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Our years of experience teaching and practicing massage professionally has given us the opportunity to give explanations of many different conditions, their impact on how the body works, and how massage and bodywork can help.  

This is where we share that experience and knowledge with you.

Piriformis Muscle Syndrome & Sciatica

PMS conjures up images and feelings in the minds of many.  Also called "the other PMS", it stands for Piriformis Muscle Syndrome, a condition often confused with sciatica.

Sciatica is a “catch all” phrase many people use to describe sensations that are felt in the buttocks, down the leg, and into the foot .  It usually affects only one leg and  is often self-diagnosed.  There can be several causes for such pain or numbing sensations in the body.  Often, pressure on the nerves giving rise to the sciatic nerve are involved or pressure on the sciatic nerve itself is the cause.

Read more: Piriformis Muscle Syndrome & Sciatica

Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs

Some people talk about getting out of bed in the morning “hitting the ground running.”  Others are afraid to get out of bed in the morning because of the pain felt when their feet first hit the ground.  For them it takes a few minutes for the pain to subside.  They have difficulty walking distances due to the pain they feel step after agonizing step.  Sound familiar?  If so, there may be a rather simple solution.  

Read more: Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs

Hip Pain

Between 200,000 and 300,000 hip replacements are performed each year in the United States according to statistics provided by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 2009.  While most patients opting for the surgery are over age 60, up to 10% are in patients 50 or younger.  Experts project 600.000 annual operations by the year 2015.  Most surgeries are performed as the result of arthritic damage to the joint structure.

 

What can you do to avoid becoming a candidate for hip surgery?

Read more: Hip Pain

Ankle and Foot pain

Did you know your two ankles and feet contain 25% of the bones found in your entire skeleton?  Given that they are critical to our mobility and we spend so much time on them it is important to keep them happy and maintain them properly.  

 

Chances are good that someone in your family has twisted, tweaked or sprained an ankle at some point.  Most of us know to place an ice bag on the joint, elevate it, and keep the weight off as long as possible until it “heals”.  (See post on ice application for more).   After the pain and swelling go away we think all is well.  Unfortunately often an inheritance of adhered ligaments and tendons  survives the ordeal to be resurrected as foot or knee pain in the future.   We have encountered many clients over the years who sprained an ankle in their past and neglected to report it on their health history.   Unless a scar is left behind we tend to forget such incidents since we survived them and have moved on.  However, many times the ghosts of ankle sprains past come back to haunt us as knee, hip or even shoulder pain.  

Read more: Ankle and Foot pain

Knee Pain

Recently as I was walking into the YMCA for my daily workout I noticed the group of mature (ranging 30’s - 60’s) male basketball players having at it on the indoor court.  What struck me that day was the number of men wearing a knee brace on their left knee.  There had to be 7 of them.  First, I wondered why the left knee is the one most affected and if that was true in general when it comes to basketball players.  Secondly, I wondered what the knee issues were that caused them to wear braces.  As I went in to the cardio room to start my workout I took notice of several more wrapped up knees.  Some were left leg and some were right, but again there were several on the treadmills and cross-trainers - men and women.  

 

Of course, as a professional massage therapist, I wondered if any of these people had an idea as to how they could do some routine self-maintenance massage to keep their knees healthier.  As a jogger and exerciser I’ve had my share of knee discomfort over the years and know the value of doing some preliminary soft tissue massage prior to my runs.  

 

The knee joint is one of the most injured joints in the body.   It was recently reported at the annual convention of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons that 4.5 million American citizens are sporting at least one knee replacement, they are occurring in progressively younger individuals and osteoarthritis is the prevalent reason for the surgery.  

Read more: Knee Pain