Treatments and Techniques
There are a wide range of treatments available for different conditions and these will depend on a number of factors including physical fitness and medical history. Some of the more common techniques and treatments are listed below. Having a clear plan of your recovery and personal requirements is the key to success.
Taping and Strapping
Many kinds of injuries may benefit from the application of Tape or adhesive bandage, by the simple fact they offer protection, physical support and psychological support.
Providing these injuries and niggles are minor the taping techniques used will give adequate protection whilst taking part in your particular sport or activity.
Examples of when is Taping used...
Taping has many benefits including easing pain, reducing inflammation and helping to relieve nerve irritation.
Supporting ligaments (sprain) and unstable joints such as hypermobility.
Using tape for a ligament sprain or a muscular strain would help limit the range of movement allowing the overstretched, injured tissue to repair.
Using tape for preventative measures, for example someone who has hypermobility or a Lax joint, taping would help 'prevent' injury to a particular joint during an activity.
Another example is correction of postural problems, here the tape may be used as a 'reminder' that you are slouching, the tape will be applied in the correct postural position, therefore any changes in posture will be felt by the tugging or pulling of the tape, you will then naturally correct your posture until it becomes second nature again and the tape is no longer needed.
Clive Lacey is a Sports Massage Therapist who is fully qualified to understand the theory and practice of this useful technique.
The use of high frequency sound waves to bring about changes in damaged tissue at a cellular level to reduce pain, inflammation, muscle spasms and induce tissue repair.
Ultrasound is a highly effective treatment for acute and chronic conditions involving ligaments, tendons, muscles and joints such as tendinitis, scar tissue, strains and sprains.
How does ultrasound work?
When an electrical current is passed through the crystal, the crystal vibrates, which creates a soundwave which enters the tissue’ particularly collagen, that sound-wave creates another vibration at the other end (site of inflammation) which in turn creates heat and encourages vasodilation (opening of vessels) This means debris (dead cells) are cleared out more effectively and more oxygen binding blood cells (myoglobin and haemoglobin) flood the area which will assist the healing process.
Ultrasound is more effective when combined with focused Sports Massage, advanced soft tissue work and correction of imbalances otherwise these forces which caused the condition in the first place will still be present, which means the condition may re-occur.
TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
TENS is where small, sticky, flexible pads are attached to the skin and connected to a TENS unit by wires, once the unit is switched on you will feel sensations such as tingling or contractions, this is where the nerves are being stimulated to relieve pain.
TENS may be used before during or after treatment. By using TENS the small nerves which carry the signals of pain back to the brain are reduced by the stimulation of the thicker fibres which carry more pleasant signals therefore relieving the pain, for example if you were to knock a bony prominence or area (ankle, elbow, shin) you may instinctively rub it, this rubbing action stimulates the larger nerve fibres which has an effect on the smaller nerves transmitting the pain which provides relief.
During treatment I may use TENS for a short period prior to soft tissue manipulation to help your muscles relax in a particular area so that I can achieve more soft tissue work without battling through tight muscles and fascia caused by pain.
I have had quite a few clients who have said they have tried TENS but couldn't get it to work properly and just gave up or bought a different model to see if that worked better, but ended with the same result, unfortunately its not the device but down to poor advice or the usually inadequate guide you get with it, therefore anyone using TENS for chronic or acute pain, I would recommend the 'Kings guide to TENS' (Alan King, Grad. Dip. Phys. MCSP SRP), this small booklet is perfect for understanding TENS and how to get the best from it.