It's Spring.....actually it's almost Summer, even though it hasn't felt much like it in the Midwest.
It's time to come out of our Winter hibernation mode and hit the roads, trails, and fields after months of being stuck inside much more than most of us would like.
Getting back into an outdoor exercise routine, or back to a favorite sport, is often associated with using muscles we haven't used in a while, or using them in a different way, which can translate to pain.
Of course, stretching after exercise, foam rolling, adding yoga to your training, and avoiding over-training are all important ways to combat pain and injuries.
Even when you take all of the right steps to avoid injury, you can still be bothered by sore muscles that interfere with your training and everyday life.
Regular massage is a wonderful way to deal with pain when it happens, and to avoid it in the future while you continue any type of exercise routine.
The benefits of massage for athletes and anyone participating in a regular exercise routine include improving performance, reducing pain, preventing injury, encouraging focus, and shortening recovery time.
To read more about what is actually going on physiologically in the body as a response to massage, check out this article: Benefits of Massage for Athletes
Another tool I have used for about 10 years to deal with tight, sore, or overused muscles is Kinesio Taping. Aside from using it extensively in my treatment planning as an Occupational Therapist, it's one of the first things I reach for when I personally have muscle issues going on.
I tape myself, my kids, my family and friends.....and the majority of the time, the response is favorable. It usually decreases pain pretty quickly, shortens the recovery time, and most often, doesn't even need a second application because the results are that good.
Seriously, this stuff is amazing and I love it!
Here's the science behind the tape:
Instead of restricting sore or injured muscles, which is the way these injuries used to be treated, we now know that movement, which increases circulation to tissues, helps them to heal faster, with less pain.
The tape is very thin and porous with an elasticity that mimics that of the skin, allowing the skin beneath it to breathe and move freely. The tape gently lifts the skin and fascia surrounding the muscle, allowing for free flow of blood and lymphatic fluid, promoting healing of the injured tissues.
I like to think of it as a little suggestion to your body. If a muscle is tight, the tape is applied in a direction that suggests relaxation of the tight fibers. If a muscle is weak and needs the input to fire appropriately, the tape is applied to provide that input.
Kinesio Tape is probably most widely known for it's applications in muscle pain, generally being used to relax tight muscles. However, it's uses are amazingly widespread and include applications for the following issues:
-Rotator Cuff tendonitis
-Tennis elbow and golfer's elbow
-Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
-postural support and correction
-Nerve pain and compression
-Reducing effects of scar tissue
-Pain associated with pregnancy
-Muscle facilitation following stroke
-Decreasing visible effects of bruising and breaking up a hematoma
Kinesio Tape is waterproof, so it can be worn in the shower and while exercising, and should last approximately 3-4 days, depending on the area of the body it is applied to.
This service is available at True North Massage Therapy as part of our Add-on services, which can be added to any massage session, or as a stand alone service.
Check out our Menu for more details.
Enjoy your active time outdoors over the Summer, and remember to be good to your body!