Muscle Injury Treatment
It happens all the time to athletes who train hard. You’re playing your sport to the limit, going as hard as you can. Bam, you feel a shooting pain and you know you just tweaked a muscle. Sometimes these issues are short lived ad just go away on their own. Other times, they are much more stubborn and will nag you for months on end. So what is the best thing to do if you are a hard training athlete? Be proactive and keep your body in tune. You should get regular massage work done and spend at least 2-3 hours per week stretching. This will keep solid length-tension relationships withing your muscles and joints. Generally in a case of an acute injury, there is a tearing of some muscle fibers or tendons. You know you are hurt right away. There is the other scenario where you are accruing stress in the muscle over time. The little aggravation is suddenly an injury that has been months or years in the making. Either way, once an injury crops up, you need to deal with it.
Types Of Injury
You can have two basic types of injuries. You can have soft tissue or bone. You can also have injuries that involve the nerve or just tissue. Often times, it will be a combination of many things. For instance, I have an injury involving my Brachioradialis, my tricep, and my radial nerve. So, my symptoms were anything I try to do prone or even neutral grip kills me. I can do bar or dumbell curls, but hammer curls and reverse curls were murder. I also have a lot of popping at my elbow. That is likely related to the know in the lateral head of my triceps. If one understands the nerves, they know the brachial plexus splits when it leaves the shoulder to become the radial nerve. It feeds down the arm through the septum between the bicep and triceps. through the elbow and down by the thumb. If it gets entrapped higher, it can show up as pain in a variety of spots. Its a real issue that many times massage will not fix. It gets restricted by myofascial damage. That cant just be fixed by deep tissue work alone without a deep understanding of the likely entrapment sites. There is also problems with adhesions that can restrict tissue movement. There are specialized modalities available to fix specific issues.
Active Release Technique is a very precise form of myofascial release. It hones in on very specific protocols to fix injuries. It is a much more precise from of therapy than myofascial release. It takes a skilled person to apply it correctly. Done in the right hands, it can be a miracle. Done in the wrong hands, it will painful and unproductive.
This is a form of deep tissue work where the hands are replaced by tools made of surgical grade stainless steel. It save the practitioners hands, but also gives feedback through the implement. The tool will actually vibrate from hitting tough and leathery tissues. Is good for big muscles, but can be harsh if tools are pressed too hard.
Based on meridians and eastern medicine, this is a very effective form of therapy. I only have experience in western accupuncture. This is where they place the needles in you, and then use EMS(electronic muscle stimulation). This sends a pulse down the nerves which can calm down the spasm.
Deep Tissue Massage
This form of massage is about pounding all the adhesions out of the muscle. The muscles get dysfunctional from all the lack of sliding. Its like when you damage the muscle, the fibers heal like a bowl of spaghetti. So you have many fiber sliding and pockets that don’t slide. This leads to more tearing and more damage. A very useful tool in the right hands.
The bottom line is, if you train hard, you need to take care of your body. I am a firm believer in taking care of your body. If you beat up your body, you need to take care of it. Find a good therapist and have them keep you healthy so you can perform at your best.