Central Sports Massage new treatment room location

Work has now begun on my home sports massage treatment room / gym!

Since moving home to Lowdham in February, I have had my eye on converting the property’s large garden building into a treatment room/gym. I am happy to finally be making progress with the conversion, after focusing initially on the actual house itself!

When embarking upon the conversion I began with the easiest bit! Making sure all of the timber was well treated with wood preserver, before finishing it with some colour!

The images below show what a great difference that process made!
Treatment Room


I am currently in the process of fitting insulation throughout the structure. Next it will need boarding up, flooring installed, painting and decorating, before finally kitting it out with the essential therapy equipment and selected fitness/rehab equipment.

Once it is complete it should be a great facility! I will be able to offer my usual sports massage sessions, but I will also have the benefit of a great selection of fitness and rehab equipment that can be utilised to create more of an active approach to pain management and soft tissue therapy. I am excited to begin working in a way that incorporates this element as I know that it will be of great benefit to my clients.

The conversion will hopefully be up and running by the end of the summer! Watch this space!



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Effectiveness of the McKenzie Method for Treating Low Back Pain. A Systematic Review


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The McKenzie Method is a classification based system and treatment programme for patients suffering from low back pain (LBP). It was developed in 1981 by Robin McKenzie a PT from New Zealand. This type of classification-based system of diagnosing and treating LBP has been around for some time now and, where as before there was evidence suggesting this was the way to get best results for our patients, now there is a raft of evidence which contradicts this belief.

The McKenzie Method classifies patients into 4 groups: Derangement, Dysfunction, Postural Syndrome and Other. These groups then direct the appropriate treatment required. To find out more about the classifications, what they mean and the relevant treatments please read the Physiopedia page.

A concern with research involving the McKenzie Method, and other classification systems, is the use of underpowered and poor methodological studies as evidence demonstrating their effectiveness (an example).

There has been a Systematic Review (SR) & Meta-Analysis completed before investigating the evidence for suggesting the McKenzie Method is effective at what it sets out to do. In essence it concluded there was a lack of evidence supporting its use and more studies were required. This was over a decade ago and since then more research has been published and, as Tam et al suggest, there were issues with the search criteria used for this SR.

This is the rationale for Lam et al use for performing this updated and stronger SR. They have included the research published in the past decade as well as correcting the mistakes their colleague included in their initial SR.

In terms of the findings from the SR and clinical implications. If we only consider research of an appropriate quality then we can say:

For acute pain:

  1. The McKenzie Method is not clinically superior to all interventions in treating acute LBP but is more effective at reducing pain intensity when compared to manual therapy and exercise combined.

For chronic pain:

  1. The McKenzie Method was more effective at reducing pain and disability than other interventions,
  2. McKenzie Method was more effective at reducing disability but not pain when compared to exercise alone,
  3. McKenzie Method was not more effective than a combined exercise, manual therapy and education intervention.

As always take these findings with a pinch of salt. The effects of the McKenzie Method could be as a result of the fact large groups of patients may not fall into their subgroups and would have benefited from any exercise anyway.  The McKenzie Method is a mechanical-based system and does not account for psychological aspects of pain or alternative theories of pain. It lumps you into a category, disregards psychological aspects or more nuanced aspects of treatments. Still this doesn’t mean McKenzie isn’t a viable option for treatment. Just bare this in mind. Other treatments and assessment tools / strategies have proven as or more effective.

Article copied from https://www.physiospot.com

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Sports Massage Therapy Event Work

ESF EVENTS – Football Festivals.

I have just returned from another busy weeked working at a great football event – ESF Events Football Festivals!

This time round it was a football festival held at Butlins Resort in Skegness. ESF Events hold large junior football events all around the UK over the Spring period.

I travelled up from Nottingham to be in attendace with my Sports Massage Therapy tent and was on hand to provide soft tissue therapy to all cometitors. Whether it be sports massage, assisted stretching, joint mobilisations, sports taping, or just some good old fashioned advice!

The weather was on top form which lead to a great weekend of football in the sun!

Due to the nature of these events, the teams had to compete many times over the course of two days, without much time for recovery. Alot of tired legs passed through my tent and plenty of invigorating sports massage was utilised to keep the player’s body’s firing and ready to go!

