Can a massage therapist help relieve hip pain?

hip-pain-in-cambridge- massage therapy

Can a massage therapist help relieve hip pain?

If you’re struggling with hip pain, then every step can be a challenge and it might seem as if surgery is the only option. Thankfully, targeted remedial massage can be an extremely effective way to relieve pain and combined with some gentle exercises to build hip strength and increase hip mobility offers a way to restore your quality of life.

What are the common causes of pain around the hip?

The most common causes of pain around your hip are:

1. Pain from articular surfaces of the ball and socket hip joint itself.
2. Soft tissue pain from the muscles, tendons, ligaments or bursae around the ball and socket joint.
3. Referred pain coming from a lower back issue.

How can you tell the difference between soft tissue pain, hip joint pain and lower back pain?

The location of your pain and your general symptoms can give us a clue about the cause.

Pain from the tendons, ligaments, muscles and other soft tissues around your hip joint are most often experienced the outside of the hip, upper thigh or outer buttock. The symptoms caused by these conditions are often more diffuse, achy and might be experienced when you lie on your side at night or cross your legs. Sometimes we carry muscle tension in our hips the same way we can in our shoulders, which accumulates over time to become painful.

Whereas pain coming from the articular surfaces of the ball and socket joint itself tend to result in deep hip and/ or groin pain which comes on gradually over time and feels worse during activities when you are on your feet (weight bearing).

Lower back conditions often cause pain in the buttocks and back of the thigh which might extend past the knee joint into the calf and you might also experience some pins and needles or numbness in one foot. If your symptoms are worse when you cough, sneeze or strain, then your back is the most likely culprit.

Whatever the underlying cause of the pain, it’s also really common to experience protective muscle tension or spasm around the hip, thighs and lower back which is why finding the best massage therapist near you and booking in for a treatment can really help.

How does massage help to treat hip pain and stiffness?

Deep tissue massage helps to improve blood flow to the painful area to relieve muscle tension and pain, reduce inflammation, promote healing, reduce swelling, improve tissue flexibility and help you to move without restriction or stiffness.

What types of hip pain can be helped with massage?

Conditions like arthritis, gluteal tendinopathy, piriformis syndrome, muscle strains or referred pain from the lower back (sciatica) will all benefit from massage alongside an exercise program.

In addition, massage around the hip flexors and gluteal muscles will also help anyone looking to gain more mobility at the hip.

What types of massage techniques are helpful for hip pain?

Traditionally a deep tissue massage is the most common style of massage used in this area due to the depth of some of the structures. However, at our massage studio in Cambridge our massage therapists combine several techniques when treating pain around the hips.

You might be recommended a combination of deep tissue techniques, trigger point therapy,myofascial release or even dry needling (acupuncture) if the sore spots are very deep.

This is all based on a careful screening, assessment and feedback from you during the massage about the pressure you like and the areas which feel like they need extra attention.

Self-care massage - a few tips and tricks to relieve your own hip pain

A spikey massage ball is a great investment for some hip pain relief at home between treatments. They can be used in standing, sitting or lying depending on the space you have available and are often easy to travel with as well making them ideal. However, not all spikey balls are made equal in my opinion (and I’ve tried out many of them) so these are the spiked massage balls we use here at my clinic in Cambridge.

If you don’t like the deeper pressure from the spikey massage ball then but you have access to a massage gun then this kind of soft tissue stimulation can also be extremely effective.

But don’t forget the basics because they really will make a difference too … get up and move around frequently during the day, use heat and stretch out your back, hips and legs.

 


antenatal massage in cambridge

Is it okay to get a massage while pregnant?

antenatal massage in cambridge

Life moves fast and there’s a lot of things to think about when you’re pregnant, so it’s understandable that you might not think about yourself, until you start to notice some aches and pains. Suddenly you’re thinking about a prenatal massage, but you don’t where to go in Cambridge or what to ask the clinic to ensure you are seeing the right therapist.

