When you fell off the swings as a child and ran into your Mum’s arms, bursting into tears knowing that a big dirty bruise was on its way to the surface, did she ever give you the saying “there there, I’ll rub it better” as she frantically tried to calm you down?
My Mum constantly did this whenever I fell over and to be honest, I never thought it felt “better” after she rubbed it! As an adult and Remedial Massage Therapist I understand that the paternal instinct to rub an area of trauma has been a form of innate human behaviour for thousands of years. As kids we didn’t truly understand how significant it was to have our mother (or respective guardian) rubbing our knee after we fell over. Our elders most likely didn’t know that they were subconsciously trying to accelerate and promote the formation of scar tissue in an attempt to heal our injury. Nor were they aware on a conscious level that they were initiating the release of serotonin (mood altering hormone) from our brain which ultimately aimed at making us feel better.
I daily come in to contact with people who have experienced direct trauma to certain muscle groups. Athletes who lower barbells too quickly onto their thighs from over-head positions often create corks on their quads. They may not realise to what extent they have damaged their quads, however leaving this subtle injury untreated can do more damage than good. Your muscles can essentially stick to each other via the formation of initial scar tissues. This will create anchoring between your muscles, restricting their natural ability to glide against one another properly. If your muscles lose their ability to function independently, they will also lose their ability to work with other muscle groups when performing basic and complex movements.
Massage may or may not be appropriate immediately, but when it is, the benefits can be remarkable. Increasing heat and blood flow through the use of pressure can cause scar tissue to break down between muscle groups. Doing this reduces the anchoring between them thus allowing them to function independently of one another. Massage will also stimulate your nervous system which allows your muscles to activate more freely when they are needed.
If you have had a cork in the past, or have received subtle injuries which you think may be holding you back, I urge you to have it checked by your physical therapist. Your maximal performance depends on it!
To make a book online with Jamal, our wizard remedial massage therapist click the below link.