Injury Rehabilitation

Self-Help for the Neck Through Novel Movements

While low back pain may be one of the most common complaints seen by doctors, neck and upper back/shoulder pain is the most common complaint seen in my office. So many people spend their days sitting in front of a computer, head forward and motionless for hours at a time, it seems inevitable that eventually the neck and upper back are going to begin to  protest. I encourage clients to get up and move as often as possible and especially to move in directions that are different from or opposite to the direction in which they've held themselves for extended periods. The body wants to move and likes variety of movement.

Reader Question: Sprained Ankle and Sports Massage

A reader asks,

I sprained my ankle several times over the years, the worst being about 12 years ago going down a step and landing on the outside of my foot with ankle turned in. It still bothers me with tenderness and discomfort from side of my leg above the ankle, radiating up to behind the knee. I am considering sports massage for relief.

A good sports massage therapist or one trained in injury rehabilitation might be able to help you out. When an ankle is sprained, not only the ligaments of the joints are affected. The muscles of the lower leg may be strained and continue to cause pain and weakness long after the initial injury has healed.  I have often found trigger points or tender areas in the muscles of the side of the lower leg - the peroneals - or the muscle in the front along the shin - the tibialis anterior - that may linger for years after an ankle sprain. Sometimes the muscle in the lower calf - the soleus - may be involved. Often, when these muscles are treated and the trigger points addressed, the persistent pain and weakness will begin to clear up.

What Are The Different Kinds Of Massage?

Swedish massage. Deep tissue massage. Sports massage. Russian massage. Trigger point therapy. What are they and how are they different? If you are a client looking for a massage, how do you know what to ask for?

You don't necessarily need to know the name of a specific technique but you do want to be clear about your goal. When a new client walks into my office, I ask them what brought them in and what do they want to get out of their session? Some want to relax. Others have some sort of pain that they'd like to get rid of. Still others want to improve their performance. By understanding the client's goal, I can tailor the session to their specific needs. However, people do frequently ask the question, "What is the difference between these different kinds of massages?"