A little knowledge can go a long way and asking the right questions before booking means that you are more likely to choose a therapist with the right specialist antenatal knowledge and experience you are seeking.

At our clinic in Cambridge, these are four great questions that we would expect to answer at the point of booking to reassure you that the safety and comfort of you and your baby are our top priority …

Is massage safe during pregnancy?

If you are healthy and have an uncomplicated pregnancy, then you can safely receive maternity massage after the first trimester right up until you give birth.

Are your therapists qualified and what extra training have they completed in pregnancy massage?

Any therapist offering pregnancy massage should well qualified and experienced in their field and have undergone additional training to care for women during this stage of life. A knowledge of the way the body changes during pregnancy, adapted techniques, alternative supportive positioning and specific conditions affecting mothers-to-be like pelvic girdle pain is vital.

All our therapists offering this service at our Cambridge clinic have extensive experience and additional specialist training. Both Shelly and Charlie will deliver an hour long, soothing and relaxing hands-on treatment tailored to your individual concerns.

How will I be positioned during the massage?

Some clinics offer a special table or belly pillow so you can lie on your front but for many women this doesn’t offer enough support for the baby and can put strain on the uterine ligaments. We recommend being massaged in side lying with lots of bolsters, pillows and cushions to support your hips, back, belly and spinal joints.

Does massage help when you have pelvic girdle pain?

Massage can help to alleviate painful muscular points around your pelvis, specifically your buttock, waist and lower back muscles. It’s wise to make your massage therapist aware that you have PGP because they might suggest additional support around your hips when positioning you comfortably for your treatment.

Asking lots of questions like these means you can be sure that you and your baby are in safe hands during your appointments, so you can settle in confidently for some deep relaxation and space to quietly bond with your baby before birth.


Physiotherapist, sports massage in cambridge

What is a Sports massage? (and other frequently asked questions)

Physiotherapist, sports massage in cambridge What is a sports massage?

Sports massage is often used within sporting environments for competing athletes as part of a warmup or to keep players warm during breaks in activity. ‘Event’ massage like this helps to get the blood flowing and the muscles primed for activity, so you can deliver your best performance. Post event, a great sports massage will help to flush out toxins, reduce swelling and ease tension reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).

Whatever your sport, finding the best sports massage therapist near you and getting a regular ‘maintenance’ sports massage will be a great addition to your training programme. This type of treatment will not only boost your recovery time between training sessions, it will also keep your muscles in great condition to help to prevent injuries.

If you do experience a sports injury though, ‘rehabilitative’ sports massage techniques can be applied to treat injuries affecting your muscles, tendons or ligaments. Early treatment can help reduce swelling, relieve pain and prevent scar tissue from sticking to the surrounding structures which can cause restricted movement.

What are the benefits of a sports massage?

It’s a great question. The techniques used during a sports massage vary depending on the circumstance – pre or post event, regular maintenance or for injury rehabilitation – however the main benefits are to improve blood flow, reduce stress and improve focus, reduce swelling, improve tissue flexibility and prime muscles for activity.

What conditions does sports massage help with?

It’s not just for Usain Bolt. Whether you are a seasoned pro or new to exercise and want to relieve sore muscles, anyone can benefit from sports massage. It’s ideal for muscular pain, joint inflammation, lower back pain, muscle tension, trigger points, repetitive strain, sciatica … the list goes on!

What to expect during a sports massage?

If it’s your first getting a sports massage at our clinic in Cambridge, then you can expect us to complete a quick health screen first to get an understanding of your medical history, why you would like treatment and which areas might need some extra attention. We might ask you to complete a few movements depending on the issue and then we’ll leave the room while you undress and lie down under a cover on one of our treatment beds.

Our sports massage therapists will use a mixture of techniques (effleurage, petrissage and deep tissue techniques), so sometimes it will feel quick and light and at other times the pressure will feel deeper. It should be a collaborative treatment between you and the therapist to make sure it is within your comfort levels and meets your goals and expectations.

