Massage Therapy for Sports Injuries: Knee Pain

Massage therapy methods used to release tension around the knee and how acute or insidious knee injuries are treated. 

Knee pain is frustrating, especially when it starts to compromise your form and hinder you from performing at your best. If you have a sports related knee injury, I suggest you treat it now. Don’t wait. Your body needs knees to function properly.

As the age-old song implies, your knees are indeed connected to the rest of your body. And the longer you try to push through the knee pain, the more likely you’ll be to find yourself seeking treatment later on for compensatory pain in your neck, shoulder, back, hip, arch, foot or toe.

Massage therapy is a great way to treat and better understand the root of your knee pain.

Is the Injury Acute or Insidious?

Acute Problem

Was the pain sudden? Did pain occur following a quick movement, forceful fall, knee twist, kick to the side of the knee, etc? This is an acute injury and you should see a medical professional immediately, as there might be a diagnosis of torn meniscus, muscle strain or ligament injury. In the meantime, RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate) is the way to go. Massage Therapy at this phase should only be gentle and light with a goal to promote lymphatic circulation and minimize swelling.

Insidious Problem

Or maybe your knee pain started as a niggling vague annoyance? Perhaps the trigger was an old ankle injury, minor knee sprain in high school, a bad fall some years ago (that you thought healed just fine), or even poor posture? This type of knee injury is considered to be chronic or insidious. Micro-trauma accumulates over time. If left untreated, the condition fueled by progressive muscle imbalance and chronic inflammation around the knee can turn into a full-blown acute injury.

Assessment & Treatment

Massage therapists try to unravel and release structures around your knee that are likely to exacerbate pain. Techniques like effleurage, petrissage, muscle stripping, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, cross-fiber friction, and ischemic compression are used to restore integrity and balance to the knee joint.

There are lots of contributing factors making every person’s knee injury unique. An orthopedic-trained Massage Therapist should first do a simple assessment, and then make a plan of action to work and build from.

The assessment gathers info about your injury history, pain patterns, joint movement and postural alignment. We also assess the length, strength and quality/feel/composition of the muscles and structures around your injured knee, and beyond into your hips, spine and ankles.

Therapists use clues like pain location, simple movements that recreate symptoms, and palpation as a starting point for relieving knee pain.

Conclusion

Massage Therapy for sports-related knee pain 1-2 times per week with the same therapist for at least 3 weeks to determine its effectiveness for your injury is recommended.

Massage Therapy for knee pain is ideal in conjunction with a corrective exercise plan designed by a chiropractor with a sports injury specialty or a physical therapist.

You’ll be a happier person and perhaps a better athlete if you aim to understand what’s causing your knee pain and treat it properly.

 

For professional Sports Massage in Salt Lake City Contact Zen Massage

(801) 467-3529

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

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