Sports research points to rigorous studies in order to determine the best forms of sports massage to maximize the benefits to the health and well being of people taking part in sports (Martin, Zoeller, Robertson, & Lephart, 1998; Jonhagen, Ackerman, Eriksson, Saartok, & Renstrom, 2004). Tui Na, a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine massage may be a viable complement to traditional sports massage used in the West.
Overuse knee injury is commonly referred to as patellofemoral syndrome, to describe pain on and around the kneecap (patella). It is most commonly the result of damage to the surface underneath the kneecap, through a blow or fall, of from continuous rubbing on the bone underneath (Devan, Pescatello, Faghri, Anderson, 2004). Other names for the injury are chondramalacia patellae, patella pain syndrome or runner's knee. If the injury is not treated that it becomes a chronic condition that does not respond well to recovery methods. The pain can originate from over-tightness of the illio-tibial band (ITB), with the tendon rubbing on the knee bone. As a result the patella does not move or track correctly when the knee is bent from being outstretched (i.e., it does not move toward the inside surface of the knee) to position correctly in the intercondylar notch of the femur. The cartilage under the patella can become damaged, and the ITB inflamed.
It is a common injury for runners aged 10-20 years. It is also more likely for those who have small kneecaps, or those whose feet roll in (pronate). Weak quadriceps muscles can increase likelihood of experiencing the condition. There is increased incidence among long distance running and hill running athletes, or those who have had previous knee injury.
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Sports massage can help stretch the ITB, as tight knots within the tendon may be causing it to shorten. Soft tissue and deep friction massage are traditional sports massage techniques to aid in stretching the ITB, as well as myofascial releasing techniques. In contrast, Tui Na treats the whole body by working on meridians (energy channels)