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18
Apr

Treating injuries the On the Bench way

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A large part of our focus at On the Bench is the treatment of aches, pains and injuries brought on, often, by a particular activity or event.  It's quite common for our clients to come in with a painful back, for example, and cite a step class or a weekend spent gardening as the source of the problem.This is a fair supposition but it's not the event or task that caused the pain, that was caused by an underlying weakness that was exposed by the step class or the gardening.  This is where On the Bench excels in it's treatment of such injuries, we take a joined-up, collaborative approach utilising the best of Sam's massage therapy skills and Neil's rehabilitative program know-how.

The underlying source of almost every injury we've seen in the clinic (that's a lot) has been muscular.  There are small percentage that can be put down to a structural (bone) issue but not many.  When you go to the doctor, physio or osteopath and they tell you that the problem is "probably muscular" On the Bench should be your first call!  If an injury is down to a "muscular" problem then what that means is that you have an imbalance in strength, length and tension across the particular joint (or potentially several joints) that is applying an uneven force to that joint compromising it's stability and ability to function normally.  This causes excessive tension in the strong, overworked tissues (which shows up as a tendinitis type injury) and faulty tracking of the joint causing pain from excessive wear from the head of the bone "bumping" up against the housing of the joint.

The only way to successfully treat this sort of imbalance in the long term (you can mask it with pain-killers and other treatments of course but the problem is still there getting worse) is to remove the imbalance in tension causing the problem.  This is the On the Bench way, to get to the cause of the problem and remove,

To restore normal tension and function to a joint is not as simple as it first sounds.  The strong tight muscles are real workaholics and need a fair bit of persuading to relax, they're holding on tight to that joint trying to maintain some sort of joint integrity and in doing so rob a large proportion of the neural impulse to that other muscles around the joint that we want to get working harder.  That's a problem because if you don't address that problem you're not going to be very successful in strengthening up the weaker muscles.  The weak stay weak and the strong get stronger as you try to exercise the joint, making the problem worse. 

Getting those workaholic tight muscles to relax is a key step here and massage combined with a well designed, personalised stretching program really gets the ball moving on that front.  But here's the difference with On the Bench, because we have both a great massage therapist and a skilled corrective exercise expert we can offer the vital second step that is often overlooked.  We can use targeted corrective exercises to get the weaker muscles to fire-up making the most of the relaxed state of the workaholic muscles following massage and/or stretching to start correcting the imbalance at the heart of the problem.  This leads to real long-term fixes for injuries rather than temporary relief and repeat trips to the therapist. 

Without this second step the relaxed muscles will soon slip back into their old habits trying to stabilise that problem joint and the pain flares up again.  It's vital to not only relax the strong but to strengthen the weak in these cases.  That's why our collaborative approach to injury treatment is so successful.  As one of our clients put it to Neil at his last corrective exercise session....

..."You notice little changes initially but then at about week five, your life changes!  I realised I wasn't getting the jarring pain that stops you in your tracks any more and that I was moving around the garage doing things that I hadn't done in years for fear of hurting my back."  - G. Powell

I think that sums it up better than all of my preceding words.  If you want to get rid of your pain FOREVER then On the Bench's use of both therapeutic massage and exercise programs has proven results and we'd love to add you to the growing list of happy, pain-free customers we've helped.

Call Neil or Sam to discuss where to start with your program on 02393 233140.
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