Do you receive Massage Therapy? If so, is it on a regular basis or do you go long periods in between your massages? Massage Therapy helps to reduce Muscle Tone hypertonicity within the muscles. Muscle hypertonicity is adhesions with the muscle tissue that can cause reduced range of motion, pain, and local inflammation. Trigger points may develop in the muscles as well. Trigger points are hyperirritable spots within the muscle tissue that may refer pain to another area of the body either proximally or distally. The most common areas to see trigger points include the Trapezius, Rhomboid, Anterior and Posterior Cervical Spine, and Gluteus muscles. These trigger points when pressed on may or may not reproduce pain, when they do they are considered active. So what can you do to reduce this tension? Massage therapy procedures, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and physiotherapy modalities will help to minimize the effects. Some massage techniques include but are not limited to the following: Effleurage, Pettrissage, Tapotement, Roulement, Cross-fiber friction, Trigger point release technique, cranial-sacral therapy, myofascial release technique, and ischemic compression. Stretching procedures such as ART (active release technique) and PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) help to reduce the tension as well. With ART the provider will apply pressure to the affected muscle and the patient will then move their spine or extremity in the action of that particular muscle to engage it and allow for further stretching. In contrast, PNF stretching will actively engage the muscle by having the patient contract against your resistance. When they relax the muscle is when the provider will further stretch it.
Chiropractic is the art of treating musculo-skeletal ailments and they look to increase function by treating the structure of the spine and extremities. They will incorporate static and kinetic palpation to effectively determine the levels of subluxation of the spine. Subluxations can produce interference to the nervous system. The nervous system controls and coordinates all tissues, organs, and cells in the entire human body. If there is interference than those particular areas cannot function at 100%. They will perform one of the most thorough examinations that you have ever received at a physician’s office. They will include range of motion, muscle, neurological tests, and orthopedic tests to effectively determine a diagnosis. Once diagnosis is determined than a course of treatment may be outlined for the patient. This may include manual therapy (massage), mechanical traction, and physiotherapy modalities to speed up the recovery process.