IBS is one of the most common types of gastrointestinal disorders with around 1 in 5 people in the western world reporting symptoms concurrent with IBS. IBS can be subtyped according to the changes in stool pattern which is one of the main signs and symptoms of IBS being present.
IBS can present with constipation (IBS-C), diarrhea (IBS-D), mixed stools (IBS-M) and un-subtyped IBS where there is insufficient abnormality in the stool consistency, but other IBS symptoms are present. Bloating, pain and gas are often also reported.
IBS also has several non-gastrointestinal features which include painful menstrual cycles, urinary symptoms such as frequency, urgency, incomplete bladder emptying; back pain, headaches, bad breath, poor sleep and fatigue.
It is believed that the biopsychosocial model is particularly relevant to IBS and its causes. Triggers of IBS that fall into this category include depression, anxiety, stress and trauma.
Past antibiotic therapy, gastrointestinal infection, pelvic surgery and eating disorders are also associated triggers. Dysfunction in the brain-gut axis is also thought to be a cause of IBS whereby communications between the CNS and enteric nervous system are disrupted perhaps due to abnormal function or low levels of serotonin.
How can sports massage help?
Massage has been found to be a beneficial tool in the treatment of IBS for two reasons. Firstly, massage around the abdominal area can help to stimulate digestion, expel painful trapped gas from the intestines and soothe pain. It is important that massage on the abdominal area is only used in cases of IBS C as in IBS D, digestion is already at an increased rate.
Massage can also help patients with IBS by promoting relaxation, reducing spasms and managing stress and anxiety - one of the key mediators of development of IBS. In this case, regular whole patient massage would be recommended as a preventative measure to reduce the chance of development of symptoms by managing daily stress.
Clinical Medicine, 9th Edition
As every seasoned runner knows, regular sports massage should be scheduled into your program just as you schedule in your sprints and recovery runs, but how exactly does sports massage negate the potential negative impacts of running?
1. Muscular Trauma
As your miles ramp up, so does muscular and soft tissue (ligaments and tendons) trauma. Trauma causes muscles to tighten up, affecting gait and running economy. Without proper recovery, overuse injuries such as strains and sprains arise.
Sports massage speeds up the rate at which muscles recover by increasing circulation; this brings blood, oxygen and other vital nutrients to the area that is being targeted. Lymphatic drainage is also promoted which removes waste products such as lactic acid. Specific massage techniques such as cross fiber frictions promote optimal collagen healing specifically in finer structures such as tendons and ligaments keeping joints strong and supple.
Everyone has felt sore after a run- it may not be the searing DOMS you experience after a maximal squat test, but muscle tightness is to be expected after pounding the pavement. Muscle tightness has a direct impact on biomechanics due to the way muscles span joints and attach to bones. If a muscle is shortened (tight) then so is our available range of movement. When the training ramps up in preparation for a race, volume demands often limit our recovery time, pair this with our modern lifestyles involving lots of sitting down and suddenly your stride length, toe off and propulsion are affected.
Sports massage lengthens shortened muscles by implementing advanced stretching techniques, breaking down adhesions and realigning muscle fibers. This can improve our biomechanics by removing joint restrictions, improving mobility and increasing flexibility allowing us to run with proper form. Massage also increases the suppleness of the muscle by releasing surrounding fascia (the connective tissue that encases muscle, allowing it to glide past nearby structures). When muscles become stiff, so does the fascia and then restricted fascia becomes ‘sticky’. Sticky fascia can bind muscles together inhibiting their ability to perform to their potential!
3. Mental Fatigue
Training for an endurance event involves so much more than just sticking to your training plan. You have to ensure you are eating the right foods and in the right amount, you are hydrating adequately, you are sleeping enough, you are supplementing as required and unless you are a professional athlete, you are probably doing all of this alongside a career, family, social events and daily chores and tasks.
Constantly ticking off your to-do list can leave you in a state of mild to moderate panic and when there is no time to switch off, we can end up in a constant fight, flight or freeze state. Our bodies cannot tell the difference between the threat of a lion chasing us versus the threat of being late to a meeting and so the nervous system reacts in the same way. To restore calm and quiet a busy mind, we need to trigger our parasympathetic nervous system. Alongside meditation, breathing exercises and yoga, a sports massage is one of the quickest ways to enter this state by activating sensory receptors and increasing oxytocin. Monitoring and lowering the bodies stress response allows us to be primed for further activity meaning harder and faster training sessions and improved ability to handle daily pressure.
So in short, if you're not already incorporating Sports Massage into your running routine, then you should definitely think about starting to. Decrease your risk of injury, improve your biomechanics and performance whilst distressing and priming your body for training. It's a no brainer!
To find out about Sports Therapy and Massage services at Faultless Fitness, simply message us on Facebook or email email@example.com to start a conversation!
Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease. The condition affects the central nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord and can cause a wide range of visible, invisible and cognitive symptoms.
In MS, the immune system attacks the myelin sheath which not only protects but enables nerves to do their jobs. This leaves areas of scarring or plaques on the nerves, therefore disrupting their ability to carry impulses to and from the brain.
There are three main types of MS;
Visible symptoms of MS include loss of balance and dizziness, stiffness or spasms in the limbs, a tremor and speech problems. MS symptoms also include fatigue, pain, bladder and bowel problems, visual disturbances and difficulty swallowing. MS can also have an impact upon memory, thinking and emotions, as well as the emotional strain of dealing with the disease itself which can cause depression and anxiety.
