Sports massage can be useful in treating chondromalacia patellae as it can help to loosen tight structures such as the iliotibial band, lateral retinaculum and lateral thigh muscle.
Technique 1: Effleurage
Effleurage is the first technique of any massage as it spreads the oil and starts to warm up the area. It can also be used in between other strokes. Try to cover as much of the thigh as possible but avoid putting any pressure directly down onto the knee cap. Pressure is only applied on the upward stroke and gets gradually firmer as warmth in the muscle increases.
Technique 2: Petrissage
Petrissage is a kneading type technique which is really used to warm-up and loosen the muscles. There are several different types of petrissage technique which can be used.
Technique 3: Stripping the muscle
The thumb can be used to apply pressure from the knee up to the top of the thigh. This really starts to get into the muscles and helps with stretching them out and realigning muscle fibres and scar tissue. This is particularly useful for the IT band. The heel of the hand, elbow or massage tool can also be used for this technique.
Technique 4: Circular frictions
The thumb is moved in a circular motion over any tight lumps bumps and knots. Gradually increasing pressure on tight, tender areas to help release knots and break down scar tissue and adhesions.
Technique 5: Trigger points
Pressure is applied directly onto a knot. Once the discomfort starts to fade, pressure is increased again. Once the discomfort starts to fade a second time, the pressure is released. This causes a decrease in blood flow (ischaemia) to the area, followed by a massive influx, which helps the muscle to heal. It is also thought to decrease the sensitivity of the trigger point.
Lighter techniques such as petrissage and then effleurage are used again towards the end of a massage to help prevent blood pooling and flush out waste products.