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Can Injuries be Prevented through Massage?

Anyone who routinely exerts themselves physically, whether through sports, exercise or work knows the frustration and pain that can result from repetitive strain injuries (RSI). We’re talking about runners with shin splints, tennis players with tennis elbow, and cashiers with carpal tunnel syndrome. People are icing, popping aspirin, and unfortunately undergoing expensive surgery to treat these injuries.

Sports injuries, especially, are becoming far more prevalent across all age groups as a growing number of people are participating in sports. Notably, according to The National Council of Youth Sports, more than 60 million youth in the US participate in some form of organized athletics, while 44 million of them play more than one sport. As a result, studies show that overuse injuries among youth are on the rise.

Prevent Injuries

Whether you’re getting hurt on the playing field, at the gym or at work, the best way to deal with RSI is to stop it before it becomes a major problem. Frequently overlooked, therapeutic massage – particularly trigger point therapy, – can play an important role in injury prevention.

According to studies spearheaded by John F. Kennedy’s doctor Janet Travell, M.D., there are two types of trigger points: active trigger points (which refer pain) and latent ones (which are not apparent unless palpated by a practitioner). Finding and recognizing trigger points, allows the opportunity to treat the injury before it becomes active and in need of medical intervention.

Sportsman feels muscle pain and grabs the leg.Once muscle strain occurs, it will present itself in various forms:

• Muscle tightness and loss of flexibility
• Soreness
• Muscle pulls and tears
• Decreased blood flow through tight muscles
• Pain

Therapeutic massage can reduce future injuries by breaking up the muscle tissue and getting rid of tightness, which improves range of motion and muscle flexibility in heavily used muscles. Because chronically tight muscles are known to pull and tear, muscle re-education through muscle release techniques can stop small injuries from becoming worse.

Specialized techniques also maximize the use of oxygen in the body by increasing blood flow and releasing accumulated metabolic waste and toxins.

Regular massage visits will allow the therapist to zero in on problem areas that can be monitored and continuously treated through deep tissue and trigger point massage to keep you from getting hurt or to speed up your recovery if you’re already injured.

Ron Mc Knight

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