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Sports Injuries

Achilles tendinitis is inflammation of the tendon of the muscles in the calf of the leg; often caused by the use of poor sports footwear, resulting in irritation to the back of the heel. The Achilles tendon is situated at the back of the leg, it commences from below the calf and attaches distally to the back of the ankle and the calcaneus (heel bone). The gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles that flex the toes are often involved owing to their insertion through the tendon. These are the main muscles used in running, however as this is flexible tissue injuries can be self-inflicted owing to insufficient care when preparing for sport.

Hamstring muscles The semitendinosus, semimembranosus and the bicepts femoris are the three main muscles collectively known as the hamstrings. The most common injury is the tearing of some of the fibres within these muscles at the back of the thigh, often due to overstretching – referred to a pulled hamstring. RSI from sports such as running or football can often in turn also affect the knee causing painful spasm; however this is the body’s protective response and therefore limits further injury to the quadriceps.

Knee problems Any knee problem that brings about restricted movement or any swelling that limits full extension of the quadriceps muscle may lead to wasting of this muscle within around 48 hours, which in turn can affect the knee even more, so much so that it may simply give way when weight is put on it. Tearing of the fibres in any one of the ligaments that support the knee is quite common.

Shin splints This is a vague term that refers to a stress reaction in the lower leg, the problem may remain for a long time, and should that be the case a period of prolonged rest is advisable. Injury is often caused by tendon or muscle strain owing to incorrect or abnormal foot posture. Pain develops in the front of the leg when excessive movement is undertaken. Shin splints often occur in runners as a result of uneven surfaces creating strain.

Shoulder problems Strain in any part of the shoulder girdle can be very debilitating owing to the many areas involved. Excessive use of the shoulder can result in damage to the delicate tissue and tendons surrounding the joint. Unfortunately so many of us sit in an office all day then go out once or twice a week to play a sport be it squash or golf; and by not warming up sufficiently the usual problem is muscle fatigue, resulting in injury.

How can reflexology help?
Whilst reflexology is not the first therapy that springs to mind where sports injuries are concerned it can be extremely beneficial. Reflexology stimulates the nerve and blood flow to the damaged region, facilitating the healing process. It also relieves tension in the muscles that have gone into spasm, and relaxes taut tendons and ligaments. By working on the direct reflex related to the injury, together with the adrenal glands reflex, it helps to stimulate the naturally occurring glucocorticosteroids which have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect