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Sports Massage poll


I've got a tight calf at the moment, and am getting some sports massage. In the past I've kept this at once per week to resolve issues.

I'm interested in the benefits of going more frequently, such as twice a week, to resolve the injury quicker. Obviously the post massage pain must have subsided in between visits.

So the question is, ignoring wallet pain, when affected by a soft tissue injury how often should you get a massage?



  • Once a week should be enough, however, if you are not already I would suggest you try some cold therapy. I assume you are continuing to train through the pain?! If so, more massage is not really going to help and it will end up costing you a bomb.

    The best options would be to take a break from training and rest, but thats hard to enforce I know! Failing that, have a look at this, expensive but if it is a recurring problem worth the money-
    http://www.physioroom.com/product/Airca ... 38333.html

    Make sure you are cooling down properly after training, then apply cold therapy. This should help inbetween massages. Wearing a calf support during training may help as well.

    Make sure your sports massage practitioner is suitably qualified to treat injuries, if they are good they should be telling you how regularly you should be visiting and any exercises you can perform at home to help.
  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595
    Once a WEEK? I know you said "ignoring wallet pain", but once a week and you really wouldn't be able to!

    I go once every two months, and I try to get a couple more during the competition season. It's most use for me out of season to break down the knots and scarring accumulated in the Summer.
    If it's not hurting, it's not working...
  • largeadelargeade Posts: 166

    Thanks for replying, I've got an alloy bike so can afford more orthotics/massage LOL. Its not tri specific massage so its cheaper than you might think ;-)

    Its a recurring injury (see appendix A). The last time I had this it took six weeks to get through it and I'm pretty certain it was the massage that helped the most. The time before without massage I missed the event I was aiming for. For me the benefit seems worth the investment.

    The current practitioner is saying I would benefit from two visits a week at the moment, which the previous two have not. I just wanted to know if others visit twice or more often each week as there is an obvious conflict of interest for the practioner there.

    I'm in Wimball 70.3 in June, and am currently doing 95-115km on the bike and 5.5km in the pool per week without pain. I wasnt running, but I've now been told that I should do 2km three times a week as it will help the recovery.

    When you say additional massage is not really going to help, do you have a technical reason for this?


    I didnt really want to get into the injury itself, however in (long) summary:

    Appendix A

    Over the last three years I've done a couple of half marathons, three 10ks, two sprint tris and the London Tri OD.

    So, theres an ongoing problem with my right orthotic which, whilst it neatly prevents my knee pain, causes big toe pain (if anyone is interested I've developed a great FHL stretch which neutralises it) and inside calf pain under the bell of the gastroc which occurs arbitrarily when I increase running mileage. The podiatrist pushes the problem around but cant resolve it; she sorted my left leg fine so cant be that bad. Symptoms only affect my running on push off: cycling and swimming (if I'm generally careful on the turns) are totally fine.

    Having trained at various sports since the age of six, and had this specific issue on and off for a couple of years, I'm fully genned up on the anatomy of the lower leg, R.I.C.E., stretching regimes, use of heat theraphy, and friction massage. Some people just werent born to run long distance as I keep being told, but I like to push the envelope.

    Over the years my experience shows that when compared to physios, sports massagers know far more about resolving soft tissue injuries and have the additional benefit of being cheaper. The current practitioner I'm using was able to fully identify my problem with minimal input from me (I'm always careful to limit the information supplied beyond random pointing to where the pain is, its a great test of their worth and they may discover something else).

    Rest doesnt necessarily work for me, my calf has too much scar tissue and my body geometry is flawed. I took 6 months off and started afresh, increasing mileage carefully but the problem has returned. Until the orthotic is 'just right' it looks like I'm going to have to work round the issue.
  • sp1nsp1n Posts: 9
    Twice a week sounds like a lot except for perhaps the first stages of an injury when more frequent treatment can be helpful. Usually after that if the diagnosis was correct, things should be healing and once a week or once every two weeks should be sufficient for "maintenance" that said, reading about your problem indicates that it is complex and perhaps "normal" rules don't apply. Deep tissue massage can cause some pain/inflamation in the muscle which is a normal stage in the healing process, which settles down in a few days. With regular massage as frequent twice a week, I would worry that you never get out of that phase of healing but it depends how deep the massage is of course. Tde F riders have a daily massage but it's never very deep and as much for mental relaxation as well as physical healing.
  • You might be as well to have a look at the Omni Roller. I bought one to help straighten out and un-knot tight calves, hams. I also bought some of there massage oil which helps loads to. I've been well impressed

    Could save you a bit on the ol' physio bill!!
  • I got one of the omni roller as well. I have a professional deep tissue massage once per month and use the roller every other night on legs/shoulders/neck.

    This has worked wonders for me.

  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Our living room floor is littered with hockey balls...oooh they hurt but work, foam rollers of varying density, bakballs (google it) & various other sized balls singly & tied together in old socks, also get yer thumbs in yourself, mimic as best you can what your massager does for you & see if that helps. I find the massage bars from Lush are a less messy way of getting a smooth massage than bottles of oil, they do one with mung (I think) beans in that stimulate a little as well, smells good too.
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