Assisted Stretch Therapy studios are popping up all over the country. This means it is effective. I have used stretching techniques in my massage business for 12 years. This mean I know how to implement it’s effectiveness. Many of us have adopted the modern lifestyle …
Functional training is something that everyone can benefit from. As the name suggests, functional training is a kind of fitness routine that focuses on helping people to become more functional in day to day life. It focuses on purposeful movements and exercises that allow people …
Physical therapists and massage therapists often utilize a variety of “manual” techniques when they are working with their clients. Manual techniques are specially created movements that are designed to safely work with joints and the soft tissues throughout the body.
Manual traction is one of those manual techniques. Manual traction is used by therapists to perform spinal decompressions. Spinal decompressions are important when it comes to relieving pressure on the segments that make up the vertebrae and spinal column.
Manual Traction is Also used for the Following
- Bulging Discs
- Herniated Discs
- Spinal Stenosis
- Pinched nerves
- Bone Spurs
Spinal traction has the potential to strengthen the spine and in turn, improve the bodies ability to self-heal. It is useful for a variety of conditions that benefit from countering the effects of gravity on the spine.
The Difference Between Manual Traction and Mechanical Traction
Mechanical traction involves the use of mechanical tools that are designed to stretch the spine. These tools often include slings and pulleys that are attached to the body while a client is on the table. The slings, pulleys, and other tools mechanically relieve the pressure.
Manual traction is done by hand and is generally preferred by most people who are in need of decompression. With manual traction, the therapist can adjust as necessary in accordance with how they feel the area responding.
When Spinal Traction Should be Avoided
In rare circumstances, spinal traction may worsen conditions or lead to increased pain and injury. This can be avoided if you know ahead of time that traction isn’t for you. If you have osteoporosis or have certain types of cancer, it is agreed by most therapist that traction should be avoided.
Spinal traction is generally safe for people who do not have pre-existing health conditions. However, it is common to experience minor side effects like muscle spasms after a treatment.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, also sometimes referred to as “PNF” is a technique that is used primarily to increase flexibility and range of motion. In research studies, it has shown to be an effective method for improving active as well as passive range motions. It is …
Myofascial manipulation encompasses a variety of techniques that allow massage therapists to improve muscle mobility, reduce pain, among other things, by working on the myofascial tissue. The massage therapist is able to “manipulate” the myofascial tissue to restore comfort and proper function of the area being affected.
Some instances where a person may benefit from myofascial manipulation include muscle immobility following injury, ongoing pain in areas of the body that contain soft tissue, TMJ, carpal tunnel, and a variety of other conditions.
Symptoms that Indicate Myofascial Manipulation May be Necessary
- Tightness in the body that limits the range of motion
- Feeling intense pressure on the joints
- Severe pain in any part of the body that is chronic and ongoing
What Leads to Myofascial Pain?
There are a few main contributing factors that often lead to myofascial pain. One of these is overly tight fascia in an area that compresses the muscle. This type of pain is also sometimes caused by damage directly within the myofascial tissue.
What a Myofascial Manipulation Session Entails
During the initial treatment, your therapist will work with you to locate and target the specific areas that are in need of treatment. Once this has been established, your therapist will likely perform a few small tests to measure your current mobility levels.
A session is likely to last about 45 minutes on average, but in some cases can last up to an hour. The therapist will use a combination of techniques depending on your unique circumstances. Some techniques likely to be used include gentle pressure and sustained stretching.
Myofascial Manipulation sessions are typically spread out over the course of a few weeks or months, depending on the severity of your situation. As your mobility improves and your pain decreases the techniques used may be adapted to promote continuous improvement.
Cupping is an ancient practice that has been seeing a resurgence in popularity in modern times, and for a good reason! Cupping can be useful for a variety of things like improving blood flow, reducing pain, reducing inflammation, and promoting relaxation. Cupping therapy works through …
Pain has the power to spread throughout the body when tight areas, known as “trigger points” develop in the muscles and go untreated. Myofascial trigger points are more commonly referred to by the general public as “muscle knots.” As the name suggests, trigger points trigger a response that can send pain from one area of the body to another, and once that happens, it can continue to spread until the initial source of pain is treated.
Trigger point therapy aims to get to the root of the pain so that it can be eliminated from the body entirely. It utilizes a series of techniques such as isolated pressure and release. Sometimes dry needling is also used. Trigger point therapy requires the recipient to actively participate in the session through a variety of breathing exercises. Recipients of this therapy also participate by gauging the intensity of their pain in certain areas until it is traced back to the source.
What Causes Trigger Points to Form?
In most scenarios trigger points are formed as a result of trauma and damage to the muscle fibers. It is also believed by some that trigger points can form from severe emotional distress and mental trauma being trapped within the body.
Trigger Point Therapy is Often Used for the Following
- Carpal tunnel
- Lower back pain
Trigger point therapy is not a “miracle” cure that will miraculously take away your pain overnight. However, it does provide pretty astonishing symptom relief for many people who are unable to ease their pain with other more traditional methods – and you’ll likely get some relief after your first session.
If you want to give trigger point therapy a try, be sure to find someone with a reputable track record. Trigger point therapy is one of the newer services being offered by practitioners, and many only understand it on a surface level.
Deep tissue massage is an excellent choice for people who are recovering from musculoskeletal issues. It is popular among those who have muscle strains and other sports-related injuries. Deep tissue massage differs from other massage techniques because the massage therapist uses slow, deep strokes over …