This was my second formative assessment which I had to complete in order to pass my clinical hours for soft tissue therapy. I got in contact with a second-year student who also does sports therapy, so they could assess my skills, knowledge and techniques.
I ensured that my self-presentation was good by correcting the plinth height, wearing the appropriate uniform, while considering both health and safety and hygiene. As part of the subjective assessment, the client complained of tightness in the upper back. I also checked to see if they had any contraindications. This particular patient did as they had skin allergies, so I had to use a specific massage medium. For the objective assessment I palpated the area before the treatment, so I could feel for any areas of possible hypersensitivity. The final thing I did before beginning was explain to the client what the plan for the session was while also asking for consent. In this particular incidence I only used soft tissue massage to try and release some of the tension in the upper back. You always begin with effleurage to create heat and to identify any potential problems. To get deeper into the muscle tissues which included the upper traps, supraspinatus, infraspinatus and rhomboids I used petrissage. To reduce the amount of strain on my fingers I used my thumbs and knuckles to increase the pressure. Before and after the massage I tested range of movement (ROM) to see if the massage had been beneficial. Once the session had ended I gave aftercare treatment by advising the client to keep their fluid levels up and to not participate in physical activity for 24 hours.
Areas for further improvement
My first area for improvement would be to ensure I statically observe the client’s posture before beginning the massage. This could give you an indication as to why they have a specific injury or are experiencing a certain pain or ache. However, I did not do this because no injury was present, it was just general muscle ache. As part of the treatment I only used soft tissue therapy. It would have been important to show off my skills and knowledge by using other techniques, besides massage, such as stretching or taping. These methods may sometimes be more suitable/effective so it’s important to consider this when deciding a treatment plan. My final improvement would be to ensure I reassess the reason for treatment after I have performed the treatment, to ensure it has been effective.
Things to remember