Is it painful to get a sports massage?

Sports massage does sometimes have a reputation for being painful but - as with any massage – your therapist should adjust the pressure based on your comfort and feedback. There might not be as much of a focus on ‘relaxation’ as there is with a remedial massage and if you have sore spots then you might experience discomfort at times during a sports massage but you should not feel like you have to grit your teeth to get through it.

What is the difference between a sports massage and a deep tissue massage?

A traditional sports massage is generally quicker in the tempo of the massage stroke and therefore will not always feel as deep. Due to the different techniques used this can change throughout the treatment whereas deep tissue is consistently slow and deep.

Because this treatment is used to help with preparation or recovery it is more likely that this treatment would focus on one or a few areas rather than the whole body.

 


massage in cambridge deep tissue therapy

Frequently asked questions about Deep Tissue Massage

massage in cambridge deep tissue therapy What is a Deep Tissue massage?

Deep tissue massage isn’t just a massage with stronger pressure. Deep tissue treatments should combine a number of massage techniques to sink and glide through the soft tissue layers, building towards those deeper pressure during the course of treatment. Using this approach, your deep tissue appointment gets to that satisfying depth and pressure which targets the deeper muscular layers, releasing tension and tightness in both muscles and connective tissue, without significant pain.

What are the benefits of a Deep tissue massage?

Deep tissue massage targets tissue that lies below the superficial layers of the body. Deep tissue massage works by breaking down adhesions and tightness in the deeper layers to relieve pain and restore normal movement.

What conditions does deep tissue massage help with?

A deep tissue massage is a good option if you are recovering from an injury or for those with a clinical problem like chronic pain, muscle tightness and stiffness or scar tissue.Fibromyalgia pain and trigger points or osteoarthritis also respond well to deep tissue techniques.

What to expect during a deep tissue massage?

A deep tissue massage at our clinic in Cambridge starts with a health screen and discussion about your needs to understand how best to help you. Our massage therapists might use their hands, elbows, or other tools to apply pressure onto your tissues. Some techniques are quite similar to a traditional massage but the movements are slower and the pressure is deeper and more concentrated on areas of tension or pain.

Is deep tissue massage painful?

Some discomfort during the massage is normal when deep pressure is directed into painful or tight areas but it should not feel so painful that your body starts to tense to protect itself. One of the main goals of a massage is to relax your body’s tissue, so this would be completely counterproductive.

Pain tolerance varies from person to person and the depth of massage you like is a very personal experience, so talk with your massage therapist and let us know if something is very painful or very uncomfortable. There are many different techniques that can easily be adapted to your personal pressure tolerance.

What is the difference between a deep tissue massage and a sports massage?

The main difference is that sports massage is mainly used on people that participate in intense physical activity. Sports massage includes all different type of massage techniques (deep tissue included) depending on the persons needs. The aim is to prepare for a sporting event or relieving from physical activities and detect and treat minor muscular skeleton injuries. Talk with your massage therapist about your aims and we will tailor the massage and techniques used to your individual needs.

 


The benefits of massage and exercise

Having a massage can feel like a treat and many people don't do it that often, however having them more regularly can have many health benefits and help progress your exercise performance and injury recovery.

What benefits does massage have?

We all know massage can help us feel good and relax. But it also has numerous other benefits such as:

  • Reduce stress and increase relaxation. 
  • Reduce pain, muscle soreness and tension. 
  • Improve circulation
  • Improve energy and alertness. 
  • Lowering heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Speed up recovery from injury. 
  • Faster recovery from training and ward off muscle fatigue
  • Improve injury recovery

How can massage help with my exercise performance?

