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If you’re stiff, tight or a little sore but don’t have an injury and think a sports massage would be good for you then here is a few things you might like to know before booking in for a massage with a physiotherapist.

It’s a common belief that lactic acid in your muscle is what causes soreness after a workout. Lactic acid does cause ‘the burn’ while you’re working out but when you get a massage your physiotherapist won’t magically push it out of your system. In fact your body does that for itself clearing out the lactic acid shortly after you stop exercising. Instead, what a sports massage can do for you is help recovery in other ways.

Sports massage can reduce pain in two ways. Firstly, if you find sports massage relaxing then the sports massage will release endorphins in your body and these endorphins will act as a natural pain killer and help to reduce your pain. Secondly, sports massage works to reduce pain because the receptors under your skin that feel pain are also responsible for your sense of touch. The sensory system feels touch before it feels pain. Therefore, when your physio is giving you a sports massage your body’s sense of touch will block the pain receptors during the sports massage itself.

Sports massage is great as a recovery tool because when it reduces your pain and stiffness that means you then move more freely. Loose, free, thoughtless movement helps the recovery process because if you walk around stiff and tense you are likely to hold onto some of the soreness from previous workouts.

Sports massage can also be a great tool to destress and unwind. Studies show that a lot of injuries are related to stress and anxiety. Neck pain for example is an obvious one most people relate to stress but also athletes with stress fractures were also seen to have higher levels of anxiety compared to similar athletes who weren’t injured.

Another benefit of a sports massage is generally after a sports massage you are more relaxed and get a more restful sleep. Sleep is the greatest recovery tool we have. Often injuries occur because recovery is poor and not because your exercise is bad. Think about it, how often do new parents get injured? What’s changed isn’t their training it’s their sleeping pattern. . .

When thinking about getting sports massage you need to remember that sports massage isn’t a treatment if you have an injury. Sports massage can help reduce pain and stiffness but if you have an injury then going for a lot of sports massages is just keeping the problem at arm’s length without getting to the root cause of the problem. If you think you have an injury it may be better to book in with your physiotherapist for a full assessment and get a plan to sort out the cause of the problem itself.

Ankle injuries are one of the highest recurring injuries. This is often because of inadequate rehabilitation, underdosing of exercises and not enough treatment sessions. 

The ligaments of the ankle can be sprained and or torn such as when landing on the inside or outside of your foot. If there is a complete tear of the ligaments, the ankle joint may become unstable. Over time, this instability can result in weakness to the bones and cartilage of the ankle joint.

Most sprained ankles occur in the lateral ligaments on the outside of the ankle. Your foot can twist unexpectedly during many different activities, such as:

Walking on an uneven surface
Falling
Participating in sports that require cutting actions or rolling and twisting of the foot such as tennis, football, and soccer

With a sprained ankle you may experience:

Bruising
Swelling
An area that is painful to touch
A feeling of instability of the ankle
Pain associated with walking

Without proper treatment and rehabilitation, a more severe sprain can weaken your ankle, making it more likely that you will injure it again. Repeated ankle sprains can lead to long-term problems, including chronic ankle pain, arthritis, and ongoing instability.

If the muscle is affected this is called a strain and can happen when the fibres of the muscle stretch or tear. With a muscle strain you may notice:

pain in the affected muscle
swelling
bruising
muscle tightness or spasm
loss of some, or all, of the function in the affected muscle
blood collecting under the skin at the site of the strain – this is known as a haematoma and it looks like a large, dark-red bruise

Repeated ankle injuries can be debilitating, lead to chronic pain and prevent you from participating in the activities that you love. Here at the P&P Clinic we ensure that you get a comprehensive assessment, an accurate diagnosis and a thorough plan from day one to ensure you get long term results. We pride ourselves on giving the most accurate diagnoses, and this is why our patients have experienced such success in their treatments.

We will provide specific hands-on techniques to help you get to your goals faster and we will provide you with sport specific or tailored exercises that are designed in such a way to help you return to what you love doing. Generalised exercises that are not functional in nature tend to be least successful when it comes to rehabilitation, if your goal is to return to running then your exercises will be designed in such a way to mimic some of those movements and get you running longer, stronger and pain-free. Our treatment techniques will ensure a speedy recovery from ankle and foot pain whilst reducing the risk of recurring injury.

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