Doping regulations

There are many different types of drugs in sport and different sports will allow some and other will ban them. An example of this is beta blockers these drugs slow down the heart rate and are banned in archery and shooting. The reason for this is because it also stops the hands from shaking. There are 5 different types of doping classes alongside blood doping. Blood doping is when they take the blood outside of the body and then put in back this allows the blood to take in more oxygen and is banned. Blood doping can also cause kidney and heart failure so is very dangerous.

The 5 types of doping classes are: stimulants, diuretics, Anabolic agents, Narcotic analgesics and peptides and hormones. Simulants make the body more alert and hide fatigue but it can cause heart disease and can be addictive. Diuretics remove fluid from the body this can help in weight categorised sports but can also help eliminate other toxins from the body. A side effect of this is they can cause severe dehydration and is especially dangerous when participating in sport. Anabolic agents such as steroids help athletes to build more muscles and to allow them to train harder. Anabolic agents can cause increased aggression and kidney damage. Narcotics can be very addictive and can also mask pains that can be caused by injury or fatigue, this can then make the issue worse in the long run. Peptides and hormones have two main categories: EPO (Erythropoietin) red blood cells gives more energy and HGH (Human Growth Hormone) these help build muscle. EPO increase the risk of stroke and heart problems where as HGH can cause abnormal growth, diabetes and many more.

Below is a link to world anti-doping agency page:

Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Student Conference

The University of St Mark and St John are holding the second Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Student Conference. This conference will be held on the 11th May 2018. It is a great place for networking allowing student, graduates and practitioners.  Workshops will also be held in the special sports therapy and science suites at University of St Mark and St John. Tickets can be purchased following the link below. Different tickets are available from the link below starting at £30 including lunch. 


Massage techniques

During massage there are many different techniques that you can use although there are main ones that are used. If someone is just about to go into or has come from an event you will do a pre and post event massage.

The first is effleurage this is used to warm up the underlying tissue. It is the first technique that you use and you will also use it in between other techniques. It is introduces touch and you and trying to look for the skin going red (erythema) where you have massaged.

The next technique is petrissage. Petrissage has 3 different types; kneading, wringing and lifting. It’s aim to create pressure, lift the fascia/muscles, decrease tension and increase flexibility and create heat. It is a deeper pressure than effleurage and is performed with the finger, palm and thumbs. The next techniques will be used depending on the injury.

Tapotements is a percussive technique the techniques are; beating, pounding, hacking, pecking and cupping. It can enhance the patients readiness to compete and is only performed on fleshy parts of the body mainly the gluets, quadriceps and hamstrings. It aim is to stimulate local circulation, muscle tone and tendon reflexes, nerve endings and assists in contraction and relaxation of vessels. You should avoid always tapotements over organs. Vibrations has two different methods shaking and rocking. The aim is to increase circulation, relax soft tissue and to disrupt the signals of pain. Frictions is another technique that is localised and applied to the site of the injury. It is a width way stretching if the fibres and lengthens the cross-bridges between the fibres. It is not to be done in the acute stages of healing and should restore interfibre mobility. It is initially painful but will numb after 2 minutes and should be performed for 10-15 minutes.

Soft tissue release (STR) aim is to lengthen chronically shortened muscles, break down collagen tissues, separate fibres and to realign adhesions. Soft tissue release is a more effective way of stretching out the muscles and allows you to focus on certain areas of the muscle. It involves a shorten lock and lengthen system. You will shorten the specific muscle, apply a lock to it starting from the origin point and slowly lengthen away from the lock/ origin. You carry on like this until you reach the insertion point or have normal ROM.

Neuromuscular technique (NMT) aim is to offer reflex benefits, enhance circulation and to prepare for other therapeutic methods. It allows the body to trick the brain into restarting communication with the body, reducing sensitivity, restriction & TP activity.

Muscle energy techniques (MET’s) aim is to allow movement and flexibility of the joint or area that is being worked on. It also improves local circulation, strengthens weak muscles and relaxes overactive muscles. There are two different methods of MET’s theses are; Post-Isometric relaxation (PIR) and Reciprocal inhibition (RI). PIR is a isometric muscle contraction that takes the muscle to it’s binding point and uses a relaxation period to push the muscle past it’s binding point. You get the to take the muscle to bind and whilst there push against you for 10-15 seconds then allow them to relax for 5 seconds. In the relaxation phase you then push it past the bind to the new bind and repeat it 3-5 times performing range of motion (ROM) test before and after PIR. RI is isometric contraction of the antagonist muscle for 8-12 seconds. You will take the muscle to the bind like PIR but this time you don’t push against the therapist. You will then relax and take the limb to the new bind and repeat 3 times holding the last time for 20-30 seconds.


K-tape also known as kinesiology tape is an important tool in most sports rehabilitators bag. It can be used on most people although the affects that it has on people are unknown. Many studies show that the results are actually a placebo affect and the effect on the subcutaneous tissue rather than the muscles. Even with this knowledge K-tape is still widely used with advanced courses available for people. It is available in pre cut strips and said to target and elevate pain lasting 3-4 days even in the water. When removing the tape should be warned it could hurt and is easier to remove in water.

K-tape is put along muscles, ligaments and tendons. It is used to allow the person to still perform and be active during rehabilitation. After injury the body can have an accumulation of lymphatic fluid which can then cause pressure on the underlying muscles and tissues and can also cause discomfort or pain. If K-tape is applied correctly it is believed that it will lift the skin and decompress the layers of skin below. This will allow the lymphatic fluid to move which helps the transport of white blood cells and also helps remove waste products.

When applying K-tape you should always make sure that you have an anchor of 2-3cm each side which you will not stretch. You also need to make sure that you have wiped of any lotions or treat,ents that you might have used to make sure there is a stronger contact. When measuring tape you need to make sure that it stretches so cut a little less then the length. You will also need to round the corners to stop lifting of the tape. When placing tape think about the muscle you are aiming for and if the muscle is in stretch their should be no stretch on the tape. So if the muscle is not in stretch then you can put stretch on the tape. After the tape has been applied you will go over the tape with the paper that you have peeled or the tape with or your fingers to better adhere the tape with heat and friction.

Shin splints (Tibialis Posterior)- You will place the initial strip (pink) going from the lateral epicondyle crossing the front of the leg and inserting into the medial malleolus. You can then add an additional strip for specific pain (blue). For the additional strip of tape I split it to cover more area as it was more of a generalised area.

Achilies tendinopathy- you first of all place the initial black tape going from the the heel of the foot and then aiming for the popliteal fossa. You then place the Y (blue) strip going from the same place as the black tape (making sure the anchor is securely anchored to skin and not tape) and will aim for the condyles. You can then add site specific pain strip (pink).

Trick of the trade when doing this method make sure both anchors are down before you smooth the tape to have a smooth finish.

Rotator cuff tendinopathy- you place the base of the Y at the deltoid tuberosity and the place the two tails curving round the shoulder to aiming for the top of the shoulder. You can then place the specific tape (transverse tape) to help with pain.

Lower back- you place the two strips (blue) down the spine of the lower back and then place the transverse strip (black) if they have any specific pain.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)- you begin with the strips either side (blue) and then place the transverse tape (black) for more specific pain.

Whole back pain- you will place two strips going down the central spine with stretch. You will then place the black tape where they have specific pain.

This client presented in clinic with curved shoulders so we taped to try and make her sit in the correct position. Postural issues- you firstly place two crossed from the front of the shoulders to inferior angle of the opposites scapulas. You then place two smaller strips from the front (Lesser trochanter) to the medial border. Making sure the client is in a a good postural position.