If you exercise regularly and you are also doing all the rehab/prehab exercises but occasionally get a little niggle or muscle tightness then having a massage once every 4-8 weeks can be very helpful at staying on top of these and reducing the risk of you having to take time out of your training due to this turning into an injury. The pain caused by the pressure on muscles during a sports massage causes your central nervous system to produce more pain-relieving chemicals and tissue-healing chemicals. This may reduce pain and speed up the healing of overworked muscle cells. The massage can reduce lactic acid buildup. They also help remove metabolic waste while increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to your tissues. This allows your body to recover faster from training and perform at its peak.

Can massage help me recover from injury quicker?

Yes, and the therapist will use different massage techniques for treating strains, pulled muscles, or tears compared to those used for relaxation. If you experience an injury or joint pain (especially if the problem is long-term or chronic), you’ll also have some soft-tissue restrictions, as the body naturally tightens up to protect the sore area. However, our body often overreacts/ over-restricts and this tightness can remain when the injury has healed. Massage can get rid of soft-tissue restrictions and increase circulation. 

The increased circulation along with the therapist's hand movements brings fresh, oxygenated blood full of healing cells to the injured area. Massage helps to reduce our stress hormones. So, if your stress hormones are lower, and your pain perception is reduced, therefore you can push your rehabilitation further

By actively massaging out any soft-tissue restrictions, you’re not only helping your current injury but also helping prevent other problems down the road due to residual tightness. 

What can I expect during a massage?

You don't need any special preparation for a massage. Before a massage starts, your therapist will ask you about any symptoms, your medical history and what you're hoping to get out of the massage. In a typical massage therapy session, you undress or wear loose-fitting clothing. Undress only to the point that you're comfortable. You generally lie on a table and cover yourself with a towel or sheet. Your massage therapist will leave the room when you undress before the massage and when you dress after it. Your therapist should evaluate touch to locate painful or tense areas and to determine how much pressure to apply. If the therapist is pushing too hard, ask for lighter pressure. Your therapist may use oil or lotion to reduce friction on your skin so be sure to tell them if you have any allergies. A massage session here at Cambridge Massage Therapy will last from 60 minutes and you should feel calm and relaxed during and after your massage. Breathe normally throughout your massage. Our therapists will be able to give you some advice on  aftercare and any stretches or exercises they feel you may benefit from 

If you would like any more information on how massage may benefit you or would like to book in with one of our therapists in Cambridge please do not hesitate to contact us on offer at 01223 914140 or e-mail us on enquiries@vineryroadstudios.co.uk

 


What causes muscular neck pain?

There are many reasons for neck pain but one of the most common causes is the muscles surrounding the neck (The traps and the levator scapula) have been overused and strained. Some of the common symptoms that you may feel if you are experiencing muscular neck pain include; stiffness, soreness, pain in your shoulder and arm and possibly headaches. 

your symptoms may increase when trying to look over your shoulder typically when driving or crossing the road.

What causes muscular neck pain?

There is often no one cause of muscular neck pain as it can often be attributed to multiple different factors. One of the most common causes is spending prolonged periods of time in one posture such as sitting or standing at a desk without a change of position.  This makes the muscles work in a sustained position which will cause them to become strained and also increase pressure on the spine. 

Poor posture is another major contributor to neck pain as it will increase the strain on the ligament, muscles and tendons causing them to become overstretched and painful.  Our head weighs about 12 lbs which is a large weight for our neck muscles and joints to sustain at all times. Additionally, if we are slumped or leaning our head forward in a bad posture the muscles have to work even harder due to gravity putting extra pressure on our head. This will increase the strain on the neck muscles resulting in pain over time.

Often people believe their muscular neck pain is caused because of tightness in the muscles but the majority of the time it can be due to weakness in muscles such as the upper traps. These people report their symptoms are worse as the day goes on or when working for longer periods when the muscles become fatigued.

Other factors that can also be linked to muscular neck pain is when there are increased periods of stress or anxiety in our lives. When we are stressed we often hunch our shoulders and in doing this we are increasing the load on our neck muscles and soft tissue.

What is the treatment for muscular neck pain?

