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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Martin


You have an injury which you need help with. Sports Massage Therapists (Level 4) are trained to assess your injury and to critically assess the assessment they carry out and the treatment they give. What do I mean by this? Well certain postures will tell us certain things, as will pain or restrictions on particular movements. We can easily jump to conclusions based on some of these results however we should always question ourselves and the results we get. We try to look at the big picture. The person as a whole, is the injury just a localised problem or is it a symptom /result of other issues with posture. If we simply treat the symptom as a lot of medicine does (painkillers and anti inflammatory medication) we only give temporary relief, we don't solve the problem. So we always look at the whole picture when assessing and that also applies to the treatment we carry out afterwards. If a particular Sports Massage technique doesn’t seem to be working we are trained to critically assess why that may be and then if appropriate try a different technique. Critical assessment is about always asking WHY. Modern medicine is often about treating the symptoms and partly that is the fault of the patient because they often just want a quick fix. We all too often rely on the advice of someone we think is an expert but a GP isn't an expert, the clue is in the name general practitioner. And this is frequently particularly true of musculoskeletal injuries. Rotator cuff injuries are one that can frequently be treated easily by a Sports Massage Therapist as can the cause which is usually postural, although it can be a tear from an injury whilst lifting. I believe that we should all be critical thinkers all the time we should never just take for granted what you are told. Ask WHY. And don't be fobbed off with because it does/is. That is not an answer. If the person knows what they are talking about they should be able to give you an explanation and if not should refer you to somewhere or someone you can get further information from. It doesn't matter whether it is your friend, doctor, politicians or a teacher if you are given information ask yourself does it make sense, does the provider have a bias. Are they trying to sell you something they have a stake in or are they independent, are they an expert? 

I have two young children, and I want them to ask why. That's because it means they want to learn and understand how and why things work. I don't want them to be sheep and blindly follow what others tell them. I don't think anyone should be like that. 

Something to think about, critically! If you honestly think what I have written is a lot of rubbish that is fine. Everyone is entitled to an​ opinion but it should be based​ on evidence not​ just what you have been​ told. 

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