I am so happy that I eased up on my running this week and decided to go to the massage therapist. I got really lucky today and ended up with a lady who is a sports massage therapist and has been doing this for years. She was really knowledgeable and I felt like she really knew what she was doing. This massage was different than the relaxation massage that I had a couple of years ago. This one was actually painful at times.
The session started off with a discussion about my issues. I explained how the outside muscles of my right hip hurt and I pointed to a spot on my left hip, in my groin area, that hurt. She pin pointed the exact spot on an anatomy diagram she had on the wall. Apparently the pain and location I described are the hip flexors and she said is sounds like I strained that area. Because of the strain on my hip flexors my body was compensating and adding my strain on my right hip. She said the next step, if I had kept running and aggravating the strain, would have been left knee pain and then potentially a tear in the hip – which would have been really bad.
She said she really could not do much for the actual strain – especially if it is in the tendon. But, she could work on losening up the surrounding area, and my right hip.
I also told her about my left hamstring that has been bothering me for the last few weeks – she said it was all related. When she worked on my left hamstring and hip it was pretty uncomfortable. She said she was being easy on me since it was my first session! She said she was applying “level 1” pressure. Apparently there are three levels…. I cannot imagine what level 3 feels like!
I started on my stomach and she worked on my hips, hamstrings and lower back. Then she moved to my upper back and shoulders. She asked me if I sat at a computer all day long… yes… then she asked if I was right handed… yes. She said she could feel all the tightness in my back. Then she said “just wait until I get to your right forearm”. hmmm.
I flipped over and she started on my quads and hips again. She moved my legs in all different poses. She also pulled on my legs. This is not what you normally think of when you think of massage! Lots of pulling and rocking. Again, the left side was more painful than the right.
Next she moved to my neck and head. Again lots of stretching and pressure. This was glorious.
Next the arms. ouch. I can’t remember exactly, but I think she started at my wrist and slowly applied deep pressure moving all the way to my elbow. ouch again. It really did hurt on my right forearm – not so much on my left. She said my right forearm and hand muscles were so tight that she didn’t know how I even was able to write! haha She applied Biofreeze to my arm. That stuff feels so good. She said that my arm will most likely be sore tomorrow. In fact, she said I will probably be sore all over tomorrow.
She said ideally I would come back twice a week. (wow – I would LOVE that, but it is much too expensive). She said it would take a few sessions to get my whole body loosened up. I think I will try to got once a week for the next couple of weeks then go once a month. She also recommended that I start a stretching regime. She is certified in Active Isolated Stretching and suggested I start following these techniques.
She advised me that for the next couple of weeks I should continue to exercise but avoid things that cause my hip flexor to stretch backwards or sideways. I am going to walk this week and add some slow running combined with walking next week. I think also I will just start doing some circuit training, too. I have tons of workouts that I can do to burn calories that do not involve running or other moves that would require stretching that hip flexor the wrong way.
I realize that she is not a doctor, but I do think she knows what she is talking about and I am going to take her advice. If my hip does not feel better after a couple of weeks then I will go to a doctor. I think I caught it before really injuring myself.
I can’t wait to have another session!
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