Massage Therapy Is Always a Learning Process

Let me share an experience just happened recently – a “leg cramp.” I hope massage therapists can learn from it.

The other Sunday of this month of January 2017, as we were waiting for the mass to start, my daughter came to me saying to see their fellow youth member of their choir.

According to the young lady’s explanation:
She sat down in a squat position while checking the cable connection of the computer they use. She was in that position for about 5 minutes. When she moves to stand up there was a sudden sharp pain behind her knee. Even a slight movement creates a excruciating pain. So, she just sat down to a low stool nearest to her.

My first impression was it might be a simple leg cramps. So, I massaged the muscles on the back of her leg but it seemed to no effect at all.

    So, I tried to assess the extent of the problem more thoroughly by asking some questions and making her do some movements:
    1. I asked her to transfer to a higher chair but she couldn’t do it.

    2. Whenever she attempts to move her leg she writhed in pain. Her leg was “useless” to help her
          move.

          3. Though the knee can open up to some extent it is painful if it is extended beyond 45 degrees

          4. No pain when flexing the knee back

          5. She did not hear any popping of the knee joint.
          6. She admitted this is the second time it happened. The first time was a year past.

          Treatment:
          I asked how she treated it the last time it happened. She said it just went away on its own after a few minutes. So, I concluded that my impression of it as a leg cramp is probably correct. I thought that if her calf muscles will be stretch it will correct the problem.

          I put my left hand behind her knee, and used my right hand to support her lower leg, just above the ankle joint. I told her to endure the pain as I stretch her leg in order to relax the calf muscles.

          Slowly I straightened the knee joint while observing her reaction. She uttered a cry of pain as I tried to open up the knee-joint beyond 45 degrees.

          Sound of “Cure” and Relief or sound of what

          As I stretch her knee joint and reached 45 degrees, there was somewhat a feeling of something was preventing it to open some more. However, I continued with caution to go beyond 45 degrees. I looked at her in the eyes observing how much she could tolerate and if I had to stop or continue what I was doing. I shook and vibrate the leg a little and continued stretching; as she cried her pain out a sudden pop in her knee joint was heard. I slowly flex back her knee joint then slowly put her leg down.

          All the others who were watching us were speechless.

          The young lady stopped crying and she exclaimed a sound of relief.

          I myself was surprised. I didn’t know what happened. I asked her to try to stand up which she did and already able to transfer to a higher chair. She still felt some pain but no longer like before. I told her to rest it and I will be checking her back after the mass.

          However, during the communion, I felt gladness when I saw the lady at the line with the youth who were walking towards the priest and her sacristan.

          I was glad and thanks God the lady is able to walk again normally.

          The problem was not a cramp but probably a slight misalignment of the knee – joint. The little shaking may have helped it to go back to its original place. My diagnosis was wrong, and I Thank God, because He was the one who fixed the problem.

        Now, I think it is very basic to understand why sharing experiences is very important. Anyone’s experience in the field of massage therapy can help other practitioners when faced with the same case.

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