Another common complaint for the weekend was knee pain. This was a mix of impact injury and just general overloading of the body. I used tape in a lot of cases to try and off load the relevant structures nad to offer some support, where possible, to the knee.

Not only did I get stuck in with plenty of therapy for the players at the event, and also offered plenty of advice to parents relating to their own musculoskeletal complaints! – The adults need attention too, and so there were various point in the weekend that I had the parents…and even referees, on the treatment table receiving their own much needed sports massage therapy.


Next weekend sees me return tp Skegness, only this time I will be working at a Rugby League competition. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of issues the players come to see me with there!


ESF Events
For more information on ESF Events and the fantasic sporting events that they organise, please click the link below:


For more content from Central Sports Massage, please following the link below to our Facebook page:

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Nottingham Theatre Royal


I have continued to build my relationship with the Nottingham Theatre Royal as the therapist recommended to travelling productions that perform at the venue. Last month the stage production of ‘The Jungle Book’ was in town. I was lucky enough to pop down to the theatre on a number of occassions. I  had a number of sessions with members of the cast to help them battle through what has been a gruelling schedule for them!

Jungle Book

With such an action packed show it is inevitable that the performers will all experience times that challenge their physical capabilities. I was called upon to help with one member of the cast who had suffered a hamstring tear. One week had passed since the injury and with a full performance schedule to get through, this session was all about advic on how best to manage the injury and what he should  be doing to rehab the hamstring. It was also important to address compensatory movemetn patterns that had developed since his injury so that he did not go on to experience furhter discomfort.

 One member that I worked with was suffering back complaints due to certain movement requirements of his role that placed large amounts of stress on his body. We were able to test to determine what muscles were were held in high tone and then release them with advanced soft tissue mobilisation techniques to try to create better function and resotre balance through the back.

Another performer had been having ongoing issues with sciatica. I worked through a wide range of techniques and offered plenty of remedial advice for him to continue to work on his issues to eliminate his symptoms.

They were a lovely bunch of people, and I am pleased to say that I was able to help all of them in some way.  It is always great fun working at the theatre, in a completely different environment to my usual work. I enjoy learning the demands of different types of show on the performers bodies.

Hopefully my next visit to the theatre Royal will be for another great show!


To check out the latest schedules for Nottingham Theatre Royal, see the link below:


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Lets explore the benefits of massage therapy….

Take a look at some of the reported benefits of regular massage therapy.

More than just a tool for sports people, the benefits that you may experience are far reaching.

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Great Experience with British Athletics

British Athletics


Over the last 2 months I have been involved more frequently with British Athletics, as I look to strengthen my link with them.

I was happy to be asked to work at the u20’s Relay Camp held at Loughborough University at the end of March. My role at the event was to ensure athletes were ready and able to complete each training session, assessing any niggles and enhancing their recovery from training. I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, working alongside other great therapists and getting a glimpse of our next generation of sprinters.

Following the training camp I was also asked to provide cover at the Performance Centre whilst the majority of staff were away at the Commonwealth Games. Although the centre was very quiet because of the games, it was a great experience to be the sole therapist covering the centre and I was able to do some work with some great British athletes, including para-Olympic gold medallist Richard Whitehead.

I look forward to more work with British Athletics going forward. After spending some time learning from therapists & physios at the organisation I am keen to be asked to work with them more often and to develop my skills alongside some of the best therapists in the business. There is no doubt that the use of manual therapy within track and field more advanced than many other sports and so the more experience I can build in such an envirnment, the better therapist I will become.

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RUN: Better, Faster, Longer, Stronger

Running injuries

Do you dream of being that runner who can run for 100’s of miles, 100% pain free? No aches, no twinges or niggles, no lingering soreness from yesterday’s session. Well, you are not alone; research shows that as many as 79% of runners get injured at least once during the year. Stop. Think about that number for a moment; nearly 8 out of every 10 runners you see at your next race have been or will be injured sometime that year.


Traffic lightsThink of running pains in terms of a spectrum. At one end you have severe, full-blown injuries, we’ll name that the red zone, which includes stress fractures that require time off. The other end, where you’re in top form, is the green zone. Mild, transient aches that bug you one day and disappear the next sit closer to the green end. Unfortunately, many runners get stuck in the middle, in the not-quite-injured but not-quite-healthy yellow zone. Your ability to stay in the green zone depends largely on how you react to that first stab of pain.


