Young Athletes & Sports Massage

Back to school and we all know what that means; our young athletes are diving back into their respective sports. We know that proper education and conditioning is imperative to help these young athletes maintain their health and reach their desired performance levels. The pressure put on these athletes is unreal, and many will specialize in one sport for the entire year. By doing the same sport for the entire year, many athletes are experiencing repetitive strain injuries by putting stress on the same muscles over and over. Massage has great benefits in helping with stiffness and soreness in muscles and can speed up recovery times. An added benefit is stress management; massage can also help young athletes manage their stress.

Dr. Jayanthi, who presented this data last year at the American Academy of Pediatrics conference, studied more than 1,200 young athletes, and found that lower back injuries were the third most common injury in athletes younger than 18, after knees and ankles.

He made a few suggestions for parents to help prevent and reduce the risk of injury. First, do not have these athletes specialize in just one sport before adolescence. Second, diversify the types of sports they play throughout any given year. There is so much pressure to stay competitive, and it is an added stress to these athletes and can have adverse effects on their bodies. So third, be sure your young athlete participates in unorganized play as well.

Consider massage therapy for your young athlete; here are some tips for parents to make this a therapeutic and comfortable experience. First, you may want to start with a shorter session time, maybe 30 to 45 minutes. Second, have your child dress in comfortable clothing so the therapist can go through range of motion, as well as passive and active stretching. Third, it may make your child more comfortable to choose a therapist of the same gender. A young boy may feel uncomfortable getting a massage from a female and vice versa. Last, the parent should consider being in the room while the athlete is receiving their massage treatment. This will make your child feel at ease if they have any apprehension about massage.

Please give us a call at The Therapy Centers if you have any questions, or to schedule your young athlete today. We are confident in sports massage and rehabilitation for athletes of all ages. We do require a legal guardian be present during the massage session and we must have a legal guardian consent form signed for all minors before a massage therapy session! We look forward to helping improve your young athletes performance by helping to keep them physically and mentally healthy. Call us today 859.443.4292!

 

 

Reference: American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness. Sports Specialization in Young Athletes. Pediatrics. 2000;106:154-157

 

 

 

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Automobile Accidents & Massage Therapy

Every day, millions of people drive on roads and streets across America. So many people are behind the wheel and it’s no surprise that automobile accidents happen daily. Eventually, if you haven’t already been in an automobile accident, there is a reasonable chance you will be in the future.

The most common types of injuries resulting from car accidents are soft tissue injuries.

“A Soft tissue injury (STI) is the damage of muscles, ligaments and tendons throughout the body. Common soft tissue injuries usually occur from a sprain, strain, a direct blow resulting in a contusion or overuse of a particular part of the body.”

Soft tissue injuries can cause discomfort in the form of bruising, soreness, swelling and stiffness. These types of injuries are common in automobile accidents due to the impact of the collision between the automobiles.

Whiplash

Whiplash is by far the most common injury resulting from an automobile accident. The proper medical terms for whiplash are cervical strain/sprain or hyperextension injury.

Symptoms include:

  • Sharp neck pain
  • Stiffness of the neck
  • Back problems
  • Cognitive issues, such as problems with memory and concentration

Whiplash occurs when the impact from a rear end collision forces your head and neck to move back and forth violently.

Whiplash symptoms can occur gradually, several days after the accident, or immediately. Anyone suffering from whiplash should seek medical attention even if the symptoms seem minor. If whiplash is left untreated, pain can develop into chronic minor to sever discomfort in your neck and back.

If you have been in an automobile accident, massage therapy can help treat whiplash and many other soft tissue injuries. Also with a referral from a physician, insurance will cover the cost of your treatments.

Seek a medical massage therapist or a massage therapist with specialized training and knowledge of injuries associated with automobile accidents. Here at The Therapy Centers, we look forward to helping you enhance the quality of your health through manual and massage therapy.

