Regularly using a Foam Roller and/or Massage Balls offers many of the same benefits as a sports massage, including reducing inflammation and joint stress, improving circulation and flexibility and therefore helping to ease aches and pains caused from tight muscles.

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Regularly foam rolling pre and post workout will mean you will help prepare your muscles for the workout ahead and also help with post muscle recovery reducing the effect of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

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Foam rolling will not replace the benefits of a sports massage, as a sports massage therapist will be able to target the areas of tightness more precisely and in areas foam rollers and massage balls may struggle to reach but couple them together by using your foam roller between your sports massage appointments will help prolong the effects of the sports massage and help space out your appointments.

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Here is a list of benefits form rolling offers;

 Prevents Injury & Helps You Recover Fast

 Breaks Up Scar Tissue

 Improves Mobility And Flexibility

 Removes Lactic Acid To Aid Recovery

 Saves You Money

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However be aware there are still cons to using a foam roller.
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1. The foam roller won’t be able to feed back and tell you what the tissue feels like, people think pain is good. But pain is also the bodies way of telling you there’s something wrong.
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2. Your foam rolling tight muscles to loosen them off only the question is why are they tight? Imagine a tent pole with guide-ropes keeping it straight. A couple become tight pulling the pole towards them putting the opposite ones on stretch. Now they all feel tight, so do they all want loosening off?
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3. IT-Band to foam roll or not to foam roll. It’s very easy to foam roll everything that feels tight but having the understanding and knowledge to know why your foam rolling a particular area and what your trying to achieve and lack of knowledge and understanding can lead to using a foam roller incorrectly and ultimately put yourself at risk.
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Ask your therapist for further information and advise of what and how to foam roll correctly and safely.
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Hope this helps 🙂

Rotator Cuff ….. what is the rotator cuff?

The rotator cuff is made up of 4 muscles which live (attach) onto the scapular (shoulder blade) and they assist other muscles of the shoulder in abduction and rotation movements.

So why do does it seem to be some common? 
Well unfortunately it’s because it’s very easy to damage one of these muscles due to repetitive activities and poor posture.
And if you’re one of the lucky ones to have had a rotator cuff injury you’ll agree with me on how painful and restricting it can be.

So how can you stop this from happening in sports such as Archery 🏹

POSTURE! – listen to your mother! If she was anything like mine “Pull your shoulders back” she used to say. The best thing is, I now tell her the same thing 🤣
One of the main Rotator cuff muscles that can become damaged and injured is the Supraspinatus. When we have poor posture our shoulders become rounded and this poor muscle becomes squished between our A/C joint and the Humerus (upper arm) every time we lift our arm. Now can you count how many times you lift your arm in Archery? Now image repetitive friction on tissue 🤔 …… ouch! 😢

How can you stop this?

Train your whole body, Archery is strenuous but it’s also very repetitive in the same motion. By doing a full body workout you will not only increase your overall strength and core stability which could result in the ability to shoot an increased poundage, but it will also balance your body and thus limiting injuries.
(Seek a fitness instructor for advise if unsure, as training incorrectly can cause further problems)

Seek a therapist, whether the therapist be an Osteopath, Sports Massage therapist, Physiotherapist or Chiropractic they will all catch things before they develop but they will also iron out any muscular strains and torsion patterns in the body, keeping you in the best shape for you and your activity. Helping you be the best you can be.

You don’t think twice about taking your car for a service, or replacing worn out tires or brakes. Our bodies are the same and pain is a warning ⚠️on the dashboard something isn’t right!

We as a nation will spend money on cars, phones, eating out, clothes, sporting equipment etc. Yet when was the last time you spent money on the one thing you rely on everyday? Your body!!

Sports massage was created to help athletes prepare physically for optimal performance, pre & post event and ultimately be in the best possible shape for training and competition, keeping injuries at bay.
However, contrary to its name “Sports Massage” is not just for Sports people and is enjoyed and utilised by many. Sports Massage breaks down restrictions in the bodies muscles, increases range of movement helping us feel more mobile.

What is it you do when your shoulders hurt? You rub them, the body knowns what it needs unconsciously we just need to listen to it.

Pain is a warning sign, don’t ignore it, it could cost you more in the long run.

Tennis elbow is a common injury not just in tennis players

Tennis elbow is a condition that causes pain around the outside of the elbow and is clinically known as lateral epicondylitis.

It occurs after repetitive strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons of the posterior forearm.

You may notice pain:
When lifting or bending your arm
when gripping small objects
When turning a door handle or opening a jar
Find it difficult to fully extend your arm.

Visit the NHS website for more details at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Tennis-elbow/

As an Osteopath we are taught to learn and understand many different conditions and illnesses, to be able to ensure the symptoms our patients present with are muscular-skeletal.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome also know as ME, can cause the following symptoms, which when focused on one at a time could be dismissed, but it’s our job as Osteopath (& student osteopath) to start to put them together to see the bigger picture.

The main symptom of CFS/ME is feeling extremely tired and generally unwell.
In addition, people with CFS/ME may have other symptoms, including:
sleep problems
muscle or joint pain
headaches
a sore throat or sore glands that aren’t swollen
problems thinking, remembering or concentrating
flu-like symptoms
feeling dizzy or sick
fast or irregular heartbeats (heart palpitations)

It’s more common in women, and tends to develop between your mid-20s and mid-40s.

To find out more visit the NHS website for further details.

As an Osteopath we are taught to learn and understand many different conditions and illnesses, to be able to ensure the symptoms our patients present with are muscular-skeletal.

That said did you know many people are B12 deficient and the most common symptoms are;

extreme tiredness (fatigue)
lack of energy (lethargy)
breathlessness
feeling faint
headaches
pale skin
noticeable heartbeats (palpitations)
hearing sounds coming from inside the body, rather than from an outside source (tinnitus)
loss of appetite and weight loss
Pins and needles.