Often a little rest now, or reduction in training mileage and intensity, with some treatment, can prevent a lot of time off later. Developing a proactive long-term injury-prevention strategy, such as strength training, stretching, regular massage and foam-rolling can help keep you in the ‘green.’ Physical therapy is a lot like homework, not all of us like having to do it, but if you don’t do it, you are extremely likely to get into some injury trouble at some stage!

You can find more information and exercise leaflets for injury prevention at this link:


So, What Causes Running Injuries?

 There are a lot of theories as to what causes running injury but it seems the answer is fairly obvious: running! Research has stated that “running practice is a necessary cause for RRI (Running Related Injury) and, in fact, the only necessary cause.” With running being the key risk factor for running injuries what other factors influence risk?

Historically a lot of emphasis was placed on intrinsic factors like leg length discrepancy, pronation (flat foot), high arches, genu valgus/varum (knock knee or bow legged) and extrinsic factors like ‘special’ running shoes i.e. stability shoes or anti-pronation shoes, lack of stretching. However, recent studies have not provided much evidence that there is no one specific risk factor that has a direct cause-effect relationship with injury rate or injury prevention. Whilst warming up, compression garments, acupuncture and massage have some evidence in reducing injury rates, the literature is still a little grey. Leaving you with a multifactorial buffet of probable contributing causes to running injuries.

There is however one specific factor that has been proven, and that is training error. Estimates suggest that anywhere from 60 to as much as 80% of running injuries are due to training errors. Runners become injured when they exceed their tissues capacity to tolerate load. A combination of overloading with inadequate recovery time. Poorly perfused tissues, such as ligaments, tendons and cartilage, are particularly at risk because they adapt more slowly than muscles to increased mechanical load.

Factors that affect how much training load a runner can tolerate before injury will also have a role. There are 2 key factors that appear to play a part in this – Body Mass Index (BMI > 25) and history of previous injury, especially in the last 12 months. While high BMI and previous injury may reduce the amount of running your body can manage, strength and conditioning is likely to increase it. There is a growing body of evidence supporting the use of strength training to reduce injury risk and improve performance. Training error and injury risk share a complex relationship – total running mileage on its own may not be the total cause, but how quickly this, hill, and speed training increases.

The old saying of “too much, too soon” is probably quite accurate. Injury prevention is really a ‘mirror image’ of the causes of an injury. So, if you understand the primary reasons for getting injured then you are heading in the right direction to staying healthy this running season.

You can find out more on injury prevention, with recommended exercise leaflets, at the following link. We have produced a series of prevention and treatment guides for the 6 most common running injuries which you can download here:



What are The Most Common Injuries to be Aware of?

Body tissues such as muscles and tendons are continuously stressed and repaired on a daily basis, as a result of both ‘normal’ functional activities and sport. An overuse injury often occurs when a specific tissue cannot repair in the time available. As a result it begins to breakdown, initially at microscopic level and then over time develops into a true injury. So, the first time you feel a soreness, a stiffness or a pain is not necessarily when it all began – it will likely have been building up, under your radar for some time.

The most common injury is ‘Runners knee’ or patellofemoral pain syndrome and it accounts for over 40% of running injuries. This is followed closely by plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinopathy and then ITB (iliotibial band syndrome), shin splints and hamstring strain. These injuries generally need complete rest or at least a reduction in training volume and intensity, followed by physical therapy to promote tissue healing and mobility.

Although these are overuse injuries there is frequently an underlying muscle weakness and/or flexibility issue that needs to be addressed with specific rehabilitation exercises.

Follow this link to find more specific information about each of the most common running injuries with specific rehabilitation leaflets for you to use:


Here you can find our prevention and treatment guides for the following running injuries:

  • Medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints)
  • Patellofemoral pain (runner’s knee)
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Hamstring strains
  • Iliotibial band syndrome

Discover the Secrets of Running Rehab_800x800px

While guidance can be given, it is general in its nature, whereas individual complaints may need individual attention. If you do pick up an injury (including ‘tightness’ ‘irritation’ or ‘niggle’) that you’re worried about then we can help, the sooner it’s treated the better.


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Are you Proactive, or Reactive???