As there are numerous reasons that cause this pain the treatment can also be multifactorial, this does not make it complicated! You will need to correct any bad habits such as posture or prolonged sustained positions.

  • Good Posture: Work on maintaining a good spinal and head posture throughout the day, try to avoid slumping or letting your head lean forward.
  • Avoid sustained positions: If you have a job that requires you to spend long times in the same position, try to have regular breaks or stretch and move your neck and spine.
  • Good ergonomics. Ergonomics refers to your workplace setup. Ensure t that there is a good position of your desk height, the computer screen is at eye level, you are using an external keyboard and a good supportive chair.
  • Physiotherapy: There are a variety of techniques that physios can help to treat the pain including soft tissue therapy, dry needling, strengthening and stretching exercises.
  • Strengthening:  Increasing the strength of the muscles that support the head and neck will allow your body to be able to cope with greater loads. 

Will the pain go away?

People with muscular neck pain often make a very good recovery and can take between four to six weeks for all symptoms to fully resolve when they undergo some of the lifestyle changes listed above and begin a strengthening program of the neck and upper back muscles.

Is there anything to worry about?

Generally, no, most neck pain comes from a non-serious source.
However, If you suffer from any combination of the following symptoms along with your neck pain, please seek immediate medical attention at your local A&E;

  • Dizziness
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Fainting or collapse
  • Significant nausea
  • Numbness around your mouth or lips
  • A metallic taste or
  • Difficulty controlling your legs. 

If you think you have muscular neck pain and want to book an appointment with a specialist physiotherapist or have any questions do not hesitate to contact us at 01223 914140 or  e-mail us at enquiries@vineryroadstudios.co.uk


Neck pain: self-help tips & exercises for pain relief

Why does my neck hurt?

Sore, tender points in the muscles around your upper shoulders and neck can be triggered by sitting for long periods.
So with the average person sitting for about 9 hours every day, it’s not surprising that muscular pain is one of the most common causes of neck pain.

How can I relieve my neck pain?

  • Heat pack – using a wheat pack or hot water bottle to increase blood flow and relax sore muscles will give some temporary relief from pain. Apply the pack for up to 15 minutes and afterwards complete some simple neck exercises.
  • TENS machine – this small, battery-powered device adheres to your skin via sticky pads (electrodes) and transmits small electrical signals which reduce pain and the effects can last for up to 4 hours. You do have to be careful where you place the pads around your neck though, so take a look at this guide.
  • Trigger point balls – gentle, sustained pressure directly onto a sore muscular point using a massage ball, golf ball or tennis ball by leaning on the ball up against a wall can be a very effective way to relieve pain. Again, it’s helpful to do this before completing a simple programme of neck exercises to maintain the benefit for longer.
  • Set up your workstation carefully (especially if you are working from home) – some really helpful and quality resources to guide you can be found here.
  • Upper back and neck mobility programme – try our 10-minute physiotherapy programme below to relieve upper back and neck pain. I recommend doing it once a day.
  • Move regularly – go for a short walk, jog on the spot, complete 20 step-ups… anything to get your blood flowing. See our guide to ‘habit stacking’ to help you create healthy movement habits for the long term.

We hope this programme helps you but for more specific advice, please don't hesitate call us to discuss how massage at our Cambridge clinic could help you.


Is sleep really that important?

 

Sleep is essential at any age. Sleep powers the mind, restores the body, and strengthens virtually every system in the body. National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults need between 7- 9 hours of sleep per night. Getting the recommended hours of good quality sleep has multiple benefits for our bodies such as:

  • Boost your immune system: When your body gets the sleep it needs, your immune cells and proteins get the rest they need to fight off whatever comes their way
  • Help prevent gaining weight:  If you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces a hormone that boosts appetite, which can  lead to increased snacking
  •  Reducing stress: when you don’t sleep enough you get more stressed  as your  body releases more stress hormones ( cortisol)
  • Strengthen your heart: Not getting enough sleep can lead to heart health problems like high blood pressure or heart attacks. the stress hormone mentioned above (cortisol), triggers your heart to work harder
  • Increases Productivity: sleep has been linked to improved concentration and higher cognitive function
  • Improved mood: Being rested helps your energy levels soar. When your energy is up, life’s little challenges won’t annoy you as much
  • Improved memory function: During sleep, your mind is processing and consolidating your memories from the day. 
  • Increased exercise performance:  Sleep helps with hand-eye coordination, reaction time and muscle recovery.   

