walk, without carrying anything in your hands, your feet pointing straight and your head up, is considered to be beneficial. When it doesn’t subside and you feel electrical pain shooting down your legs and you’ve got lower extremity numbness, get medical help from a specialist.

Practice good posture. Some back pains may have been building up for years because you might not have beensitting in the right position or brushing your teeth over the sink correctly. Poor posture, over many years, can put needless strain on your back. Having the right amount of curvature in the back will take the pressure off the nerves and consequently, relieve you of back pains.

Exercise will improve your flexibility and strengthen your core. Performing simple (and not strenuous) exercises and routines (like yoga) can sometimes reduce backaches. Increasing flexibility can place equal load throughout your body while strengthening abdominal muscles can reduce the strain on your lower back.

Get soothing therapies. Massage therapies create a number of benefits, one of which is treating back pains. Various soothing therapies have been recognised as legitimate support to alleviating lower back pain. A good massage will not only work out your muscle spasms but also improve your range of motion.

You can try deep tissue massage, which may be used for postural problems and chronically tight muscles. You can try acupressure, which uses common techniques like kneading and vibration to treat chronic back and neck pains. You can also ask your therapist specifically for back massage. Neuromuscular therapy, also known as trigger point therapy, has also been recognised as an effective treatment for lower back muscle strain.

Important Facts You Ought To Know If You Have Bursitis

Inflammation of the bursa “a sac containing fluid that acts as lubricant to your joints, tendons and muscles“ can cause swelling and extreme pain, which can worsen by your every movement of the affected area. This condition is called bursitis. In Australia as well as in some other areas in the world, bursitis is more commonly known as “housemaid’s knees, but the truth is that the condition can also occur in other parts of the body where there joints such as the shoulders, elbows, ankles, hips, thighs or buttocks.

The two most common causes of bursitis are doing repetitive movements or positions for too long. That is why people in occupations that require them to maintain a single motion or position to accomplish their tasks are at the highest risk. Labourers who perform jobs such as such as cleaning and scrubbing floors, laying the carpet or installing tiles, gardening and painting houses are at risk. Athletes who can be prone to injury or strain with their routines of throwing balls, lifting heavy weights or doing extreme running are at risk.

If you think that only jobs that entail high levels of physical activities are at risk, then take note that even those pursuing “delicate careers, particularly musicians, are also vulnerable. Also, people working in front of the computer all day long and sitting for long periods of time, especially on hard or uncomfortable chairs, can cause irritation of the bursa.

Symptoms can be quite similar to other muscle and joint conditions swelling, localised pain that increases at night or when in motion, a feeling of warmth and bloating in the affected area, reddening of the skin, and stiffness. Thus, it’s best to have a health check-up in order to address the problem with the right treatment.

Your doctor could prescribe the following modes of therapy to alleviate the symptoms of bursitis and eventually get the affected area in healthy working condition again.

Antibiotics

In some cases, the trauma or injury occurs near the skin which may cause the bursa to be infected. If infection is determined as the cause of bursitis, the doctor may prescribe a round of antibiotics.

Injections

Your doctor may also inject a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory drug directly to the affected areas.

Surgery

In rare cases, surgical draining may be necessary for the inflammation to subside.

Therapy

This is the most popular option because it is a natural, non-invasive form of treatment that brings long-term benefits. Your doctor may recommend therapeutic massage, a proven way to alleviate pain, swelling, muscle tension and stiffness that are commonly associated with bursitis. It can help blood circulation in the tissues and help your body to heal itself faster. Not all cases can be treated with massage (it should be avoided when the bursitis is due to infection), so it’s best to heed the advice of your physician. If it is advised, however, take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the multiple health benefits from the healing hands of a professional and highly competent massage therapist.

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Sports Injuries And Four Therapeutic Treatments To Promote Complete Healing

A lot of injuries these days are caused by engaging in sports. While such physical activities serve as great forms of a workout to stay fit, the impact and intensity of certain movements can knock the body out of balance and result in a painful injury. Most sports injuries take a really long time to heal, and even after the usual invasive treatments like surgeries have been properly performed, there are still other treatments required to restore the injured body part back to full health.

Sports injuries vary in gravity, but regardless of whether it is just a regular sprain or an ACL injury, therapy is greatly recommended for full recovery. When a body part is injured, naturally it can only perform a very limited range of movements so as not to aggravate the pain and worsen the swelling. Because of this, the flexibility of the muscles and joints are compromised and if you want to get back in the “game, you’re going to have to restore that lost flexibility.

There are different types of therapeutic treatments to address pain and flexibility issues. You have acupuncture, which basically helps in promoting wellness by getting rid of the blockages in the energy channels or meridians that inhibit complete healing. This ancient Chinese medical practice is quite effective as well for tension release and other bodily pains caused by a particular illness or even stress.

Quite similar to acupuncture is acupressure, but instead of using needles to treat the blocked meridians, the hands and fingers are used. It’s not too different from a massage as well but it really focuses on the Chinese principles of balance restoration to promote better health, healing and complete recovery; it’s even known to get rid of toxins in the body. All the kneading may be a little painful at first, but most of the time, the relief from internal pains caused by the injury is automatically felt after the session.

And then there’s sports massage; this is used both for injury prevention and treatment for sprainsand strains. As a therapeutic treatment for a sports injury, it can relieve swelling and pain, encourage better muscle tissue healing, and gradually increase flexibility so a wide range of movements can be performed more naturally again.

Lastly, there’s myotherapy which complements the benefits of sports massage. This is usually composed of myofascial release, trigger point therapy, cupping and dry needling. It’s like a combination of three aforementioned treatments and more, and that’s why it is highly recommended for athletes recovering from severe injuries or really just for chi restoration to promote the health of joints, nerves, and muscles to maintain a high level of physical performance.

All of these are effective, but do consult a licensed therapist first before deciding which one of these suits your physical needs best.