Thursday, 18 January 2018

What is sports massage?

There is a lot of confusion over what a Sports Masseur is and what one does or can offer. This is due to the fact that there are so many people practicing ‘massage' and so many practitioners with different skills and levels of experience.

A Sports massage is ideal to treat injuries as well as a preventative treatment dealing with the health of muscle and connective tissue, range of movement, tone, symmetry, balance of muscle and quality of posture.

I further define my role as ‘the manipulation of soft tissue to release tension, reduce pain, restore range of movement and promote good condition'. This is achieved through a range of techniques I possess and carry around in my ‘tool bag', some of which are effective on some people, some of which are not. It is then down to me to work with my clients to find the right tools to unravel their current injury situation or assist them with their training program. Essentially the ‘manipulation of soft tissue' in my books means moving muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissue around in a range of ways to achieve the desired effect.


How does Sports Massage Therapy work with other types of treatment?

In an ideal world all forms of physical therapy would work harmoniously alongside one another but sadly this is not always the case and I do also believe that sometimes the general public is unaware of what each practice actually offers. I have witnessed all kind of responses to me as the Sports & Remedial Massage Practitioner other professions, both positive and negative, and I feel that this has as much to do with individual personalities as it does with what we actually do or can offer.

In addition at the end of the day everyone is extremely busy with their own work and life and there often is simply not the time in the day to get to know the masseur calling or contacting every now and then. I have also seen interaction (through my previous medical management working life) between Consultants (between Surgeons and Medics as well) and General Practitioners and Physical Therapists and in the latter group the differences and divisions between Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Physiotherapists. Once again sometimes this has been positive and sometimes negative. I have worked with ‘friendly' fellow professionals in Physical Therapy at varying degrees of success but know exactly what I can bring to the therapy table to assist with patient care and management.

When the synergy between practice and professionals works together they produce magnificent results and I have assisted with the preparation of athletes under the direct control of a Sports Club Physio and I have helped pre Osteopathy treatment with soft tissue element ahead of their work. I have also received referrals from Osteopaths and Chiropractors to work on patients soft tissue complaints in tandem to their own treatment as part of the ongoing plan to restore the patient to good condition.

In turn, knowing what each practice offers and knowing what individual an Chiropractor, Osteopath or Physiotherapist can produce (by getting to know them) I can refer patients back to them that I know my treatment alone will not be the final answer in the equation. I have also heard of many GP's (Medical Doctors) who have advised patients to seek assistance from someone such as myself without actually being able to offer recommendation but I have also heard many cases when any form of Physical Therapy is almost ridiculed! Luckily I have also met very supportive GP's who have an interest or play sport who are more interested and have suggested that certain patients or contacts of theirs seek out ‘soft tissue manipulation' (or massage). Of course attitudes have changed a lot over the years and the path to recognition for many specialties continues as it does in my own field and at the end of the day the thing I like to do best is offer my own blend of skills and experiences to try and help people who take the plunge and seek help and advice for their current pain, restriction or sporting endeavor.


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3, Triq Gharram, Haz Zebbug

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