Athlete No Longer Sidelined Thanks to Massage

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Pam is a fit woman who came to our clinic complaining of severe hip pain that traveled through her left buttock, into her hip, and down the back of her leg (often termed “sciatica”). The pain began after a skiing accident in the fall and although she’d tried physiotherapy and chiropractic for three months, she experienced little to no relief. She also reported trouble sitting, sleeping and enjoying activities she once loved, including running.

During Pam’s first massage treatment, our massage practitioner Dallas noticed that Pam’s hips were out of alignment and her left IT band was so tight that it was pulling her left kneecap outwards. Pam’s right QL muscle was also inflamed, the result of it compensating for the hip muscles on the left side.

Our bodies like to be in alignment and will adjustment automatically to balance out something that is injured or not working properly. With a hip problem, the muscles on the opposite side have to work harder to compensate for the injured hip, often leading to problems in both hips. The spine muscles all the way up the back are also affected by the injury and in time, a hip injury will lead to shoulder problems on the side opposite the injured hip.

Treatment plan

We initially saw Pam weekly for four weeks for what Dallas calls “trunk work” – focusing massage treatment on the body from the neck to the knees. Doing this allowed Dallas to address all of the issues that resulted from the body compensating for the injury. It also prevented new problems from developing during the recovery period.  

We also worked a lot on the psoas; a muscle in the front hip area that is often overlooked by massage practitioners and other physical therapists. The psoas muscle is a big player in hip and lower back problems and it is important to address this muscle in order to resolve these problems.

After the first treatment, Pam experienced significant relief and after four treatments she was able to return to her workouts. Pam found the pain would return after intense workouts, but her body would bounce back more quickly and the problem didn’t linger like it once did.

Dallas also sent Pam home with “homework” that included a series of regular stretches and a recommendation that she take up yoga; something that reduces stress, teaches people how to stretch properly, and helps ensure work we’ve done on the treatment table is not undone.

After six massage treatments, Pam was doing well and Dallas recommended she scale back to monthly massage treatments that would help increase circulation to scar tissue that can remain after an injury.

Today Pam is doing great! She no longer experiences flare ups, is virtually pain free, and is able to maintain a healthy body and an active lifestyle.

runner no longer sidelined by hip injury

Massage is a great options for so many ailments! Let our massage practitioner Dallas Sharples do wonders for your body and health. Contact Okanagan Acupuncture Centre at our downtown Kelowna location for more information.

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