Sports Massage Therapy Techniques – Pin and Stretch

Sports Massage Therapy Techniques – Pin and Stretch

Sports massage is generally associated with deep tissue work and this is a useful way to promote circulation and release tight muscles, though within the remit of sports massage there are other beneficial methods to bring release and promote flexibility.

A technique known as, ‘Pin and Stretch’ is an effective method to increase flexibility in tight muscles and can isolate specific sections of a muscle, this is beneficial surrounding scar tissue where stretching forces along a line are displaced due to the haphazard direction of healing tissues.

Method: The target muscle is placed in position where the fibres are slackened, the therapist places fingers, knuckle or a soft fist to pin the muscle down at a specific point and create a subtle lengthening into the tissues; the limb or body part at opposite end is then used as a lever and moved away from the pinned down area to create a stretch specific between these points. The therapist can isolate different sections by pinning at different points and then following the same process.

Furthermore, if the client was to activate the muscle by pushing or pulling against resistance offered by the therapist, then completely relaxing, signals would be sent to the muscle spindles via the nervous system rendering the tissues more receptive to stretch, a process known as P.I.R. or post isometric relaxation.

I find this method a useful addition alongside massage techniques and careful yoga stretching.

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