Physio Corner: The benefits of Physiotherapy and Sports Massage

29th April

They say teamwork makes the dream work – and if you’re in need of proof, look no further than our partners at Capital Physio. Based in both our Farringdon and Holborn clubs, this crack team of talented experts know a thing or two about fitness and form. By uniting the preventative powers of physio and the healing touch of massage, they’ve got the goods to help when you’ve been out of action… or just fancy giving your performance a phenomenal boost. Read on to see how…

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The benefits of physiotherapy for the gym goer – by Giulia Preato (based at Farringdon)

Are you returning to the gym feeling unfit after a prolonged time and not sure either you are starting with the right foot?

There’s lots of reasons why you might have stopped going to the gym for a while. Perhaps it’s been a busy time at work, you might have been on holiday, there’s a lack of motivation, injuries… or maybe the summer still feels far away. Whatever it is, physiotherapy can be really helpful in giving you the right advice to get you back in action, while preventing injuries and enabling you to get fit in a healthy and responsible way.

When it comes to injuries, there are a few different types that need consideration. There are ones caused by trauma (sprained ankle while you were running) others by repetitive movement or from being overused (like lower back pain during a deadlift) both of which can be mild or severe. You may also have had different types of treatments too: whether conservative (physiotherapy, rest, medication) or invasive (surgery.) However, the most common injuries are sometimes really very minor and difficult to get rid of – especially if nobody assesses you and corrects the way you perform exercises in the gym.

In all of these cases, physiotherapists can play a great role from the recovery process to the return to the gym, and in this blog I’ll explain exactly why.

Physiotherapists are there to assess, treat and prevent – but the key of a great result is in the first part of this definition: the assessment. A good and global assessment includes a lot of aspects of your past and current health condition, social history, sports, activities, job and related restrictions. We focus all our attention on your short-term and long-term fitness goals, asking loads of questions about previous fitness habits and knowledge to know where to start from.

The assessment continues then with observation of your posture and the performance of movements and functional exercises to evaluate:

  • Quantity and quality of your movements
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Core stability
  • Body awareness
  • Restriction or pain during movements (which can be localized or referred somewhere else in the body)
  • Resistance
  • Endurance

We are also really proud of our bike and running assessment, for runners and cyclists of all levels who want to improve their technique with our help. Depending on what we find during the assessment, the next step is to build up a plan together with the patient, where we share goals, timeframes, motivation and commitment for a healthy and safe return to the gym.

What I personally like most about being in a gym environment is being able to see and assist patients with the help of the equipment that the gym offers to us – which is most of the time the same piece of equipment that the patient was using before (but perhaps in a wrong way.)

The greatest thing about being in a gym is the collaboration I can have with the patients’ PTs. There’s nothing better than working together for the same results, nothing easier than working in the same place! With team work, we always achieve the best and more durable results in rehabilitation.

The benefits of Massage – by Matt Peterson (based at Holborn)

As Giulia said, team work is very important; and as sports massage therapists, we often work alongside physios and personal trainers to help gym returners get fit and stay fit. Sports massage can be beneficial before returning to the gym and also once you have started training.

If you visit your sports massage therapist before returning to gym-based exercise, they will look for areas of soft tissue tightness and restriction and identify areas of muscle imbalance. Using sports massage along with other soft tissue techniques, they’ll help release tension and lengthen shortened tight muscles. They can also provide exercises to strengthen weak lengthened muscles. By addressing these muscle imbalances before returning to the gym, it’ll help reduce your risk of injury and put you in the best position to achieve your exercise and fitness goals. However, it’s not recommended to plan exercise straight after your sports massage session. You will need time to recover – but your sports massage therapist will be able to advise you on timescales.

Once you’ve returned to exercise, there’s a risk of injury if you train too hard before fully recovering from your previous session. Sports massage can aid in recovery thereby helping you return to training with less risk of an injury developing. Your sports massage therapist should also be able to identify if there are any small areas of tissue damage and treat these at an early stage before they develop into noticeable injuries. If you have any questions or queries about how sports massage can help you, just get in touch. We’re always happy to answer any questions.

Capital Physio treatment rooms are located in our Farringdon & Holborn branches, get booked in now.

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