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

F is for Fatigue

Well, ok, so considering where all the exciting research and information is coming from in the world of bodywork nowadays, I suppose that F really should be for Fascia. There are ridiculously large amounts of stuff out there written about it, and I am also one of those that have been talking about it. However, you can read all about that in my Fascianating Fascia post from a while ago. Yes, there is more to say about it, and yes there is more to know, however, muscle fatigue, and more importantly WHY muscles fatigue seems to be something that confuses … Continue reading

C is for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is this condition? Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition where the median nerve (the one which innervates your thumb, first three fingers and half of the fourth finger) is compressed as it passes through the tunnel of bones and soft tissues at the wrist. Swelling around the wrist or flexor tendons can be contributing factors; pressure is placed on the nerve as it passes through the tunnel. Fluid retention during pregnancy or obesity can increase the risk of this condition because the size of the tunnel is reduced, again, putting pressure on the nerve. The other major contributing factor … Continue reading

B is for Blood

One of the benefits of sports massage and soft tissue therapy is the normalisation of fluid movement in the body.  Our bodies are made up of soft tissues, bones and fluids including blood and lymph. For the body to work at its best all of these interconnected aspects need to move, flow or glide at their optimum. In the case of blood, it needs to flow around the network of arteries, veins and compartments without being impeded. Normal flow is essential for homeostasis, transportation of oxygen and nutrients and the removal of toxins and metabolic waste products. If blood flow … Continue reading

A is for Adductors

An interesting muscle group that doesn’t really get the attention in a lot of massages – and they should. Found on the inside of your upper leg, they are involved mainly in 2 actions, adduction – pulling your leg toward the midline, and also extension – pulling your leg backwards. (not all of them do this, but bear with me as this isn’t meant to be a physiological tour de force, just an introduction). There are 5 adductors, Pectinius, Adductor Brevis, Adductor Longus, Adductor Magnus and Gracilis. They all start on the lower area of the pelvis and attach in … Continue reading

Foam Roller Workshop

I’m a big fan of foam rollering. Sometimes called “poor mans massage” it is the mechanical manipulation of muscle… pretty much what I do on a day-to-day basis, just with a bit less precision. Not as precise, maybe, but it does target tissues that need work on them, which would otherwise not get sorted until you went to see a therapist. I have been extolling the virtues of foam rollers to various people in my running club – Glossopdale Harriers – for the past few months, and thought it was about time to spread the message, and, more importantly, the … Continue reading