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Hip and knee pains can occur due to injury or for any number of reasons and therefore it is important to always visit your practitioner for diagnosis and advice so that you can obtain the correct treatment for your condition.  However, here is a little self help advice that may just help you relieve some tight tissues that can result in hip and knee dysfunction and pain.

This video demonstrates two stretches that are common culprits for these complaints. (It may appear that the video has been cut short and in a way it has; I shortened it as I was speaking too much with information that may have confused you.) The first stretch is for the Psoas muscle and the second stretch is for the TFL/ITB. The only thing you may like to add to the second stretch, to make it more effective, is to raise the arm toward the ceiling, on the same side that you have the knee in contact with the floor.

1/ ILIO-PSOAS STRETCH

The ilio-psoas muscles are one of the major postural muscles; it is the main hip flexor whose origin is the anterior (front) surface of the 12th thoracic to the 5th lumbar vertebrae of the spine and attaching to the lesser trochanter of the femur (thigh bone).
Anterior_Hip_Flexes_ilio-psoas-muscles

When these muscles are tight/dysfunctional they prohibit you from taking a full stride, altering the movement of lumbar vertebra, this can lead to lower back pain, increased lumbar lordosis or an antalgic stance as well as possible hip/groin pain or, in guys (obviously), testes pain (read this if this is of interest to you).

2/TENSOR FASCIA LATAE

The tensor fascia latae (TFL) muscle originate from the iliac crest and insert into the iliotibial band (ITB); aiding in hip stabilisation, flexion and abduction. The ITB runs along the lateral or outside aspect of the thigh, to the lateral condyle of the tibia, or bony bit on the outside of the knee; crossing both the hip and knee joints. The TFL is an important stabiliser structure of the lateral part of the knee as the joint flexes and extends and therefore, they can cause a lot of hip and knee problems.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

SELF-TREATMENT 

Soft tissue work – with your prickly ball or jack-knobber or foam roller (READ MORE HERE)- (we carry all of these at the clinic).

Increase flexibility – by doing daily stretches demonstrated in the video at the beginning of this blog.

Strengthening exercises – stretching is not going to do it all. The mentioned muscles may be having to work too hard because they are compensating for other muscles that are not firing properly. A plan of exercises to strengthen these involved muscles is needed. Your practitioner will be able to tell you which muscles are involved. The most commonly involved muscles are weak gluts as well as foot pronation causing incorrect alignment and function. However, please visit your practitioner as she/he will be able to advise you.

Hope you find this helpful.

Written by Anne French, BSc(Hons), MSc Chiropractic, D. C.

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What is a roller?

If you enter any gym or health clinic these days you will see foam rollers. They look like pool noodles, you know, the things you can use in swimming pools to help you float; long cylindrical pieces of some type of extruded hard-celled foam. They vary in price depending on the quality, size and density.

To roll on not to roll – that is the question.

Most blogs/articles you read on foam rolling are usually slanted towards athletes, whether that is an elite, a dedicated athlete or the occasional weekend warrior.

However, you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from foam rolling and I would go as far as to say, most people, can benefit from using this simple and relatively cheap (if you think of how expensive time off work or therapy costs) tool. Foam rollers are a small investment to make,  to see a potentially significant decrease in the number of soft tissue injuries and resulting pain.

Why use a roller?

Every body needs a little help with the stresses and strains we put it under. Foam rollers can be used for soft tissue work on most of your body as well as strengthening and stretching exercises. All you need is a little imagination (or videos to help you) and away you go.

Soft tissue work – Foam rollers can be used to work soft tissue (muscles ,tendons, ligaments). There are many names for this kind of work e.g. myofascial therapy, trigger point therapy. However,  this is a deep massage you can do for yourself, everyday if you wish.

Obviously, this is much cheaper than booking a massage but is it as good? Nothing is as good as an experienced therapist working on your body but many patients I see, actually need soft tissue work at least 3 times a week if not everyday (especially those of you recovering from an injury or training for something like the Brighton Marathon). This tool would enable you to do this and then still receive that much-loved and needed massage from your therapist.

Here are videos to give you some ideas but please experiment on other muscles, e.g. calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, lats – the list goes on…

 

Strengthening exercises – Foam rollers are a great way to increase muscle strength.

Here are some core strength exercise videos.

 

Stretching exercises – In our crazy computer driven world, many of us suffer with hypertonic (too tight) pectoral muscles that bring our shoulders forward and rounded (Upper Cross Syndrome). The following video demonstrates a lovely way to open the chest and stretch those over worked muscles with a foam roller.

 

Where can you get one?

Foam-RollersObviously, we carry these in the clinic. Our prices start at £15.00 for a short one (no picture yet sorry).

The light blue roller in the photo is £23.50, which is our basic – but will do the job very nicely thank you – foam roller.

The next is £29.50 which is more dense (and therefore harder) and comes with a CD.

And last but definitely not least, £41.50 for our Rumble Roller; which is a very light, compact roller that works on those tissues like you never thought possible. You will need a piece of leather to bite on while working with this one!

 

In conclusion

If you don’t have a therapist living with you, a foam roller is the second best thing. It can significantly reduce soft tissue pain and injuries while increasing your flexibility and strength. A small investment in yourself – because you’re worth it!

Written by Anne French

 

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.

 

                                           

 

On the First Day of Christmas my true love bought for me a Foam Roller from Coast for my iliotibial bands (ITB’s).

 Here’s how to use it.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Coast.

