Q is for Quadriceps

As the name would imply, the quadriceps muscle group has four muscles: rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus medialis and vastus lateralis. These muscles are what we commonly know as our thigh muscles, and are responsible for extending the knee (i.e. straightening the lower leg) – and also providing a braking force when running downhill or stopping suddenly. Rectus femoris also flexes the hip – as it attaches to the pelvis (at the anterior inferior iliac spine). Rectus femoris and vastus intermedius are situated down the central portion of your thigh and act on the knee centrally with power when extending … Continue reading

K is for Knee

When we think of the knee (which is a modified hinge joint), and indeed any form of hinge, we would be mistaken to think that it is a simple joint – but it is far from that. Look at the snapshot on the left which shows a front on view of the right knee. You can see there’s a lot of muscles, tendons and ligaments and other (hidden) soft tissues all converging around this joint. Injuries to ligaments are probably the most common at this joint, and unfortunately often quite debilitating. In addition to ligament injury the knee is at … Continue reading

J is for Joints

Joints are the hinges in the body which allow for movement, some quite freely (e.g. the shoulder), and some with barely any movement at all (e.g. suture joints between the skull bones). The structures which limit movement at any joint are muscles, ligaments and tendons, plus the actual structural design of the bones forming the joint. Other factors which limit range of movement can be nerve length and activation, fascia and skin, edema (swelling), soft tissue apposition, joint fluid viscosity (how easy the movement is) and fluid quantity. The most common type is the synovial joint, an example being the … Continue reading

Marathon training

As the London and Manchester Marathon places have just been released, there are a number of first time marathon runners (and also more experienced runners) who are about to start training in earnest for the events early next year. For those of you who are planning on running a marathon, read on! We have worked with many marathon runners in the past and all have benefited from ensuring their training programmes include regular sports massage. Why is that? Well the simple answer is that regular maintenance massage can help to keep your muscles healthy and injury free, which is of … Continue reading

Psychology of Sports Massage

The benefits of sports massage that are published are very often limited to the physiological aspects, and with good reason, because it’s easier to quantify them (e.g. measuring circulation or chemical levels in blood). However, the psychological benefits are naturally more qualitative, and being unmeasurable they are therefore difficult to explain in a scientific way. However, the field of sports psychology is not insignificant, and as such we should not shy away from the emotional and mental benefits, just because we can’t speak from an evidenced position. As it is difficult to speak from a research based position, clinical expertise … Continue reading

G is for Golgi Tendon Organ

A golgi what? I hear you saying. We agree, it’s not the most enticing blog title, but bear with us. The golgi tendon organ (GTO) is an important neuro-physiological sensory receptor of the peripheral nervous system (which basically means it connects the brain to the outside world) which we, as soft tissue therapists, need to know about. So we thought we’d share some of that knowledge with you. These sensory receptors are found wrapped in the collagen fibres of tendons. They primarily detect increases in tension in the tendon, and therefore muscle tension. Their primary job is to protect muscle … Continue reading