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an important water-soluble vitamin (1).

It plays an essential role in the production of your red blood cells and DNA, as well as the proper functioning of your nervous system.

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal foods, including meats, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy. However, it can also be found in products fortified with B12, such as some varieties of bread and plant-based milk.

Unfortunately, B12 deficiency is common, especially in the elderly. You’re at risk of deficiency if you don’t get enough from your diet or aren’t able to absorb enough from the food you eat.

To find out more visit the following websites where the above information was taken; NHS and Healthline.com

During your initial consultation with Becky, and at the beginning of every follow up appointment she will ask you medical focused questions to aim to catch anything she feels may need further investigation.

Instant debilitating back pain

If you’ve ever experienced instant debilitating back pain where the lower back essentially Locks up, you’ll know how painful it can be and how scary it can be if you don’t know how or why it’s happened.

Whilst there are many reasons for your back to “lock up” it’s essentially a protective function where the surrounding back muscles go into spasm and contract to protect the area. This spasm although protective causes pain and very limited movement.

When the body goes into lock down, the best thing to do at the beginning is try and get into a comfortable position so your not tensing up further and take medication such as ibruphen. You can also try ice in terms of a cold flannel as actual ice could cause you to tense further and heat could further inflame the area if there’s inflammation. When the initial spasm eases slightly and you can get your breath back, GENTLE movement is good. The body likes movement and it will help to encourage the area to relax and heal.

After a couple of days seek treatment, as your therapist will be able to examine and assess why it happen and help you fully recover and reduce the risk of it happening again.

If you experience any of the following symptoms you MUST go straight to A&E

* Neurological symptoms in both legs. Weakness, tingling, Pins and needles or numbness in both legs.

* Altered sensation in the “saddle region,” or saddle anesthesia. The saddle region is the area of the body that would be in contact with a saddle when sitting on a horse. This region includes the groin, the buttocks and genitals, and the upper inner thighs. Such as numbness, tingling, and/or weakness.

* Bladder or bowel incontinence. Such as poor urinary stream, an altered or lack of sensation while urinating, urinary retention, loss of rectal control, and/or the need to strain in order to urinate.

So what’s the difference?!?!

So what’s the difference between a sports massage therapist, Physio, Osteopath and Chiropractor 🤔

If I have a £1 for everyone that has asked me this question.
So briefly here it is!

Before going into the differences what you always need to remember is there’s always good and bad practitioners in every field and if you have a bad experience it doesn’t mean that, that profession is bad! It’s about finding a practitioner that you work well with, feel comfortable with and trust. So when ever you’re looking for somewhere always go on recommendations and look at their patient feedback.

So the main difference, of course, is in the Education and the profession’s school of thought.

Osteopaths 4yrs Full time or 5yrs Part Time.

Chiropractors 4yrs or 5 yrs Full Time

Physiotherapy 3yrs Full Time

Sports Massage – anything from online courses – 10day intensive courses – 3years depending upon the course but are all labelled Sports Massage Therapists at the end.

Osteopaths believe the “Rule of the artery is supreme” so will look to ensure the body is in the best alignment, working on Joints, Muscles, fascia etc to allow optimal blood / fluid exchange to allow the body to have the best chance to heal. Using soft tissue massage, muscle energy techniques, articulation and Spinal manipulations.
Typical appointment time is 30-45min.

Chiropractic came from Osteopathy so similar. They believe the role of the nerve is supreme. Ensure optimal nerve supply though alignment of joints will allow the body to have the best chance to heal. Using Spinal Manipulation mainly with small amount of Soft tissue work if required.
Typical appointment time 15-30min.

Physiotherapists help people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice.
Typical appointment time 30-45min.

All three above have extensive education into a deep understanding of the body as well as disease and dysfunction so medical issues can be investigated and picked up. Don’t get me wrong their not GPs however the education does cover signs and symptoms for a lot of medical complaints which allows the practitioner to pick up on potential red flags and send for investigation when needed or to feel confident the patient is ok for the chosen treatment. This is the difference between a therapist treating a patient with shoulder pain as muscular-skeletal dysfunction or picking up on a potential systemic dysfunction such as a Liver, heart, spleen dysfunction etc.

Sports massage therapists vary massively! This is the hardest one.
A level 3 sports massage therapist can gain a qualification via
 an online academy (🤔 not sure I agree with this way)
 or go on a classroom based course which varies in length (quickest is a 10day course).
There is nothing wrong with an intensive course at level 3 as this is a basic qualification in Sports Massage.
Sports massage is a form of deep tissue massage which is great for everyone with muscle tension.

There are also degrees in Sports therapy which obviously goes into a lot more depth with regards sports injuries I believe. These courses are typically x3 years long.

Once qualified in any profession, therapist / practitioners can attend CPD (continued professional development) courses in different areas such as Acupuncture, cupping, tapping, spinal manipulation, etc
These courses tend to be 1-4day.

The danger is you could get a L3 Sport Massage therapist that has just qualified after a 3week course attend a spinal manipulation course and therefore appear to be doing the same as an Osteopath or Chiropractor.
Yes they are working on the painful area with similar or even the same methods but it’s the knowledge, education and experience that sets them apart.

I hope this sheds some light on the difference.
I write this as a final Year Osteopathic student (Yr5) a qualified L3 Sports Massage Therapist and a Sport Massage academy Owner. I have some great friends who are amazing chiropractors and physiotherapists and love working with them whenever I get chance.

Remember the saying “Horses for Courses” a good practitioner will always refer a patient on if they feel they cannot help!
Like GPs and consultants, therapists will have their own areas of expertise.