There is often confusion regarding the difference between physiotherapy and sports therapy as they both deal with similar health concerns. While sports therapists do apply physiotherapy skills, sports therapy is specifically concerned with the prevention and treatment of sport-related injuries using a variety of modalities and techniques.
No matter what your occupation is (or your sporting ability), if your injury is sports/exercise related, a sports therapist will look to help you.
Utilising the principles of sport sciences, the therapy uses various techniques, such as sports massage and exercise prescription, to help fully rehabilitate those with injuries. As well as helping you to recover from injury, a sports therapist will also use their skills to optimise your performance and support you in your sporting/exercise endeavors.
A sports therapist is a healthcare professional who has the knowledge, skills and ability to do the following:
- utilise sports and exercise principles to optimise performance
- provide immediate care of injuries
- offer basic life support in a recreational, training and/or competitive environment
- provide sport and remedial massage in a sport and exercise context
- plan and implement appropriate rehabilitation programmes.
- Deep tissue massage
- Craniosacral Therapy
- Kinesiology Taping
- Dry needling
- Dry cupping
- Strength and Conditioning
MOST SUCCESSFUL CONDITIONS TREATED
- Ankle Sprains
- Back Ache
- Neck Pain and Restricted Movement
- Muscular Pain
- Knee Injuries
- Hip Pain
- Achilles Tendon Strain
- Pulled Calf (Gastroc Strain)
- Tennis/Golfers Elbow
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Carpal Tunnel
- Shoulder Impingement
Sports Massage & Therapy Services
Not only sports people benefit from sports massage, anyone can benefit from regular treatments. They help with the management of stress, pain and tension associated with occupation and lifestyle, as well as improving well-being, circulation and sleep patterns.
Sports / Deep Tissue Massage differs from the well-known aromatherapy massage by using deeper, more intense type of techniques but are based on elements of Swedish massage. They help to reduce muscle spasms and metabolic build-up that occur with work and exercise, these can lead to irritation and poor movement. Regular treatment helps by reducing pain and tension associated with fatigue and sensations of muscular tightness due to activity or occupation.
Sports people find treatments help to improve endurance, prevent injuries and enhance performance. We work to increase range of movement and muscle flexibility which results in improving both power and endurance. If an injury were to occur we work with the body to enhance its own recovery process, optimising the environment by reducing swelling and promoting tissue repair, getting you back where you would like to be as soon as possible.
For active people, sports massage can be used to enhance performance as it increases the range of motion and muscle flexibility resulting in improved power and endurance. The techniques used also enhance the body’s own recovery process.
Soft tissue techniques have been effective in managing minor, acute and chronic soft tissue injuries such as sprains, strains and repetitive stress. Sports massage speeds up the recovery process of an injury and reduces spasm, swelling and discomfort, promoting the formation of soft tissue.
Kinesio tape or K-Tape as it is commonly known was invented by a Japanese Chiropractor, Kenzo Kase in the 1970’s, is has elastic properties allowing a microscopic lift which allows an increase in space between the soft tissues. It has been proven to promote recovery from sporting events, reduce swelling and inflammation post injury, increasing muscular endurance and can also be used as a proprioceptive tool helping to enhance movement patterns. It is water proof, therefore you can swim and shower whilst using it, we recommend keeping it on for between 5-8 days, but saying that it can be used for a specific event and then removed immediately afterwards.
The origins of Dry Needling are drawn from Western Medicine principals and scientific, research-based conclusions. The technique of Dry Needling has no historical ties to acupuncture, which is based in Eastern tradition. Dry Needling effectively treats musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction while acupuncture aims to influence “energy” and “meridians.” The only similarity between the two is that they share a common tool, a fine needle.
Dry Needling has been widely used for the treatment of trigger points. More recent studies have found Dry Needling to be most effective when local twitch responses are elicited, probably because of rapid depolarisation of the involved muscle fibers. After the muscle has finished twitching, the spontaneous electrical activity subsides and the pain and dysfunction decreases dramatically. This process is usually very quick, easy, minimally invasive and only minimal with discomfort, most people do not feel anything but the relief of pain and tenderness around the treated area.
Cupping therapy is an ancient form alternative therapy which dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese and middle Eastern cultures. During Dry Cupping, the cups are placed over several areas to create a vacuum which lifts the soft tissue and creates an upward stretch within the muscle and associated fascia. This vacuum lift helps to increase in blood flow and induces a stretch effect, which results in a reduction in muscle tension and associated pain.
During Dry Cupping therapy, cups can either be left in a static position or moved to provide a deep tissue massage effect. Both the static movement applications of cupping therapy complement other therapy techniques such as Sports and Deep Tissue Massage and Dry Needling.
Dry cupping works well in conjunction with traditional sports and deep tissue massage, as the lifting effect provided from the cups works synergistically with the downward pressure application of manual massage.
The application of cups can be used to treat a variety of conditions such as:
- muscle pain and tension,
- reduced joint movement,
- back pain and sciatica,
- stress and anxiety.
Therapeutic Ultrasound machines produce mechanical vibrations via sound waves, exciting cells within protein rich structures such as tendons (holds muscle to bone) and ligaments (holds bone to bone). By exciting these cells, the healing process is quickened and it is thought that the structure is also stronger as a result. Ultrasound is used for a short time within a treatment, using other techniques such as massage, mobilisations, stretches and often taping. There have been positive results when working with plantar fasciitis, MCL sprain and ankle sprains. Gel is used as a conductor for the sounds waves as they do not travel through the air particles very well, however the sound waves also conduct through water as the particles are closer together so we can use a bowl of water to reach small places otherwise difficult such as fingers and toes.
Analysing your running gait can have a positive impact on not only on your speed but also reduces the likelihood of acute and chronic injuries. Gaining information about how your foot is landing, and how supported your torso is can help to identify weak links throughout the chain. The body is designed to transport the ground reaction force (some might remember this as Newton's 3rd Law of Motion states that “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction") from the ground and then up the structures which make up our body. If there is restriction in any of the joints, maybe from and old ankle sprain or around the hips with overactive quadriceps, then running becomes less efficient.
You can expect to be filmed either on a treadmill or outside, or feel free to bring in or send a video with a side view and a view from behind, lasting approx 20 seconds. We ask you to be running for 6 minutes in a steady run and then at the pace you would naturally run at this is important as it allows the therapist to identify how you move naturally opposed to what you look like fresh in the first few minutes. The pace is important as the video needs to be as accurate as possible, mimicking as much as it can when you are on one of your training runs. We look at range of motion within a clinical setting and then cross-reference the results with what is happening to you when in motion.
We offer treatments and stretches but also a report on our findings along with recommendations for training, this is tailored to you personally. The recommended programme will contain different components of fitness including stretching, strength and conditioning. We will then discuss with you where you prefer to train, it may be the gym with weights, or at home using just a kettlebell and body weight, or we can offer advice on adapting your current circuit class or body pump class. Drills and warm-ups are also an important part of running; these are usually used to practice new techniques pre-running.
Please note we are not affiliated with any footwear supplier, and therefore cannot recommend which make or model to purchase, however, we can look at your current trainers to get an idea of where you are exerting the most amount of pressure, and how this may be affecting the joint above it. For example, when landing with a straight ‘ish’ knee, the heel strikes the floor and the force from the ground travels up the front of the leg, and not where it ideally needs to go. Which is behind the lower leg, and up through those meaty calf muscles, putting the front of the knee under more strain, often causing pain around the front and under the kneecap. We may ask you to run barefoot and then offer advice on how much support you may need, we tend to work from the head down opposed to the foot up.