I love working with runners. Being a runner myself, I understand the importance of being able to keep running, or at least to get back out there as quickly as possible. As a runner I have suffered from most running injuries myself at one point or another! So I have experience both of treating them, and of working through them myself with the help of good Sports Massage and rehabilitation exercises.
I work with runners suffering from all kinds of running injuries, including:
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (runners’ knee)
- Iliotibial Band Syndrome
- Achilles Tendinopathy
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (shin splints)
- Hip pain
- Calf or hamstring strain or tightness
My goal is always to keep you running or to get you back to running as quickly as possible. In some cases, of course, it will be necessary to take a rest from running to allow an injury to heal. But proper treatment and rehabilitation can help you to return sooner and in better shape than simply resting.
I use Muscle Activation techniques (Be Activated) to ensure that muscles are firing correctly. This involves certain muscle strength and flexibility tests to see what is working properly or not. Most of us are not using our bodies in an ideal way. This means that we will be employing compensation patterns that will likely put extra stress on muscles that are taking on more work than they should be.
I combine this with various Sports Massage techniques in order to treat trigger points, ease out tight muscles, improve mobility and encourage blood flow to help get you back in shape.
I will usually also prescribe exercises to help with recovery. I believe that incorporating strength training into a runner’s training schedule is extremely important to help with recovery and to keep a runner’s body healthy. These could be single exercises or short routines that can fit into your training program.
Injury Prevention and Maintenance
It is even more effective to have sports massage before you succumb to injury, or at least in the very early stages when it is easier to treat. Prevention is better than cure! And helps to avoid interruptions to your training schedule that can result when pains and niggles are ignored. Especially if you are a beginner runner, when your body is just starting to adjust to the effects of running, and if you are training at a high intensity. Muscle Activation and Sports Massage together can really help your body to move more efficiently and to aid recovery from your training sessions. If you are not already including it as part of your training schedule, I may also recommend that you add supplementary exercises such as some kind of strength work and/ or foam rolling to your routine as ‘prehab’ to help prevent you from succumbing to injury.
Pre-event massages differ depending on how far in advance of the event they are and how used to having massage you are. A pre-event massage that is several days before a race can be great to help loosen up your muscles, work out any tension and as a general once over to make sure you are in tip top condition. If you are looking for a comprehensive sports massage and are not accustomed to receiving massage, it is probably advisable to have one not less than 4 or 5 days out from your event. If you are very used to massage and know how your body reacts, you can probably go a little bit nearer. You don’t want to risk feeling sore or having a deep massage cause more change than your body can process before your race.
As race day approaches, a pre-event massage will take the form of a more superficial but reasonably vigorous ‘rub down’ to help stimulate and prepare your muscles for the work they need to do. Some events will have pre-event massage available – this would take the form of a short ‘rub down’ that can form part of your warm up. Please note though that it is still important to do your usual warm up before you run.
Post-event massages can also vary depending on how long the event is and how soon afterwards it is. Immediately after a marathon, or in the next couple of days for example, a post-event massage would usually not go too deep as your muscles will be sore and damaged. The treatment would be focussed on softening tight muscles, reducing cramp and stimulating circulation so as to enhance the healing process and reduce stiffness.
Four or five days later would then be a good time to have a more thorough treatment, work more deeply and begin to treat any pain or injury if necessary. If the race was a 5 or 10k, then you would of course not have suffered the same extent of tissue damage as a marathon and you would be able to work more deeply sooner.
Everyone is different, however, in how resilient their body is and how quickly they recover. Each treatment I give will always be specifically tailored to your individual requirements. I have provided Post-event Massage at events including the Brighton Marathon, RideLondon and Oxfam trailwalker.