Formative Assessment (1) 1/3/19

In this 1-hour session, I conducted my first formative assessment on a second year who is a fellow sports therapist and studies at Marjon University.

Reflective Summary 

The client that came to the session complained of tightness in their hamstrings. When I palpated this area there were many areas of hypersensitivity. Before beginning any treatment, 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. I also did a thorough assessment of the patient by observing their posture and comparing both the left and right sides of the body. Once I had done this I decided on a treatment plan and explained this to the client. In this particular incidence I used soft tissue massage to try and release tension and Muscular Energy Techniques (METs) to increase flexibility of the hamstrings. I started off with effleurage that creates heat and then I used petrissage (mainly kneading) to get deeper into the muscle belly of the hamstrings (semimembranosus, semitendinosus, bicep femoris). When using petrissage, to reduce the amount of time using my fingers, I also used my thumbs, knuckles and forearm which allowed me to get even deeper. As an alternative to massage, I used METs to improve range of movement (ROM) by increasing flexibility, therefore reducing the tightness. Once the treatment was finished I provided after care advice which included ensuring they drink plenty of fluid and not participating in physical activity for at least 24 hours. I also remembered to lower the bed to allow them to get off it safely.

Areas for further improvement 

A key thing that I forgot to do when I was completing the formative assessment was to test ROM before starting the treatment. It’s vital to do this as it allows you to see if there has been an improvement in flexibility and if the massage has been beneficial or not. Another improvement that I could make would be to ensure instructions are as clear as possible when carrying out treatment other than massage such as METs and Soft Tissue Release (STR). This will make it easier for the client to understand what they need to do to get the maximum benefits out of the treatment. A final thing that I need to do is to continue to learn/revise contraindications for massage. It is essential to be able to recall these confidently, so you are not putting the patient at any risk, especially if you forget to say a contraindication that they have.

Things to remember 

  1. Always provide suitable aftercare advice once the treatment is over
  2. Observe posture before starting the massage as this may have an effect on the treatment you choose to do/use
  3. Ask at the end if the client has any further questions





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