STYC01 Clinical Reflection 21/03/19 @ 10

In the second hour of open clinic I massaged a member of the varsity squad from the Men’s 5th football team who was complaining of lower back pain.

Reflective Summary 

Before beginning the treatment, during the objective assessment I did not observe anything unusual, but on palpation I noticed tightness in the middle of the lower back on both sides. There was more hypersensitivity on the right side probably because this is my client’s dominant side. I then tested range of movement (ROM) of the hip by performing active flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, internal rotation and external rotation. During abduction my client experienced some pain in the hip, which made me think that they could have weak hip flexors and glutes. From this I decided to massage both sides of the clients back for a total of 30 minutes. I initially used effleurage to identify any potential signs of injury and to create heat. On the back I mostly use petrissage to increase the blood flow which can be seen when there is erythema (redness on the surface of the skin). On the areas of hypersensitivity, I used neuromuscular technique (NMT) by reducing the blood flow to that area, then increasing it to release tension.

Areas for further improvement 

I think that my main weakness was that I applied too little pressure. As long as you communicate effectively with the client you will be able to understand what they consider to be a good amount. To do this you can use the VAS pain scale by rating the pain: 1 being minimal pain and 10 being maximal. Another area that I could improve on would be to use other techniques beside soft tissue massage. In this case if I had more time I could have recommended particular stretches or exercises that they could do to help strengthen the hip flexors and glutes. However, I need to do more research into this to ensure the exercises are effective in improving the particular problem.

Things to remember

  1. Test ROM of all the possible movements available at the particular joint you are assessing
  2. Always give clear simple instructions to the client so they know what to do
  3. Check to see if they have any allergies to the massage mediums before you begin the treatment, so you can choose the appropriate medium


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