Sports massage may help the healing of a lateral ligament injury when applied directly to the ligament.
The following sports massage guide is intended for information purposes only. We recommend seeking professional advice before attempting any self help treatment.
IMPORTANT: Before starting any massage treatment the therapist will check for contraindications (if any apply to you, then massage is not allowed).
How can sports massage help?
Sports massage can help in the healing of ligament injuries when applied directly to the ligament in the form of cross friction massage. This may help to reduce scar tissue formation and re-align the new healing fibers with the ligament.
Sports massage must not be performed during the acute stage of this injury - usually 48-72 hours after injury. For grade two and three strains, massage may not be suitable for over a week. This is because if the is still bleeding then heat and massage will increase bleeding, not stop it. Sports massage techniques can also be applied to the quadriceps and hamstring muscles in order to reduce swelling and relax tight muscles to improve flexibility.
Cross frictions to the ligament
Aim to gradually apply firmer frictions to reduce adhesions and aid healing. With a finger, apply frictions backwards and forwards across the ligament as shown opposite. The therapist may apply frictions to the ligament at the point of the joint line, trying to identify specifically the injured area by feeling and judging the response from the athlete.
Start gently and slightly away from the tendon attachment, gradually working towards the attachment and getting deeper as the athlete becomes accustomed to massage.
Massage to the surrounding muscles
Massage may also help when applied to surrounding muscles of the leg by reducing swelling, pain and relaxing tight muscles.