What is Stretching?
Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon is deliberately flexed or stretched in order to improve the muscle’s felt elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone. The result is a feeling of increased muscle control, flexibility, and range of motion.
Static stretching, dynamic stretching and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching (PNF)
Dynamic stretching is a strategy used to improve mobility while moving through a range-of- motion, often in a manner that looks like the activity or sport that is going to be performed.
Static stretching is holding a stretch without movement, usually only at the end-range of a muscle.
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. : A method of stretching muscles to maximize their flexibility that is often performed with a partner or trainer and that involves a series of contractions and relaxations with enforced stretching during the relaxation phase
Muscle energy Techniques
Is a manual therapy that uses the gentle muscle contractions of the client to relax and lengthen muscles and normalize joint motion. It is “a direct manipulative procedure that uses a voluntary contraction of the patient’s muscles against a distinctly controlled counter force made by the practitioner (most likely). It is considered an active technique, as opposed to a passive technique where only the therapist does the work. form af a manual therapy which uses a muscle’s own energy in the form of gentle isometric contractions to relax the muscles via autogenic or reciprocal inhibition, and lengthen the muscle.
Cupping (vacuum and fire)
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. People get it for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage. Through either heat or suction, the skin is gently drawn upwards by creating a vacuum in a cup over the target area of the skin. The cup stays in place for five to fifteen minutes. It is believed by some to help treat pain, deep scar tissues in the muscles and connective tissue, muscle knots, and swelling. The cupping procedure commonly involves creating a small area of low air pressure next to the skin. However, there is variety in the tools used, the method of creating the low pressure, and the procedures followed during the treatment.
Corrective Exercise is a blend of personal fitness training with physical therapy. It is the perfect choice if: You want to feel your body’s abilities and overall function improve, rather than decline, as you age. You want to start a fitness program that focuses upon posture, alignment and optimal muscle activation.
Rehabilitative Exercise and Corrective Actions are an imperative part of any myotherapy treatment. It enables the client to make take responsibility for their own health, acts to permanently change dysfunctional patterns, and is a vital injury prevention mechanism. Techniques may include:
Core Stability and Swiss ball, hydrotherapy neuromusculoskeletal rehabilitative programs, biomechanical retraining, nutrition, injury prevention, lifestyle education
Myofascial Dry-Needling (MDN) is the application of fine needles into specific points in the muscles known as trigger points, to produce a healing and analgesic (pain-modifying) outcome. MDN is a highly effective and painless technique.
TENs (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
What is TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
TENS is a method of pain relief for people with chronic pain or women in labour. A TENS machine delivers a small electrical current to the body through electrodes attached to the skin. It does not involve medicines or injections.
What is TENS?
TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Transcutaneous means across the skin. TENS is also called electrotherapy. A TENS machine passes electricity across the skin to stimulate your nerves and relieve your pain. A TENS machine runs on batteries. You put small electrodes on your skin, and the electrodes are connected to the TENS machine. The machine sends pulses of gentle electric current to the electrodes. The current stimulates the nerves near your pain. Some people find it gives some pain relief. It uses no medicines, no needles and no injections. But it isn’t clear how it works. It’s possible that it blocks pain signals by stimulating different nerves in your spinal cord. TENS might also cause the release of endorphins – the body’s natural pain relievers.
Medical uses for TENS
TENS can give pain relief in labour. It is also used for chronic pain in people who have conditions such as cancer or arthritis.
Hot/ Cold Therapy
Heat and cold therapy are often recommended to help relieve an aching pain that results from muscle or joint damage.
Basic heat therapy, or thermotherapy can involve the use of a hot water bottle, pads that can be heated in a microwave, or a warm bath.
For cold therapy, or cryotherapy, a water bottle filled with cold water, a pad cooled in the freezer, or cool water can be used.
Temperature Therapies is the application of either heat (thermal therapy) or cold (cryotherapy). Techniques may include:
Trigger Point Therapy
What is a trigger point?
Put simply, a trigger point is a “knot” in your muscle.
That niggly little pain you have in your shoulder, or the even the cause of that pounding headache. To get a little more technical they are areas of tight muscle tissue (commonly referred to as myofascial trigger points) that are tender to touch, can affect your range of movement, and can cause characteristic referred pain like headaches.
There are two kinds of trigger points – active and latent.
Active Trigger Points
Active trigger points can cause pain both locally or sometimes even in other seemingly unrelated areas – this is the referred pain mentioned above.
Latent Trigger Points
In comparison, latent points won’t be painful all the time but when pressure or strain is applied they’ll hurt and even change muscle activation patterns.So how does trigger point therapy help?
Step 1: Identifying trigger points
Trigger point therapy is a commonly used technique in physiotherapy practice to alleviate pains cause by knotted muscles.
The trigger point is identified by careful palpation of the muscle from its origin to its insertion. We’ll be feeling for tight bands or nodules and may apply pressure to the tender points to see if these areas elicit pain.
The best way to confirm a trigger point is with a local twitch response. “A what?” I hear you say! A local twitch response is basically, a very fast contraction of the muscle tissue. If this twitch also reproduces pain, then bingo, we’ve found the likely source of your symptoms.
Step 2: Relieving trigger point pain
Once trigger points have been identified and confirmed it’s time to work on relieving the pain. There are several methods to do this. Your physio can choose from a whole number of ways depending on the area being treated.
Myofascial Release is effective in alleviating the symptoms of:
- Poor posture
- Muscle and joint pain
- Back pain
- Injuries due to poor shoulder or hip alignment
A form of body work, Myofascial Release (MFR) is a safe and effective hands on therapy that returns the integrity back to the fascia and its connection to the surrounding structures. Hands on pressure is applied slowly and in a deliberate direction that stretches and ‘melts’ the stuck down fascia. The pace and depth at which the therapist works is a vital factor, the fascia cannot be forced as it will naturally meet that force in return. Hence the MFR therapist provides a sustained, gentle pressure allowing the fascia to elongate naturally and return to its normal resting length, restoring health and providing results that are both measurable & functional.
Soft Tissue Therapy
what is Soft tissue therapy?
Soft tissue therapy has been born out of remedial massage, structural bodywork, sports massage and injury rehabilitation. The assessment procedures and the techniques used are universal to Osteopathy and Physiotherapy. However many techniques are unique to Soft tissue therapy.
A fully trained Soft tissue therapist has many tools to draw from to help get you out of pain and back on with your life.
These tools can include:
- Remedial massage and sports massage techniques
- Trigger point therapy
- Nerve pain release techniques
- Myofascial Dry needling for trigger points
- Deep Ischemic release techniques with elbows, thumbs or fingers
- Myofascial release techniques
- Passive tissue tensioning techniques
- Muscle energy techniques
- PNF pain elimination techniques
- Active release technique
- Positional release technique
- Kinesiotaping for support
- Postural taping techniques
- First stage exercise rehabilitation
- Breathing retraining.
- Swedish massage techniques
Relaxation massage techniques to in aid recovery from central fatigue (nervous system burnout)
It is hands on bodywork that can get you out of many kinds of painful episodes.
Soft tissue therapy reduces tensile and compressive stress on your body and can dramatically speed up the healing process.
‘Soft tissue’ refers to the type of body structures that are targeted in a treatment session.
These Soft Tissue structures include:
- Muscles, tendon and ligaments,
- Fascia (superficial and deep)
- Fluids such as blood, lymph, interstitial fluid (between cells)
- Arteries, veins, lymph nodes and channels.
- Nerves and motor programs (brain maps that direct movement/ dysfunctional patterns)