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.

A Reader Asks About Swelling After Massage

Update on 4/5/13: Oddly, this has been one of my most popular articles. Apparently a significant number of people are looking up swelling and inflammation after massage therapy on google. Maybe massage therapists need to ease up a bit.

I might need to revise the language of this just a little, but my answer is still essentially the same. My clients don't seem to complain of this and while the reader insists the pressure was not too hard, I suspect it was either more than the body tolerated well or it was treated for too long. I'm not sure what else to say.

A reader asks:

I received a great massage about a week ago but the next day my lower back was swollen. Why would this happen? The massage was perfect pressure and she never hurt me at all. Can you please help me understand this?

A Reader Asks About Painful Tailbone Following Pregnancy

A reader asked the following question:

It felt like I bruised my tail bone during the last few months I was pregnant with my daughter. The doctor said the pain should go away within 3 months. It's going on 8 months and the pain is still extreme depending on how I sit. Any suggestions?

The first thing I would suggest is if you have not asked your doctor about this recently, ask again and see what he/she has to say about it. Ask them what they think is causing the pain, why the pain has persisted so much longer than expected, and what can be done about it?

Ask Your Questions Here!

Do you have a question about massage therapy?

If you have you never tried it but are curious and would like to know more, this is your opportunity to ask questions. Don't worry, your questions are not silly! If you are thinking of them, someone else is probably wondering the same thing, too. Do both of you a favor and go ahead and ask!

Are you an existing massage client who has questions? Please ask! I'd love to try to answer them.