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  • Martin Paice

The Myth Buster

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

“Cracking knuckles will give you arthritis!”

Loch Ness Monster

“Swallowing chewing gum takes 7 years to digest”

Now there a lot of myths and confusion that fly about around life in general and also in the world of a Sports Therapist.

With this latest blog, I’ll be looking at explaining and breaking down some of the myths that surround the Sports Therapy industry.

1. You only treat “sporty” individuals

Straight off the bat, this is one of the main myths….and yes, we do treat that area of the population but similarly to physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths, we are also really happy treating any person no matter of injury, age, gender, activity levels etc. We just want what’s best for each individual we see whether you just walk the dog, garden, a weekend warrior or a high level athlete

2. All you do is massage

This one is purely dependent on the individual Therapist. Massage is a tool in our skill set that can be used to assist people with their issues. Can work quite well with some cases and not so with others. Therapists might prefer other soft tissue techniques over Sports Massage such as cupping or dry needling. We would normally use the techniques to follow up our initial assessment of the injury and as part of the wider treatment plan

3. We don’t like to be questioned

I’m a big believer in education in order to help the recovery process so I welcome as many questions as possible – no matter if they seem odd! With every person, I do try to explain what I think is going on, why it’s happening and what can be done to address it. Hopefully, that gives the injured party a bit more clarity about the process

4. Hands on treatment will cure everything & has to hurt to be effective

Whilst hands on treatment can be really effective at symptom reduction and trying to get everything to settle down, and the benefits of it can allow you to be able to get the full benefits out of some exercise-based rehabilitation to make you more robust and resilient to load. Ultimately, becoming more tolerant to load is what’s needed in the vast majority of cases I see.

Painful treatment is also an interesting one….”no pain, no gain”. I often find that if it’s too painful, it can actually be quite counter-productive to what the patient and you need. Each treatment should be adjusted to suit the requirement need. I would normally aim for treatment that is “uncomfortable but tolerable” as a good benchmark. Just because one treatment may be painful/not painful, doesn’t mean that it’s any less effective that the other.

5. Once pain is gone, I should stop my rehab

So we’ve got to a point where you’re in no pain – excellent. We like that. Where I’ve seen people fall down though is stopping stuff as soon as pain as gone, thinking that because there’s no pain = no problem. For example, I like to get the runners among you to perform a combination of any of the previous rehab exercises completed and incorporate that into their warm up just so that there’s a level of maintenance being kept up. Similarly, with no pain, we can then begin to expose the patient to higher levels of load – gym weights, running etc. This way, you’re always improving and building on the foundations. As they say, prevention is better than the cure!

As always, any queries – I’ll be happy to help!



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