Have you been pressing away with that tennis ball or lacrosse ball until you're bruised, thinking no pain, no gain? Well, you might want to consider the research that suggests moderate pressure is the best pressure for pain relief: Massage Therapy Research Review, Field 2014 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5467308/
As a massage therapist of 30 years, I was intrigued when I came across this research because it confirmed my experience in the massage room with thousands of clients--most get a better pain relief response with medium pressure.
How do you achieve medium pressure when doing self-massage? Here's one technique that I learned in neuromuscular massage school. Think of a scale from 1 to 10. One is a little pain. Ten is a lot of pain. Apply pressure with a foam roller, tennis ball, lacrosse ball or massage tool to the point where you feel you're at 5. If the pain doesn't dissipate has you hold the pressure on the area, lighten your pressure to a 4.
Here's a video I did for massage therapists to help them find the best pain-relief pressure for the client:
If you have questions, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a comment below.
I met Charlie at All Kinds of Fast Running Store in Phoenixville, PA. Charlie has a doctorate
in Physical Therapy. Bottom line: he can diagnose. Essentially, Charlie is what becomes before the MRI.
So if you have a nagging or acute injury and you're not sure if you should run, a PT doc like Charlie should be on your radar. He'll do a differential diagnosis and help you figure out your best course of action.
Don't go too excited. He may shut you down. But I guarantee you'll walk out the door knowing your best options.
Here's his website:
Here's his contact info: Charlie Johnson, PT, DPT, OCS
UPDATE: Dr. Charlie is entirely online now. So he can advise you no matter where you are. Go to his website, listed above, to talk to him.
If you need to find a PT like Charlie in your area, check out: www.abpts.org
3/1/2022 0 Comments
Pain Relief Massage Research
Did you ever get a massage and the pressure was too light? You went into the massage expecting pain relief and you get off the table feeling no real improvement. Well, it's not just you.
According to researcher Tiffany Fields, the right amount of pressure is needed to get the best pain-relief effects from a massage. And that perfect pressure is not light pressure. It's moderate pressure.
In this interview in American Psychological Association, Fields explains the science: "The benefits of massage come from stimulating pressure receptors in the brain, says Field. 'Most people don't know that. They might do light stroking, but that doesn't help and really is aversive to most people.'"
"These receptors are long and well-insulated nerve fibers--much more insulated than pain receptors, she adds. 'Say, for example, you hit your funny bone and you rub it. The pain message is transmitted more slowly than the pressure message, so it gets turned off and you stop experiencing pain.'"
It's reasonable to assume that your moderate (Goldilocks) pressure may not be exactly the same as someone else's. PressurePerfect massage therapist are trained to establish and deliver your Goldilocks pressure throughout the entire massage.
You can read more about the the research here:
2/21/2022 0 Comments
Running through pain: interviews with an Orthopedist, Podiatrist and Researcher
A while back, I interviewed a Dr. Nick DiNubile (orthopedist), Dr. Ira Meyers (podiatrist), and Dr. Marty Hoffman (researcher). Besides having different specialty perspectives, each doctor came at pain from a different experiential angle. Dr. DiNubile was not a runner, Dr. Meyers is a runner, and Dr. Hoffman is an ultrarunner.
I interviewed each doctor and wrote a 3 article piece for E-zine magazine. The articles provide the beginner and recreational runner with some common sense advice regarding whether to run through pain or not.
Here's are the Article Links:
1. Running with Pain: Breaking the Rules
2. Running with Pain: Unacceptable Pain
3. Running with Pain: The Mistake Zone
More about Dr. DeNubile here.
More about Dr. Meyers here.
In this interview, Dr. Hoffman talks about the key research in the Ultra study--"the most extensive research to date on ultrarunners."
Paul Ingraham is a science writer and amateur athlete with a massage background. What I love about Paul is that he tries to separate anecdote from solid research. He discussion on plantar fasciitis is comprehensive and actionable. Warning: if you want the complete plantar fasciitis manuscript, it will cost you $20. However, you can pick up a lot of good information and direction for further research by reading his teaser. Here's the link: Pain Science: Plantar Fasciitis
If you're having trouble finding the foot attachments for the tibialis posterior, this video should help.
11/22/2021 12 Comments
Tibialis Posterior Self-Massage
This self massage video for the tibialis posterior goes out to my peeps at All Kinds of Fast, Phoeniville PA.
Mark here. My intention with this blog is to provide you with resources that can help you navigate the challenges that come with running.