Tendinopathy? sports massage can help!
What is patella tendinopathy?
Patella tendinopathy is a condition which affects the patella tendon in one way or another. Tendinopathy is an umbrella term widely used to describe conditions causing pain or limiting the function of the patella tendon and it covers inflammation of the tendon (tendinitis), degeneration of the tendon or other causes of pain located in the patella tendon.
What causes patella tendinopathy?
There are several factors which can cause patella tendinopathy. Those include repetitive strain on the patella tendon, weakness and/or tightness of the quadriceps muscle, sudden increase in physical activity level, sudden gain of weight and being overweight. When it comes to physical activity, most common sports that predispose development of the patella tendinopathy are running, basketball, football and cycling.
What are the symptoms of patella tendinopathy?
Most common symptom is pain just below the knee cap. Pain can be worse for the first 5-15 minutes in the morning or after prolonged inactivity and gradually subside allowing you to go about your daily tasks. You might also feel pain walking up and/or down the stairs. If you are involved in a physical activity, pain can either worsen with physical activity if the case is more severe, or it may subside, but feel sore after the physical activity if the case is milder. You may also experience tenderness around the area and the tendon might feel thickened and less smooth. The movement of the knee joint may also be affected if the case is severe.
What is a sports massage?
It is a type of massage which is taught as a part of syllabus in degrees such as Sports Therapy or Sports Rehabilitation. The qualification of sports massage therapist may also be obtained doing a separate course at level 3, 4 or 5. Because there are no laws to protect the public from incompetence of certain therapists, make sure to check that your therapist is registered with an appropriate governing body to show that the therapist is professional, committed and has required qualifications to deliver a treatment of a good standard.
Also, sports massage can feel very similar to Swedish or deep tissue massage as techniques used are essentially the same. Those involve:
- Effleurage – gentle and soothing strokes over the skin to warm up muscles and get them ready for deeper work.
- Petrissage – is kneading and wringing of the muscles whilst applying a deep pressure. It helps to loosen the muscle tension.
- Tapotement – is percussion techniques which can be applied using fingers, edge of the hands or cupped hands. This type of technique helps to revitalise the worked muscles, increase the excitability and warm them up for a physical activity.
- Friction – is very focused and deep pressure applied on a specific area of the muscle. It helps to break down adhesions and scar tissue as well as loosen off tight muscles.
What are the benefits of sports massage?
There are several benefits of sports massage. Those include:
- Release of muscle tension and spasm.
- Release adhesions.
- Break down scar tissue.
- Improved circulation.
- Increase the range of motion of joints.
- Improves muscle flexibility.
- Helps to alleviate delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) after physical activity.
- help to manage anxiety and stress.
- Helps to warm up and cool down.
- Increases efficiency of recovery after an injury when used with appropriate rehabilitation programs.
How does sports massage help with patella tendinopathy?
Sports massage can help with patella tendinopathy by increasing the circulation in the area which would provide more blood and nutrients, hence, aid the recovery. It also helps to break down scar tissue or adhesions relaxing the muscle and the tendon which can help to reduce the intensity of the symptoms and improve the mobility of the knee.
It is important to bear in mind however, that sports massage will feel very uncomfortable, and you will very likely feel sore after the treatment. Also, sports massage on its own is unlikely to help you to cure patella tendinopathy as you will have to do certain exercises as well as make some changes to your physical activity while recovering from the condition.
Dealing with tendinopathy? Let us know so we can help you!
We hope this information is useful for you. If you need advice or have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find us 3 mins away from Angel station in Islington. We are always happy to help. If you like this blog, please share!