What does sleep have to do with physiotherapy? 

Sleep quality and quantity can have an effect not only on your pain levels but also on your likelihood of getting an injury and your tissue healing time. 

When you don’t sleep very well your central nervous system becomes heightened releasing cortisol (stress hormone) which can make everything a bit more sensitive, therefore the pain from your injury will feel more intense. 

When you sleep your body goes into regeneration mode and it heals, hence why sleep is often referred to as ‘restorative’. Now if the quality of your sleep is altered or the amount reduced this means that the nutrients and chemicals your body uses to repair are less available and therefore an injury will take longer to recover from. 

In addition to this tendons, ligaments and muscles are not being fully restored and a lack of sleep reduces your reaction time therefore you are more likely to get injured. 

The benefits listed above of sleep-increased exercise performance are also invaluable to physiotherapy. As part of your rehab, we are often working on strengthening your muscles and improving your exercise performance. Depriving yourself of sleep can have a negative impact on strength and power.

How can I improve my sleep and quality of sleep?

There are many practical steps you can take to aid sleep and sleep quality

  • Your bedroom should be a relaxing environment. Try to minimize external noise, light, and artificial lights from electrical devices. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean, and enjoyable place with a comfortable temperature.
  • Reduce electrical items in the bedroom such as televisions, mobile phones, and laptops. Replace using your mobile phone as an alarm clock with a natural waking alarm clock. 

If you want to book an appointment with a specialist physiotherapist or have any questions do not hesitate to contact us at 01223 914140 or  e-mail us at enquiries@vineryroadstudios.co.uk

Tags: Cambridge Massage, Massage in Cambridge


Physiotherapy advice about good posture at work using a standing desk

Is it worth buying a standing desk?

Physiotherapy advice about good posture at work using a standing desk

If you’re thinking about investing in a standing desk, then you are probably already aware that our bodies are not designed to sit still for long periods of time, even if you have found the perfect ergonomic chair. However, standing desks are expensive so it’s only natural to question how useful one might actually be for you.

Let’s consider a common office scenario … you have a sedentary job and could easily spend all day sitting at your desk. You become really engrossed in your work and before you know it, several hours have gone past and the only parts of you that have moved are your fingers on the keyboard and the one arm you use to control your mouse. At the end of a full day of work you’re likely to feel stiff and achy, you might have some upper or lower back pain and you’re probably feeling tired and sluggish. Sound familiar?

Increasing the amount you move during your working day will lubricate your joints, prevent muscles becoming short and tight, boost your circulation and metabolism and improve energy levels. Standing desks are a way to achieve this without disturbing your workflow and for many people with back pain, standing at a desk often improves posture and activates your core and buttock muscles, which support your back.

Standing desks also give you more freedom to move easily. You can march on the spot or stretch and bend more freely and all of this extra movement adds up to a big difference in how you’ll feel by the end of your working day.

That said, I wouldn’t recommend simply standing for eight hours a day either. Alternating between sitting and standing gives the best of both worlds and it’s worth bearing in mind that initially you will have to build up your body’s endurance for working while standing.  Start off by standing for 15-20 minutes then sit back down for 40 minutes. As you get accustomed to this, you can gradually increase the length of time standing and reduce the length of time sitting.

