Over the past 7 years MSK Therapy has been working with a lot of performers at Dance City in Newcastle upon Tyne. The main company we have been working very closely with is a company called Ballet Lorent who I must add has just been nominated for the best independent company at the 2018 National Dance Awards. We have been working with both performers and board members to help them improve their own performance from a physiological side so that they can perform to the best of their abilities.

In this blog we are going to talk about the importance of Sports Massage on overall performance mainly focusing on performing arts and flexibility.

So what plays a key role in performance:

  • FLEXIBILITY
  • MOBILITY
  • STABILITY

So what are these and there difference:

  • FLEXIBILITY – Flexibility is the absolute range of motion in a joint or system of joints, and the length of muscle that crosses the joint involved.
  • MOBILITY – Though flexibility and mobility sound similar, they are not interchangeable. Mobility within a joint is the degree to which the area where two bones meet (known as an articulation) is allowed to move before restricted by the surrounding tissue such as tendons, muscle, and ligaments.
  • STABILITY – Mobility relates to movement while stability relates to control. Stability is defined as the ability to maintain control of joint movement or position by coordinating actions of surrounding tissues and the neuromuscular system.
Ok, so now you are probably thinking! Can someone be Flexible but not mobile? well the answer is yes. A person can be very flexible but lack mobility and stability within the join.

So lets talk about our main topic, FLEXIBILITY and how this effects performance.

We are talking about flexibility as this is the most neglected component in performance. There are three factors which effect flexibility which are muscle elasticity, joint structure and nervous system and although joint structure is more heredity, we can improve out flexibility and nervous system with a good flexibility program.
 

I talked about this in my “back to basics” blog but will just touch base on this again for you all. When performing, your muscle is put under chronic stress. This chronic stress causes micro tearing of the muscle tissue resulting in the build up of scar tissue. This scar tissue is the muscle connecting back together but instead of it connecting back together in a straight line formation it heals back together in a knot formation. If left untreated your muscle will lose its elasticity and cause other postural related stresses.

Once these muscle fibers are micro torn, they become inflamed in that specific area and become tense and painful.

Very Simple Example

– You have a shoe lace which is 10cm long (this is your muscle)

– You cut the shoe lace in half (this is the micro tearing of the muscle)

– You tie the shoe lace in a knot to connect it back together (this is the scar tissue build up)

– Because you have tied a knot in your shoe lace, it is now no longer 10cm and in fact is 8cm in length (this is the lost elasticity of your muscle)

THIS HAS A DIRECT NEGATIVE IMPACT ON YOUR FLEXIBILITY AS YOUR MUSCLE IS NOW SHORTER THAN IT SHOULD BE AND HAS LOST ITS ELASTICITY.

So What Does That Mean

Well this means to achieve peak performance, we must utilise the full length of ours muscles so that we can exhibit power and strength. If our muscles are too tight and damaged, they will not be able to provide the explosiveness and flexibility necessary for a particular movement. For example, Tight hip flexors will not allow you to extend to a full stride while running or jumping across the stage, thus inhibiting performance. Flexibility enhances movement and mobility for the performers. 

How we work with all our performers to achieve improve flexibility.

Treatment for muscle knots?

  • Rest, if you’re in pain, it is your body’s way of saying it needs a break.
  • Sports Massage (Trigger Point Therapy) is great to break down the scar tissue, relax the muscle and restore the muscle back to its normal function pain free.
  • Percussive Therapy (TheraGun G2PRO) is the industry leading percussive therapy device. With a speed of 40 revolutions per second, this device can break down scar tissue, increase circulations and release muscle spasm much faster than the human hand.
  • Hot and Cold Therapy, applying hot and cold can help with the healing of muscle knots. Whilst the cold constricts the muscle to decrease the swelling the heat will relax the muscle, increase blood flow and promotes healing. The combination of the hot and cold will give the body a faster chance of healing. Apply this method for 10 minutes at a time.
  • Stretching to gain the elasticity back in your muscle to regain its normal length and to prevent re occurrence. Always stretch for 40 seconds each body part.
  • Exercise to strengthen up the muscle so that your body becomes stronger making those knots less likely to return. Seek a exercise programme from a professional practitioner.

If you suffer from flexibility issues or to book in with one of our certified practitioners, please contact the clinic on 0191 241 4373 or visit our website on www.msk-therapy.co.uk. MSK Therapy have been providing Sports Massage Newcastle for over 7 years now and we specifically specialise in Sports Massage.

– For further information on Bale Lorent, please check out their web page at https://www.balletlorent.com/

– For more information regarding TheraGun, please visit their website at www.theragun.co.uk.

– For further information about Dance City, please check out their web page at https://www.dancecity.co.uk/

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