People proatively check in to see their dentist every so often in order to check up on the health of their teeth and ensure everything is as it should be….

Why not be proactive and schedule a check up with your therapist, or a ‘maintenance’  sports massage session, to keep your body operating in an optimum, pain free manner!

Don’t wait until that minor ache in your back has developed into a major debilitating condition before reacting to it.

Scheduling a sports massage session every couple of months could help to deal with any potential issues before they develop.
Too many times I see people with back pain who have waited and waited, taken no steps to combat it themselves and eventually have ended up at the docs, prescribed strong painkillers, told to avoid all sorts of activities, had MRI’s, taken lengthy periods off work.

All of these factors do nothing but create a vicious cycle that can play into more pain, more disruption from daily life.

Deal with it early, get advice on: 
– what may be the issue
– what YOU can do to help remedy the situation
– how pain does not equal damage
– how YOU can control you symptoms

Plus you get a nice hour of sports massage therapy to look forward too 👍🏼😎


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Todd Hargrove: Why Do Muscles Feel Tight?

Why Do Muscles Feel Tight?

Here I have copied the opening paragraphs to a great blog post by Todd Hargrove on the topic of muscle tightness. It seems as though every person I bump into complains of some part of their body felling ‘tight’.

What is this ‘tightness’ and what does it mean? Read below for Todd’s insight……..


“Why do muscles feel tight? Does that mean they are short? That they can’t relax? And what can you do about it?

Here are some of my thoughts about why muscles feel tight and what to do about it.

(Update – See bottom of the post for recent research confirming some of the speculations in this post.)

Tightness is a Feeling, Not Just a Mechanical Condition

When someone says they feel tight in a particular area, they might be referring to several different complaints. So I try to find out:

  • Are they talking about poor range of motion?
  • Or maybe range of motion is fine, but movement to the end range feels uncomfortable or takes excess effort.
  • Or maybe the problem isn’t really with movement, but just that the area never reels feels relaxed.
  • Or maybe the area feels basically relaxed, but has some vague sense of discomfort – a feeling that is unpleasant but too mild to be called pain.

This ambiguity means that the feeling of tightness is just that – a feeling – which is not the same thing as the physical or mechanical property of excess tension, or stiffness, or shortness. You can have one without the other.

For example, I have many clients tell me their hamstrings feel tight, but they can easily put their palms to the floor in a forward bend. I also have clients whose hamstrings don’t feel tight at all, and they can barely get their hands past their knees. So the feeling of tightness is not an accurate measurement of range of motion.

Nor is it an accurate reflection of the actual tension or hardness of a muscle, or the existence of “knots.” When I palpate an area that feels tight to a client (let’s say the upper traps), they often ask – can you feel how tight that is?! 

I often say something like:

Ummmmmm …… no. It feels just like the surrounding tissues.

But I completely understand that it FEELS tight in this area and you don’t like it.

I don’t like the feeling of tightness either so I want to help you get rid of it. But the feeling of being tight isn’t the same thing as that area actually being physically tight. Make sense?

This actually does make sense to most people, and they find it mildly interesting. I want people to understand this because it might help them reconsider a misconceived plan they may have already developed for curing their tightness – such as aggressive stretching, fascia smashing, or adhesion breaking. So now they are willing to consider an approach that is a bit more subtle than driving a lacrosse ball halfway through their ribcage.

Why do muscles feel tight if they are not actually tight?

So why would a muscle feel tight even if it physically loose?…………………..”

Follow the link below to continue with the article at Todd Hargrove’s blog site!


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IAAF World Indoor Championships – Birmingham 2018

IAAF World Indoor Championships

Birmingham 2018

I am very please to have been asked to provide soft tissue / sport massage therapy at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham in 2018.

World Indoor Championships

“The 17th IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics will be held in 2018 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. This will be the city’s second hosting of the event as it previously did so in 2003.”

I am excited to expand my experience of working in Athletics and get to work providing sports massage and helping some of the athletes push on to achieve their goals! This will be a massive event and the whole of the Country will be behind it, I am looking forward to spending time at the arena and taking in the atmosphere of the Championships.

I was involved providing sports massage / soft tissue therapy at the Junior European Championships earlier in 2017, where Team GB produced a record medal haul. Lets hope that Team GB can pull in the medals next year!


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