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Considerations for Massage Therapy After Hip or Back Surgery

Massage therapy can be beneficial for a multitude of injuries and conditions. Low back pain is the most common orthopedic complaint, and when a disc herniation is present, the pressure it exerts on a nerve can cause intense pain or numbness and tingling in the hips or legs. Degenerative disc disease (DDD) may create similar symptoms. When these injuries are severe, and preventive therapies are unsuccessful, surgery may be the last and only option. A discectomy or a vertebral fusion may be performed to alleviate this pressure.

After surgery, the patient begins the acute recovery process, and may attend physical or occupational therapy. With everything the patient has to endure, it would be understandable to be weary of massage therapy. Massage therapy can be extremely helpful, and good communication between the client and therapist will ensure the best outcome. With that in mind, these are the things to consider:

  1. If you are still under a doctor’s care, obtain an order/script referring massage therapy, along with any precautions.
  2. Please inform the massage therapist of your medical history, including
    1.  surgeries
    2. medications
    3. areas that are painful to the touch and also to move
    4. if certain movements are restricted due to a surgical procedure like a vertebral fusion. For example, in the situation of a total hip replacement, especially a recent one, certain movements should be avoided and the therapist should be informed for client safety.
  1. The therapist may conduct a more thorough assessment to gather all necessary data, as well as look at motion and strength to determine the best course of action.
  2. The therapist will be careful and should “check in” as needed, but any sharp painful discomfort should be reported.

Effective massage therapy can definitely improve mobility of tight areas responding to the physical and mental trauma of surgery and recovery. Proper disclosure, feedback during the massage session, and regular updates allow the massage therapist to treat confidently and safely.

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Benefits of Massage Therapy for Veterans

The men and women of this great nation who volunteer to serve and protect the United States of America, our veterans, can receive many benefits from massage therapy.

What is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)?

“noun: post-traumatic stress disorder

a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock, typically involving disturbance of sleep and constant vivid recall of the experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world.”

Many of our veterans suffer from PTSD, experiencing mild, moderate, or extreme symptoms.

Typical symptoms of a person with PTSD will include:

  • Flashbacks and nightmares
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • A feeling of detachment or distance
  • Chronic pain or fatigue

How can Massage Therapy help veterans or suffers of PTSD?

Massage therapy is beneficial to veterans of the armed forces with physical limitations by helping to ease pain, reducing the effects of physical wounds, increasing range of motion and joint mobility. Additionally, massage can also help to ease the mental scars and burdens for many veterans returning home. “Nearly 30% of returning veterans are reported to have some form of PTSD and this can have a devastating effect on many lives.”  Many returning veterans suffer from PTSD alone without clinical diagnoses for many years. When veterans have PTSD, they often struggle to fit back into their previously happy family lives or struggle to maintain regular employment. Massage therapy can help these veterans by easing the emotional pain of PTSD and help them feel connected with the world in a meaningful way.

Most veterans are witnesses to terrifying or stressful events. During these events the fight or flight response instinct kicks in, and it can be very difficult to turn off this heightened sense of tension and anxiety. One of the main symptoms of PTSD is the inability to switch off this anxiety and tension.  Massage therapy can help these veterans on a fundamental and simple level because massage therapy aims to increase circulation and relax tense muscles. Tensions and anxieties can cause suffers of PTSD to constantly feel ‘ready for action’ which causes muscles to be tense while also experiencing physical and emotional pain. Massage therapy can help veterans ease these pains and encourage relaxation of their mind and body. It also encourages them to feel vulnerable in front of another person, as well as allowing them to take time out to focus on themselves.

If you are a military veteran who has experienced any of these symptoms, we at The Therapy Centers would like to encourage you to visit your doctor to be evaluated. We would also love to be a hand in your healing, by helping to promote clarity of mind and relaxation of your body.

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Top Ten Reasons to Receive Massage Therapy

I can’t say it enough. I LOVE MASSAGE. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING about it.  It is truly such a special form within the Allied Healthcare Industry.

