Posted by: lsadler | July 25, 2010

Acute Sports Injury-How Massage Therapy Can Help You

Normally I like to use examples based on my clients’ issues to illustrate my point, but sometimes I think it’s a good thing when you can use your own experience as an example. It gives me an opportunity to practice on myself, improve my techniques AND truly know what it feels like to be treated for pain or injury.

My greatest love is horseback riding. I am a fairly experienced rider, I love to trail ride and I also compete in the english hunter/jumper discipline. Here’s my story: I fell off my friends’ horse last Tuesday. I fell on the side of my left leg after she spooked on the trail. I was far from the barn and I had to walk over a mile to find her after my fall. I’m very  lucky I was able to walk, I wasn’t so lucky the last time I fell off her. As I walked along the trail after the fall, I could feel the pain in my leg, but since I was walking I knew it wasn’t broken. Luckily, it wasn’t excruciating and I was able to ride back to my barn once I caught my horse. I have a giant bruise the size of a saucer and swelling the size of a baseball on the side of my leg. I also have cuts as well as the bruise all in the same area.

Here is how I’ve been treating this injury:

Day 1, ice 3x and rest (I’d also recommend taking arnica, I was out of it at the time)

Day 2, ice 3x and I put a little Traumeel on the bruise (Traumeel is a creme and has some arnica in it)

Day 3, my hamstring is and has been extremely sore since my fall. It’s too acute to massage at the site of injury and it’s also contraidicated to massage a swollen or deeply bruised area. I was able to massage lightly above and below the injury which helped to reduce the intensity of the muscle spasm. This flushed toxins and gave me some relief. I also had some Trigger Points in my calf and shin, hip and glute which I massaged out. I was having some discomfort in those areas, but the main pain is coming from my hamstring. After releasing the Trigger Points, I had reduced my pain by more than half! I also continued to ice the bruise and lastly, I soaked in epsom salts. My bruise went from jet black to dark red after the soak.

Day 4 to now -the swelling is going down, but every so slowly. I am continuing to massage my hip, glute and hamstring once a day, my calf is fine, the Trigger Points never came back after the first massage. I am still only working the hamstring above and below the site of the injury. This eliminates the referred pain and I can move about comfortably and I can actually forget about it!

I will continue with more updates as I go through this healing process.

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