Tuesday, 31 January 2017


Running requires your muscles to repetitively contract and relax, the greater the contraction the greater the force generated and the more muscle fibres involved. Whether you are increasing your speed, distance or changing your running terrain your muscles need to adapt. To adapt the muscle fibres need to tear. When micro-tearing (small tearing) occurs your body lays down scare tissue at the tear site. Scare tissue can also occur in cases of acute trauma, such as a strain, sprain or pulled muscle. Regardless of the method, the body must go through a healing cycle. If the cycle is interrupted (by another run or a cross training work out) before completion, your body has not completely healed and these micro-tears in your muscle fibres will tear again. The tears will occur at the previous scar tissue site as it is vulnerable and not as elastic as healthy muscle fibres. Often you do not realize scar tissue is building up until it is too late and the pain begins. This can translate into surrounding muscle fibres and surrounding muscles shortening or tightening to ‘protect’ the scar tissue/ injured area. The scar tissue build up, or knot, can impact the muscle’s range of motion, decrease circulation, irritate nerve roots and decrease strength. This can potentially cause compensation, which will change your running gait, and put additional strain on surrounding muscles.



A compensation pattern is the body’s attempt to make up for the lack of movement in one area by adding a new movement to another area. More specifically, a compensation pattern is the body’s way of using a new firing sequence or utilizing structural reliance to supplement or avoid another firing sequence or structural reliance that is not working properly. Many compensation patterns are subtle or hardly noticeable and grow over time to a larger scaled compensation, this can occur through different types of exercise or poor postural habits.
Having the ability to recognize patterns of compensation will provide you with the opportunity to correct and neutralize the associated risk and damage.
For more information on different compensation patterns visit http://www.prehabexercises.com/compensation-patterns/.

  PreHab Exercise eBook - Alignment - Compensation Patterns - Valgus Knee with Direction Lines

http://www.runningwritings.com/2012/02/injury-series-biomechanical-solutions.html     http://www.prehabexercises.com/compensation-patterns/

Therapeutic massage targets the injured area(s) to break down the scar tissue build up and release tight muscles (which can compress circulation, compress nerves, or decrease range of motion). These effects are significant for everyone, however particularly important for a runner who is looking for an injury free season, a speedy recovery and/or improved performance.
Massage is ideally a preventative program. Massage can reduce compensation patterns from becoming an increasing problem, or one that will be very difficult to reverse. If a runner waits until pain sets in, the recovery time increases. This is because there is an increasing amount of scar tissue build up and there is increased stress on surrounding muscles and tissues. A proactive athlete, who incorporates massage as a maintenance program, will catch tightness and scar tissue before it becomes an issue and addresses the area before it becomes a problem.
When your muscles are healthy they will work at optimal capacity. When you can move properly you will run more efficiently.

You should schedule your massage approximately once a month, or once every few weeks, depending on your running goals and budget. Take into consideration if you are increasing your training in any way. The change in training results in the change in your muscle composition. Therefore, as your training increases your duration between massage treatments should decrease. If possible, book your massage on your rest day. With deep massage you may feel like you just had a work out afterwards. You need time to recover from a massage just like you do from a work out.
If you are competing, a post-race massage is ideally done approximately 3 days after the race. This allows your body to begin the inflammatory phase of the healing process before you go for a massage. Initially after the race you would want to focus on icing, increase fluid intake, resting, gentle rolling and stretching. Around the 3rd day, your massage therapist can get a little deeper and more specifically on stubborn areas without the acute sensitivity you may experience right after the race. Massage is a good way to ‘clean up’ the muscles by removing any initial scar tissue and relaxing tightened muscle segments.

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