Sunday, October 6, 2013

What is Trigger Point Therapy?

A trigger point is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as a sensitive area of the body, stimulation or irritation of which causes a specific effect in another part, especially a tender area in a muscle that causes generalized musculoskeletal pain when overstimulated.

Trigger points can arise following injury, overuse or imbalance.  These knotted muscle fibers may result in localized tenderness or refer pain to other areas of the body and have been associated with headaches, back pain, jaw pain, numbness and tingling in the arms and additional ailments.

Based on her book, “Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction” by J. Travell, Trigger Point Therapy is effective in offering relief. According to Travell, “Ischemic compression consists of the application of sustained pressure to a trigger point for about 20 seconds to a minute. Pressure is gradually increased as the sensitivity of the trigger point subsides and the tension in its taut band fades. Pressure is released when the clinician feels the trigger point is less tender to pressure. Ischemic pressure should be followed by lengthening of the muscle except when stretching is contraindicated.”         


PNF stretching

At GCG we utilize a specific method of stretching known as PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) stretching.

The specific PNF technique is the Contract-Relax method in which the therapist stretches the target muscle to a therapeutic Range Of Motion (R.O.M.) & asks the patient to contract then relax the muscle allowing the joint to achieve a greater R.O.M. 

Benefits of stretching include:
Increased Flexibility
Increased Joint Range Of Motion (R.O.M.)
Enhanced Muscular Coordination
Reduced Injury Risk
Improved Posture
Relaxation & Stress Relief
Increased Circulation (blood flow)
Increased Energy Levels

Caution: PNF stretching should be done with an experienced professional due to the risk of overstretch & injury.

When performing a stretch:

*Don't bounce
*Don't force a stretch
*Don't move beyond your R.O.M.
*Don't hold your breath
*If pregnant, the hormone Relaxin allows excess flexibility - use caution.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

What is Kinesio Taping?

Kinesio tape was invented 20 years ago by chiropractor, Kenzo Kase.  Kinesio taping provides structural support to injured muscles & joints without restricting movement. The elasticity & pattern of the tape mimic skin thereby creating a lifting action of the skin to increase lymphatic drainage & blood flow. This allows bruising to heal more quickly. Kinesio taping helps to facilitate normal muscle function following injury without the restriction normally associated with athletic tape or sports and injury braces.