The unique quality I have found about Massage Therapy is that anyone can receive some benefit by receiving a Massage.  If you have never experienced Massage Therapy before, this list will give you an idea of how it can be such a wonderful (and needed) addition into your life.

Rest and Relaxation

I know that everyone lives are SO busy. Between work, family, and personal to-dos, we barely get time for ourselves! Massage Therapy calms the mind, reduces stress and muscle tension.

Improves Sleep

Quality sleep is vital to our health and wellness. Massage Therapy can help regulate the hormones Serotonin and Melatonin, which are brain messengers that are important for regulating our sleep cycles and our moods.

Improves Circulation

Massage Therapy can improve your circulation and increase levels of oxygen and nutrients in your blood to be delivered throughout your body.

Reduce or Alleviate Pain

Massage Therapy helps to block the nervous systems pain receptors and increases blood flow to the muscles. AKA Circulation!

Boost your Immune System

Massage Therapy stimulates the lymph system. This system controls the flow of toxic waste from the muscles, organs and tissues for improved health and digestion.

Enhance Muscle Performance

Massage Therapy helps to break up scar tissue, improves flexibility, and increases range of motion.

Improve Posture

Massage Therapy can improve posture by helping to train muscles to be in the right position allowing for better support to our structure.

Prevent Injury or Illness

Tense muscles tighten and pull the body out of alignment and restrict circulation.  Regular Massage Therapy can increase circulation and relax the body to prevent chronic conditions from taking hold.

Enhance and Maintain Good Health

Massage Therapy helps to reduce heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and strengthens your immune system.

Improve Quality of Life

Massage Therapy can provide comfort to people with Chronic Medical Conditions, by providing care,  and relaxation.

 

Have you had your massage today?

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Habitual Factors Related to Discomfort

Massage therapy can be helpful in treating a wide variety of conditions. These treatments can have a short term effect, leading to another session within a short time; or, the benefit may last much longer, and may even be permanent, depending on to what extent the client is aware of other factors which contribute or cause the condition.

As Licensed Massage Therapists, we try to conduct a thorough interview to determine “the whole story.” We try to assess factors such as their job, hobbies, posture, and sleep habits among others. These factors will perpetuate the condition unless addressed.

A client might have low back pain due to a leg-length discrepancy; ankle and/or knee pain might be resolved by changing footwear. A common yet effective remedy for neck, back, and hip discomfort might be in the form of using pillows properly when sleeping!

Many of the muscle tension problems that clients refer to are simply a result of repetitive stress, many times due to even the easiest tasks. By pacing work, one can intervene with short breaks and alleviate the symptoms. I will frequently tell clients to take a 2-3 minute break every 30 minutes for a restroom or water break, and a little stretch. And there are always things like posture modification and proper lifting technique.

It’s important for clients to understand how their bodies work, be more aware of their bad habits, and be more accountable and in control of the things they do to aggravate their symptoms.

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How can massage help with stress?

What is the most common reason for getting a massage?

Stress Relief!

Everyone encounters some form of stress daily. Whether it’s a work deadline, slamming on your brakes in rush hour traffic, or hitting the winning shot of the game. 

Stress is your body’s natural response for intense situations. This response is commonly known as “fight or flight.” Your body reacts by releasing adrenaline and cortisol, making your heart pound faster, making your senses sharp, and tightening your muscles. This tells your brain to make the decision to fight for its life or run.

When your body has no chance to relax from these everyday stressors, that is when stress is overwhelming. Your body will start to respond badly and can cause physical and mental issues. Feeling too much stress can interfere with good night’s rest, raise your blood pressure, and even cause you to have weight issues.

Research has shown that massage can lower your heart rate and increase the “feel good” endorphins, which give you the calming sensation, as well as relax those tight muscles. This is like hitting the reset button on your mind, making it easier to deal with stress.   

Taking care of yourself should be a huge priority, and adding a massage into your health maintenance will help you lead a healthy and happier lifestyle.

Have you had your massage today? 

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