As many of you know, last week I (Dr. Moyer) completely tore my ACL and partially tore both meniscus in my left knee. OUCH!
But, I am doing so much better now. I am walking normal and completely without pain. I am most likely going to still have surgery, but have delayed it 4 weeks because of the progress I have made simply through massage, chiropractic, fitness training, and nutrition therapy.
I had my knee adjusted by a chiropractor. I had a rotation injury to the knee and my chiropractor restored the proper position of my tibia on my femur. I have changed my diet to include mostly raw foods and choosing foods and supplements that support soft tissue healing. I am back in the gym doing specific exercises for the left leg (physical therapy) and maintaining strength and flexibility in the rest of my body.
In addition, I have been receiving regular massage therapy, at least twice per week. I have seen improvement in the range of motion of my knee after each session. So, I thought I would post in today’s blog some of the benefits of massage as it relates to sports injuries. Have a great weekend!
Physical effects of massage
- Pumping – The stroking movements in massage suck fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels. By increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.
- Increased tissue permeability – Deep massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourage the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover quicker.
- Stretching – Massage can stretch tissues that could not be stretched in the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibres are stretched lengthwise as well as sideways. Massage can also stretch the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, so releasing any tension or pressure build up.
- Break down scar tissue – Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can effect muscle, tendons and ligaments. This can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain.
- Improve tissue elasticity – Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic. This is one reason why hard training may not result in improvements. Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.
- Opens micro-circulation – Massage does increase blood flow to tissues, but so does exercise. What massage also does is open or dilate the blood vessels and by stretching them this enables nutrients to pass through more easily.