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Hello Brighton Marathon runners.

We at Coast (Richard, Jeanette, and I), will be offering free express massage and stretch aid to all Brighton Marathon runners.

We are prefectly placed at mile 18 (198 Church Road, Hove) so that if you feel in need of a little help as you are running past, we can use 5 mins to help you and your body make it through the rest of the course.

We will be cheering for you!

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A while ago I wrote a blog on Upper Cross Syndrome, complete with exercise videos on how to counter it. I said at the time that I would also write one for Lower Cross Syndrome – and finally – here it is!

I don’t want to repeat the same information so I suggest you look at the first blog here to get the full explanation as it’s good to understand why you are doing something(it means you are more likely to do it). The same rules apply – you need to stretch the hypertonic (tight) muscles first before you do the exercises to strengthen the hypotonic (weak) muscles. The stretches are really important, so don’t miss them out!

Here’s a picture to help you visualise the posture (or you could possibly look in the mirror).

As with Upper Cross Syndrome, certain muscles are tight (hypertonic) while others are weak causing a posture that is results in pain, looks unattractive and is very common if you start looking for it.

And here is the list of muscle involved with Lower Cross Syndrome.

Tonic Muscles

Prone to Tightness or Shortness

Phasic Muscles

Prone to Weakness or Inhibition

Gastroc-SoleusTibialis PosteriorHip Adductors

Hamstrings

Rectus Femoris

Iliopsoas

Tensor Fascia Lata

Piriformis

Thoraco-lumbar extensors

Quadratus Lumborum

 

Peroneus Longus, BrevisTibialis AnteriorVastus Medialis, Lateralis

Gluteus Maximus, Medius, Minimus

Rectus Abdominus

 

These are very important, large postural muscles that are possibly functioning incorrectly but with the correct stretching and strengthening exercises these muscles can improve in function which will result in improved musculoskeletal function and pain reduction (if not pain elimination).

So – let’s start!

We are going to start with the foam roller on the IT Band.

You can use these rollers for most muscles groups to work out the knots so experiment. (And yes – it really should be that painful to start with but the pain recedes quickly if you keep doing it regularly). You can also use them for core strengthening exercises. We sell these at the clinic and quite honestly, I don’t know how I survived before I had one of these. They are very versatile and extremely effective. My advice would be – get one!

Now we are going to S-T-R-E-T-C-H.

We are starting with the calf muscles. Here is a simple stretch of the Gastroc and Soleus Muscles that you can do anywhere (you will also get the Tibialis Posterior slightly).

This next video demonstrates how to stretch the hip Adductors which are the large muscle group of the inner thigh.

Now for the Hamstrings.

And then the opposing muscle from the Quadratus group of muscles, the Rectus Femoris. Make sure you tuck your tail under for this one – then you will really feel it.

This next video demonstrates how to stretch the Iliopsoas and also the Tensor Fascia Lata. This last muscle goes into the IT Band so don’t forget to foam roll first.

Here are a couple of stretches for the Piriformis. Always a favourite!

And this video shows stretches for the Quadratus Lumborum and Thoraco-lumbar Extensors.

Okay – stretching done, now we can start strengthening the opposing muscles. We will start with the Tibialis Anterior (don’t want to confuse you with an exercise for the Peroneus muscles so we will stick with this one at the moment). You need a resistance band (which we sell at the clinic) or something that will add resistance to the muscle as you work it. As with any strengthening exercise you need to do sets of repartitions and increase the number of reps and/or sets as you get stronger e.g. start with 3 sets of 10 repetitions? Here’s how…

Now for the Gluteal muscles and here’s Rich demonstrating how.

And another…

And lastly, here is a good way to start working your abdominal muscles.

If you follow these recommendations you have the opportunity to have great posture, wonderful musculoskeletal function resulting in less chance of injury and pain.

You have a wealth of knowledge available to you from all the practitioners at Coast so take advantage of us. We are here to help you reach your goals, whatever they are.

Written by Anne French, Chiropractor

 

The effects of sports massage

As the summer is approaching no doubt more and more of you will be inclined to start some kind of exercise regime. Perhaps some of you are preparing for your beach summer holiday; or are motivated to improve your fitness levels to feel healthy and energised over the summer months; or perhaps you just want to get the maximum benefit from this gorgeous weather by exercising outside in the sunshine.

 

Others, no doubt, are in full flow with your training programmes psyching yourselves up for the big event – the Brighton Marathon 15th April (or perhaps  London? or Paris? ), not too long to go for you now folks!

 

Whether a beginner, a serious exercise enthusiast or an elite athlete, without a doubt the benefits of sports massage can be reaped by all.

 

What are the benefits of sports massage?

Generally, the main benefits experienced from sports massage fall into two categories: (i) injury prevention (ii) enhanced performance

 

Identifying problem areas – breakdown of scar tissue:

All sports contain a repetitive element (as do most occupations), therefore muscles can get overworked and overloaded, this can lead to muscle fibres being torn on a microscopic level (micro-trauma). This is turn causes bleeding and inflammation; the body will repair this by forming adhesive bonds to heal the afflicted area. If the same muscles continue to be used this can lead to yet more overuse and secondary micro-trauma and so on, causing the formation of further scar adhesions. This may begin to affect the elasticity and function of the muscle, also having a knock-on effect to the whole muscular and skeletal system, which in turn can lead to a more complicated injury pattern.

 

Having regular sports massage helps to identify these problem areas and deal with them by using various frictional techniques to break-down scar tissue & fibrous knots, therefore, preventing further injury.

Improves self-awareness:

Regular massage helps the exercise enthusiast become more in-tune and aware of what is happening in different parts of their body. This helps them to adjust their training accordingly and can improve the quality and quantity of their training.

Improves recovery:

Massage boosts the circulation; consequently after exercise massage helps the circulation to remove waste from the muscles e.g. lactic acid and helps to bring fresh blood to the muscle fibre cells, helping to restore nutritional levels. This improves the recovery time for athletes, preparing them effectively for their next training session. 

Improved elasticity:

Deep longitudinal massage strokes and sports massage techniques e.g. STR ( soft tissue release), MET (muscle energy technique), can stretch specific localised areas of tissue by drawing them apart in all possible directions in a way that functional stretching by an athlete alone cannot achieve. This helps to improve the elasticity of muscles and the overall flexibility of the sports person, which ultimately enhances performance.

Relaxation:

Massage has an effect on the nervous system. It stimulates the nerve receptors in the muscles that control tissue tension and helps the body to let go and relax the tissues, releasing tension and helping to reduce pain. This affects tension throughout the body.

Massage triggers the parasympathetic system, which slows down the heart rate, deepens the breath and allows the whole body to enter a state of deep rest and relaxation.

In conclusion:

Whether you’re just about to start your summer exercise regime or whether you’re an all year round sports person, it is very beneficial for you all to build some quality time for regular sports massage into your training schedule.  Then you too can benefit from reduced injuries and IMPROVED PERFORMANCE! Your body deserves it!

 

Attention: Brighton marathon runners:

Remember the Coast Team will be offering Free Express Massages on the day of the Brighton Marathon at mile 18. Richard, Anne and I will be set up outside the clinic at 198, Church Road. Please come and see us if you’re struggling and hopefully we can help you get through the rest of the race, with a smile on your face.

We will also be available for post event treatments during normal clinic opening hours from Monday 16th April! GOOD LUCK & ENJOY !

Written by Jeanette Mahoney, Massage Therapist.

 

                                           

 

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