Muscles Fibres & Issues
Sports massage at its most basic level, is just about taking care of your muscle fibres and making sure they are aligned and functioning properly. It’s that simple.
If you understand that muscles are just a large group of these little units, this will help you understand what kind of problems happen, and what sports massage can do to treat these lil fellas.
Here are some nice little muscle fibre parts, called actin and myosin.
(any excuse for me to get the colouring pens out... )
They chill out when they’re relaxed, as the actin and myosin let go. When they are contracted, the actin and myosin cling together, making the unit short and strong (the unit’s called a sarcomere). Muscles are made up of lots of bundles of these, in long lines (see right). But sometimes injuries and tension make them not work together properly, so we gotta get in and give them a little helping.. hand... *sorry* bad pun.....!
What goes "wrong" inside the muscles:
Knots, adhesions & micro-tears: If you’ve pulled, bashed or knocked a muscle, the little muscle fibres can get knocked out of alignment and therefore they don’t connect again properly when the muscle contracts and relaxes. The muscles fibres keep trying to work, and so still need oxygen and glucose etc, and poop out waste products too. However when the fibres are jumbled, the blood supply and lymphatic system can’t always transport and remove these chemicals properly, so they can form clumpy bundles called adhesions. Over time these can get bigger and bigger and form into knots - big lumpy things you feel within the muscle.
Chronic tension: Most often caused by pain or stress, this is when those little units are just ALWAYS held in tension. Think of sports massage as a gentle (to very firm!) nudge to remind them to release and relax.
Lactic acid crystals: When your muscle fibres are working out, lactic acid is released - like when you get a stitch when you run. Stretching after exercise helps flush the lactic out, however, sometimes this lactic acid doesn’t get removed - e.g. if you muscles are tight through stress instead of exercise - you wouldn’t necessarily think to stretch them off after being stressed. Lactic acid clumps together into crystals and just hangs around in your muscles which you can feel as a crunchy little clump. It doesn’t really cause issues unless the build-up is near a nerve.
Combination of tension, knots and/or lactic acid: If you’re really lucky, you may have a combo-deal of the above. It’s fairly common, and just required a good combo of techniques to tackle ‘em.
And that is it!
If that's made you want to book in for a treatment right away - message us below!