How can Sports Massage help?
According to the MS trust, massage has been found to lower anxiety, improve mood, self-esteem, body image and image of disease symptoms. A recent study also found that hour-long, weekly massage sessions, over a 4-week period, improved self-efficacy and that regular treatments were required to maintain these changes (effects appeared to wear off 4 weeks post treatment). Better self-efficacy is believed to improve well-being and ability to cope with the stress of living with MS.
As for physical symptoms, massage may help to reduce spasms by relaxing soft tissue structures. Massage can aid with pain management through mobilising tissue, reducing contractions and impacting upon the pain gate theory. Massage may also improve circulation and alter, even if only in the treatment, any sensory disturbances to the skin.
The MS Society runs a free MS Helpline, Monday-Friday, 9am-7pm, providing emotional support and information to anyone living with the condition. They also offer a direct messaging service through Facebook that can be accessed via https://www.mssociety.org.uk/care-and-support/ms-helpline
Clinical Medicine, 9th Edition
We’ve all done it! We get to the last 3 months of the year and look at January looming and all of us go “yep, I’ll do it in January!”. All of the gyms start to target us for the January “New Year, New Me” campaign, we sign up to 12 month contracts to get a good deal and then end up spending the best part of £300-£600 and sat in the same position we were when we started, if not slightly more deflated!
The January campaigns are a legacy of the days before progressive, evidence based interventions, where gyms could make enough profit locking people into those contracts for a year, that they didn’t have to provide people with results. Each year, when we were at our guiltiest the gyms would put an offer on and watch the £’s flood in!
Luckily, we aren’t as gullible as we used to be and the gym market has flooded causing these predatory practices to mellow in search of finding differentiating unique selling points to win business. Now, the chain gyms went for cheapness of membership, attracted a lot of people who feel at home in the gym, feeling they know what they need to do to succeed and get on with it. Then some went for the luxury experience and went for high membership rates that focus on wallowing around in spa-like gyms that make us feel great but arguably demonstrates little in the way of health improvements. However, one of us, me, went the way of investing the money needed to find a true answer to people's issues of eating, mental health and physical activity!
For the last 8 years, I have been studying and developing the Health Transformation Program. Every year we have looked at what works and then honed it. 2019 provided us with our best results yet. Scores of people leaving incredible reviews, joining the Faultless Family and seeing us move to our shiny, safe and gleaming Strength & Conditioning Facility with great new facilities and in house sports therapy for our clients!
However, as we know, you can have a great facility but that won't get you anywhere! Where we are different is the investment in our framework. This is the program we run that provides the results for you guys, our clients and friends.
As a sports scientist and exercise physiologist, I am used to working with anyone. From athletes to normal people who are either unwell or don’t want to be unwell in the future. So, using this skill set I put our Health Transformation Program together to provide us with an easy step-by-step progress to run clients through a cost-effective but highly efficient manner!
First, we start with focussing on you:
The HTP puts you first. We need to understand your motivations, your history, where your health and fitness is right now and we need to then figure out how we are going to get you to where you want to be.
Once you are on the program we go through a 15 week program consisting of 4 blocks and 3 sets of health appraisals where, if you stick to the program, you will see considerable changes in strength, fitness and quality of life!
Alongside the exercise program, we run a parallel nutrition program starting in your 5th week that provides you with calorie, protein, fat and carb goal and meal and supplement timings (only if you need them!). This not only guarantees that you get fitter, stronger, and healthier from the exercise you do with us, but that you also recover between sessions, lose body fat, gain muscle tone and regress any diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes mellitus type 2 through controlling your carbohydrate intake.
The program is also run in sessions of up to 8 people. This means that you book into a session, using our app, at a time that suits you and up to 8 other people will also have booked in and you will all go about your plans with a strength and conditioning instructor looking after you in a low 1 to 8 ratio. By the time you finish the 15 week program, you will be exponentially more proficient at lifting weights, using cardio equipment and lots of other types of exercises.
More importantly, is our attitude towards your safety. With myself training in clinical science as a physician associate, I take the safety of my clients incredibly seriously. In the history taking, and throughout the sessions, I look for anything that could place you at risk and regress the exercise or send you to GP appointments to mitigate any potential harm. Here, you come first!
Now, you must be sat there saying to yourself that this program has thought of everything, nutrition, exercise and socio-mental health, but how on earth am I going to afford it? A program like this surpasses the norm and must be priced more than the norm? Yeh? NO.
When we designed the program one of our main goals is that it must be accessible and cost effective. There were several considerations with pricing:
What this added up to was a program that delivered better standards and results than the industry standard for personal training, but also 87% cheaper than the equivalent Personal Training Package!!!
The Health Transformation Program is not for those of you looking to make ridiculous transformations that are healthy for no one. This is a 15 week program designed to make sure that you make exercise and nutrition a long term part of your life. Once you finish the Health Transformation program, You can graduate onto our Advanced Health program. This is a 6 month course which is even more specialised into your needs now that we know you have the foundation of the Health transformation program to build upon.
Now you know about the Health Transformation Program, I hope I have empowered you with an alternative option that can finally break the chain in declining health year on year for you!
Hopefully speak to you soon,