When you present me with a pain or discomfort, my main focus is to identify the cause rather than simply address the symptoms. I will use the anatomical lines of the body to help me assess, locate and treat the dysfunction in the most effective way. I choose and explain to you the range of techniques I use to not only achieve the best results for you, but also help you understand how your body works.
In the vast majority of cases, muscular dysfunction and/or pain is due to muscular imbalance, however, people are often unaware of how the activities they do every day are the main contributors because the human body is fantastic at adapting to small injuries, which cause these imbalances.
In my experience, an imbalance occurs over a period of time (usually months or years) with some niggly warning signs along the way. Most people ignore these niggles until a pain forces them to stop, when sometimes resting alone is enough to allow the body to catch up and adapt.
For the most part, however, this niggle is the start, or next part, of the imbalance occurring and is your body’s way of telling you that something needs to be done to address this. If it is not addressed, then another part of the body takes over the role of the dysfunctional or overused (niggly) muscle and compensates for whatever is not working effectively until the niggle ‘disappears’.
This pattern continues until there no muscles left in this chain of movement that can compensate for this series of dysfunctions, which is when the pain gets worse and eventually forces you stop. This is usually the point at which people book in to see me!
Unless I have worked with someone for a while or they are coming to me instead of their usual therapist, I very rarely just get to work on the area that hurts. Instead I will take the time to understand how you came to have your complaint by asking you relevant questions and listening to the answers whilst forming a plan in my head of how to proceed.
You will have already completed a new client form, so I will have a rough idea of what is going on but, in more cases than not, people say or remember things when talking to me that they either forgot or didn’t feel was relevant on the form.
Assuming there are no warning signs of more serious symptoms, I will first look at your alignment:
- Head position
Are your ears in line with your shoulders and, if not, is that because your neck or shoulder/chest muscles are imbalanced (usually a bit of both)
If they look anteriorly rotated and this isn’t addressed by the previous step, I’ll skip this and move onto the next step
- Pelvic alignment
In 99.9% of people I see, their pelvis appears misaligned, sometimes rotated and/or mostly anteriorly tilted, and sometimes off centre. The pelvis itself is fine (you would be in A&E if it wasn’t), but the muscles that control the movement and stability of the pelvis are imbalanced.
If the shoulders looked anteriorly rotated on the previous step, we’ll go through how to correctly engage your abdominals and see how this affects the alignment of your shoulders
- Feet position
I look to see in which direction they are pointing, which gives a really good indication of any further imbalances between the hips and the feet
Some of this visual assessment, plus some other visuals that may be relevant, is done while we are talking as that is usually when you are most relaxed.
I will then perform some basic flexibility and mobility exercises on different areas to see what needs addressing and how this may be affecting other areas of your body.
Viewing your body as a whole unit gives me a snapshot of what is going on overall and usually indicates where to begin your sports massage treatment. In the vast majority of times, this is not where you are feeling the pain.
In fact, I can often address, reduce or relieve the pain by not even touching the area that hurts, which is particularly helpful and important if you have an acute or inflamed injury.
Your session will then include a range of massage and other soft tissue techniques, together with relevant mobilisation and activation exercises, which I will explain to you and how it relates to your original injury or complaint.
You will be provided with advice on exercises and/or a treatment plan before you leave, which may include updating your progress over a period of time for me to review before booking you in for another session.
“Emma is always careful to listen and gives good, appropriate treatment and advice. As a runner, I find it good to know that she, as a runner too, often understands things from her own experience and that makes explaining things a lot easier. She is skilled, patient and accommodating and I would recommend her to anyone in need of sports massage, especially other runners.”
Mr P, Club Runner
Who can have a Sports Massage?
Sports Massage is suitable for the majority of people, regardless of whether you participate in any sport. However, prior to all sessions you will be required to complete and submit a New Client Form online so that I can ascertain any contraindications you may have and recommend an alternative approach first, where appropriate.
Completing the form online prior to your appointment also allows maximum possible time during the session to discuss your complaint and ensure you receive the right treatment plan for you.
Book an initial consultation if you are new client, or returning after more than 6 months.