On the Second Day of Christmas my true love bought for me a special offer from Coast of a 2 for 1 TREATMENT & A CLASS

A choice of either a Yoga or Pilates class and the choice of a 1/2 hour treatment of either Reflexology, Deep Tissue Massage, Thai Yoga Massage, Sports Massage or Chair Massage – all for only £26.

 Happy Boxing Day.

 

On the THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS my true love gave to me a special offer from Coast of a MASSAGE TRIO – 3x 30 minute treatments for £60

Have you always been a bit confused or overwhelmed as to which massage treatment would be most suitable & beneficial for you?

Coast is offering you an amazing opportunity to try out 3 different massages for yourself from the variety of treatments available at the clinic:

Choose any three 30 minute treatments from the following:

  • therapeutic – a gentle great stress relieving treatment, helping you to unwind & relax after a hectic day, soothes away aches & pains
  • reflexology – is a holistic, non-invasive therapy that applies gentle pressure to the reflex points on the feet.
  • deep -tissue – works very deeply into muscle fibres, reducing deep rooted muscle tension & breaks down stubborn knots & scar tissue in problem areas
  • chair massage (including Indian head massage) – performed through clothing on a fully adjustable, ergonomic massage chair for maximum comfort, focuses specifically on the muscles of the upper body & includes an Indian head massage
  • sports massage/injury – deep tissue that can be used on an injury.
  • thai yoga – a dynamic, rhythmical, dance like treatment, performed on a futon, through clothing which releases energy blockages in the body & in so doing helps to reduce muscle aches & tension by using palming, thumb, elbow & foot pressure & by applying gentle passive hatha yoga stretches, suitable for all regardless of size, age or flexibility.

Onthe Fourth Day of Christmas my true love bought for me a Yoga 1-2-1 with the lovely Ginny or Emma.

Enjoy an hour of just concentrating on you, your body and your breath. This could be the start of something good…

On the Fifth Day of Christmas I received from Coast,  FIVE Homeopathic sessions for the price of Four.

This special offer gives you a 20% discount on your Homeopathic treatment AND it includes the remedies. Come along and meet Sarah, our Homeopath and experience the profound effect of what Homeopathy can do for you.

On the Sixth Day of Christmas you could buy a 60 minute massage – because you are worth it!

On the Seventh Day of Christmas you could join us in celebrating a big Happy 7th Birthday to Coast. Thanks to everyone for the last years and looking forward to the next.

On the Eighth Day of Christmas you could invest in shaping up your body and reducing reoccurring lower back pain with an eight week course of Pilates or Yoga.

Check out our class schedule to find a suitable class time and day for you. What a great way to start the New Year.

de-sress with a yoga or pilates class

Looking good and feeling good!

On the Ninth Day of Christmas could partake in 90 luxurious minutes of a Thai Yoga massage. Ahhh…

On the Tenth Day of Christmas you could buy 10 Chiropractic or Osteopathy treatments for the price of nine. That’s a 10% discount!

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas you could try a heavenly cranial sacral treatment for only £20, usually £40. A heavenly half price bargain!

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas – time to DETOX & we can help. Get rid of that bloated, lethargic feeling along with the Christmas decorations.

Come along and talk with Sue our Nutritionist. She can advise you on how to best clean your body internally so that you function better both physically and mentally. You’ll have so much more energy.

You know you’ve been promising yourself this for a long time – Do it!

Part 1:

Two years ago I entered the world of ‘barefoot’ footwear; an increasingly popular alternative to ‘normal’ shoes and trainers. These are my experiences.

The theory is that humans had been running barefoot for a long time before big brands started manufacturing the modern trainer. They had to run, and run well to catch their food and to avoid being food. Therefore the foot is perfectly designed to run without all these mod cons of cushioning and stability etc. That is, at least, the theory.

People who advocate barefoot running claim benefits ranging from improved posture, faster running times and fewer injuries. Also a more connected feeling to their body and earth. They can be very evangelical about it. Opponents to the new ‘fad’ claim that there is increased injury (especially metatarsal fracture) and possible future problems from such unsupported foot use. There is evidence to support both arguments. The answer is somewhere in-between and is individual to each person.

I have Vibram Five Fingers© (VFF’s for short) they are like gloves for the feet. They have very thin soles to enable increased awareness of what is under your feet and allow as much intrinsic mobility of the foot as possible. They also have individual pockets for the toes, allowing increased ‘wiggle’ ability. It is the nearest thing you can get to walking barefoot, with some protection from what is on the floor, which can be gross.

One of the things you have to know before you wear them is that everyone will look at your feet and ask you questions about them. They are a bit like Marmite; people will love them or hate them.

The second thing to know is that you have to build up wearing them slowly… Or you will end up in pain! The muscles of the foot need time to build up and this does need to be done slowly. You would not just go and run a marathon without some training, not without hurting something anyway. In the same way, you need to train your feet and legs to work barefoot again. So start small and build up time and mileage.

So how did I get to own my first pair of VFF’s, one of the more unusual looking ‘barefoot’ shoes? It was not for all the benefits highlighted above. My partner saw a man wearing them, thought they looked suitably odd, decided they would suit me perfectly and accosted the man for details. And there began my love affair with these weird looking but, in my opinion, amazing shoes.

Written by Margaret Sinclair, Osteopath.

Well done all you Brighton Marathon runners. What a great atmosphere from some great people.

It was my great privilege to try to help those runners that found their way to my portable massage table outside the clinic on Church Road. Interestingly – not one of my many patients that ran the Marathon needed my help. (Could it be that they already know how gentle I am with soft tissue work – or – that they are in such good shape?)
So much fun mixed with so much pain. Don’t know how many of you did it. Such conviction.

Congratulations and see you next year.

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