If you spend a lot of time in a seated position (i.e desk job/driving) then it’s quite likely that you will have tight hip flexors.
These are the muscles responsible for bending at the thigh/hip. So if you are constantly sat with your hips bent these muscles will constantly be in a contracted and shortened position, so of course they will be tight!
I would recommend taking regular breaks and having a walk around and a stretch in an attempt to remedy this tightness, along with a regular massage of course!
The bottom picture below shows what a hip flexor stretch looks like.
In the top picture the models knee is line with her hip. If you have extremely tight hip flexors you may feel some stretch in this position, but as this is the position your hips would be in when you are standing you probably won’t be stretching your hip flexors very much.
It may remind you of the more commonly seen quad stretch, which is similar, but done in a standing position.
Only one of the quadriceps muscles crosses the hip joint (the rectus femoris) and this is why simply doing a quad stretch won’t quite target the correct area.
If you really want to target the hip flexors you must move your hip in front of your knee. This then takes your hips into extension, which is the position to best feel the stretch.
You can deepen this by lunging forward onto your front leg, pushing your hips forward and leaning backwards (from the hips) slightly. You can also intensify this by squeezing your bum muscles (gluteals).
Your gluteals are functionally opposite to your hip flexors and when one muscle contracts the opposing muscle must relax. This is called reciprocal inhibition.
If you would like further information regarding stretches I can provide this as part of the aftercare you receive at the end of a massage treatment.
Check your footprints in the snow!
If your prints are particularly turned out (i.e. you walk like a duck!) it could indicate that you have a tight piriformis muscle.
Tightness in the piriformis muscle can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, which can cause back, buttock and leg pain. But, not to worry! A massage and a few stretches should help to remedy that!
On Wednesday I attended a Kinesiology Taping course. Very interesting day, we got through a lot of rock tape!
Kinesiology taping can be used to treat sport injuries, delay fatigue, speed up recovery, promote proper form and enhance performance. It is also great for inflammation and oedema.
My knee was aching due to some inflammation and the pain went within ten minutes of applying the tape. They believe the pain relief is due to the skin being lifted slightly, therefore creating space and reducing the pressure on the pain receptors.
If you would like to be ‘taped up’ then please do contact me to book an appointment.
This is your sciatic nerve!
It is the largest nerve in the body.
Sciatic pain can be caused from a variety of reasons. Perhaps an injury has damaged the nerve, or perhaps wear and tear means a bulging spinal disc is pressing on the nerve.
However sciatic pain may also be caused by muscle tension. The piriformis muscle, located in the buttocks, lies over the top of the nerve, so any knots or restrictions in the muscle fibres may put pressure on the nerve, triggering the pain.
The nerve runs all the way down your leg, so muscle tension anywhere along the path of the nerve could also contribute to sciatica.
Luckily muscle tension can be easily remedied with a massage!
I am very proud to let everyone know that I have passed the theory and practical exams for the level 5 holistic, therapeutic, sports & remedial massage diploma that I have been studying since January. It has been a year of hard work, taking a very interesting (and challenging) course!
Sports & Remedial massage, Kington, Herefordshire.
I have decided to increase the tools in my ‘massage toolbox’ by taking the level 5 sports & remedial massage diploma.
I began in January and will finish in November 2016, when I shall be qualified to treat sporting injuries and along the way I shall learn such things as postural analysis, muscle energy techniques, neuromuscular therapy and proprioceptive neuromuscular technique to name a few!
I will have to produce some client study groups as part of this qualification and so I will have to provide copies of some massage notes to my tutor to review. All copies of the massage notes will be anonymous and remain confidential, and the course tutor will be the only person to view these. I will ask each client individually for their permission before doing so, and if you do not want me to use your notes then you are allowed to say no!
I may also ask you to fill in a feedback sheet at the end of your massage session to accompany the notes, again this will be anonymous, confidential and only seen by the course tutor.
I’m really excited to be learning again and am looking forward to getting started with all of the homework!