Investing in remedial massage on a monthly basis will also significantly help to relieve aches and pains, reduce stress and anxiety and improve the physical condition of your muscles. You can also try our seated stretching programme for another great way to increase the amount of movement in your working day:

If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to get in touch,

The Cambridge Massage Therapy Team


how to eat well to help your body heal

How to eat to help your injury heal

How to eat well to help your body heal

If you have ever wondered if there was anything else you could be doing to help your injury heal more quickly, then the answer is yes.

Eating high quality, nutritious foods will not only provide the fuel and building blocks for faster healing but also reduce your risk of getting an injury in the future.

Nutrients are either categorised as essential or non-essential. Essential nutrients are what you must get from your diet, meaning your body cannot beg, borrow, steal or manufacture them. These include amino acids (the building blocks of protein), Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), vitamins and minerals.

Protein

The word protein comes from the greek meaning ‘first importance’. So the first thing to consider when looking at your overall nutritional requirements is whether or not you are getting enough protein. A good goal is to aim for between 1.5 - 2.0 grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight.

This is higher than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) but it’s important to understand that the RDA advises on the minimum amount your body requires to ensure you aren’t nutritionally deficient, rather than the optimal amount of protein needed to help heal the body from injury or recover from regular training.

This doesn’t necessarily mean eating meat or animal derived products. Vegetarians and Vegans can combine foods to create whole proteins very effectively.

Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3 and 6)

EFAs are the fats you must get from your diet, as your body is unable to store them. Omega-3 is found in fish, some meats and flaxseeds with Omega-6 being found in nuts and seeds.

The key here is to ensure you are getting them from a variety of sources and the good news is that increasing your healthy fats intake can cause your body to burn more calories at rest. Consuming EFAs can also reduce chronic inflammation within the body and lead to improvements in skin and hair health, improved reproductive function, stronger bones and the health of your muscles, tendons and ligaments (your soft tissues).

Vitamins and minerals

We recommend considering a supplement with extra Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc.

Vitamin D

Good levels of Vitamin D in your body will improve injury and wound healing and can decrease the risk of many chronic illnesses.

Our main source is from exposure to sunlight (UVB) which triggers our skin to make Vitamin D. However there are times of the year (September to April) when, depending on where you live, little UVB reaches the earth’s surface so it’s impossible for you to make any Vitamin D and this may last up to 6 months of every year. Also, if you use a sun block of SPFA 8 or more during the summer months, it can block absorption of UVB by as much as 50%. Of course, we’re not advising anyone not to use sun cream, rather just highlighting the reasons why you might want to consider taking a Vitamin D supplement year round and suggesting that you might want to consider increasing the amount you are taking when you have an injury.

Vitamin D is better absorbed in larger doses. So rather than taking a small dose daily, we recommend dividing your weekly dosage into two larger amounts, e.g if you take 7000iu’s per week, take 4000iu’s on a Monday and 3000iu’s on a Thursday.

Calcium

Calcium not only improves bone health but also has a role to play in soft tissue repair.

So if you are injured, it can really help to increase the amount of leafy green vegetables in your diet (an excellent source of calcium), even if you are taking a supplement which has this element in it.

To help you absorb the Calcium, you must also ingest a source of Magnesium and Vitamin D. Luckily magnesium is also found in leafy greens but if you’re not a fan of spinach then you can also find it in nuts, brown rice and wholegrain bread. Mushrooms and fortified foods like cereal are good sources of Vitamin D.

Zinc

Zinc is a major player in every stage of repair in your body.

Not having enough Zinc in your body (Zinc deficiency) slows down tissue healing and increasing the levels of this element will accelerate recovery.

Beef, chicken, tofu, pork, nuts, seeds, lentils, yogurt, oatmeal and mushrooms are all very high in Zinc, so excellent sources.

Final thoughts …

The quality of your food should be the very best that your budget can allow, although price does not always dictate quality.

Sleep quality and quantity also plays a vital role in recovery, so for tips on improving your sleep quality you can read more here.

If you have any questions about optimising your recovery from injury, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The Cambridge Massage Therapy Team