- muscle tightness and pain (especially neck and back pain)
- frozen shoulder
- tennis and golfers elbow
- knee pain
- hip pain
- sports injuries
Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger Point Therapy is a form of Remedial Massage Therapy in which direct pressure is applied to specified points on tender muscle tissue to bring about reduction in muscle tension and pain relief.
Each muscle has potential trigger points which can become activated by muscle overuse, inflammation, trauma, electrolyte imbalances, infections and nerve pain.
These trigger points can cause pain over the muscle affected or refer pain and thus be felt in another area of the body. Other trigger points are only felt when the muscle is directly palpated by the therapist.
Trigger Point Therapy is for almost everyone. Muscles with active trigger points are always weaker than normal muscles and unable to move through their full range of motion. Often because they are unable to perform their normal function, other muscles are recruited to perform the activity of the compromised muscle. These secondary muscles can go on to develop trigger points themselves if the original muscle is not treated.
Trigger Point Therapy is recognised as an effective treatment for pain.
The main reason behind its success appears to be related to chronic pain patterns. The establishment of chronic pain patterns occurs within a few months of an injury.
Once established, these pain patterns are difficult to reverse by other conservative treatment techniques. Trigger Point Therapy is often very useful in breaking this pain cycle.
In particular, Trigger Point Therapy is useful when other forms of traditional western treatments have failed to fully eliminate your pain. In our experience, Trigger Point Therapy is very useful in the relief of:
- Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Knee Pain
- Muscle Pain
- Joint Pain
The response to Trigger Point Therapy treatment varies from person to person. Generally, for recent injuries or current conditions, only a few Trigger Point Therapy treatments are needed in a short space of time.
Chronic conditions involving severe pain, or conditions that have been drawn out, may require some intense initial treatment followed by ongoing treatment.
Obviously, your treatment schedule will vary depending on your condition. For more specific discussion, you are best consulting your Trigger Point Therapy practitioner.
A therapeutic cupping treatment involves placing cups, usually made of glass or plastic, on the skin. A vacuum is created, and when it is applied to the skin, the tissue is drawn up into the cup. This increases the blood flow, loosens the fascia or connective tissue, and is thought to stimulate healing. It is similar to the way deep tissue massage can be used to break up scar tissue and reduce pain. The cups are often placed on the back, neck, and shoulders or the site of pain. Cupping may cause temporary bruising and soreness, depending upon the degree of suction created by the vacuum and the level of internal stagnation. The cups are removed by lifting one edge, which allows air in and breaks the seal and vacuum.
The benefits of cupping include local pain relief and muscle relaxation. For athletes, cupping may help increase blood flow to a particular muscle region or help reduce pain.
Cupping frequently causes marks on the skin. This is due to bringing blood to the surface, similar to a bruise. For patients with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia or who are being treated with anticoagulants, cupping may not be the best treatment option. People with these conditions should discuss the pros and cons of treatment with their acupuncturist or doctor before receiving cupping. Cupping should not be performed on skin sites with active inflammation, burns, infection, or open wounds. Some discomfort can occur but should not be considered a side effect. Moderate, temporary discomfort is expected as stagnation is removed and connective tissue and muscles are loosened.
Please Note – The bruises from cupping can last for a few days up to two weeks.
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)
Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is a popular treatment for myofascial restriction. IASTM uses specially designed instruments to provide a mobilizing effect to scar tissue and myofascial adhesions.
In sports, soft tissue injuries can occur from excessive tension or overuse (Hart, 1994; Yeung and Yeung, 2001). After an injury, inflammation and proliferation of new cells occur, during which fibrosis and formation of scar tissue in the injured soft tissue may occur (Sato et al., 2003). These changes reduce tissue elasticity and cause adhesion, which can lead to diminished soft tissue function and pain (Huard et al., 2002; Melham et al., 1998). In particular, scar tissue limits perfusion to the injured soft tissue, restricting the supply of oxygen and nutrients, and interferes with collagen synthesis and regeneration of tissues, which may then cause incomplete functional recovery (Chen and Li, 2009; Gauglitz et al., 2011). These alterations also increase the risk of reinjury (Huard et al., 2002).
Instruments effectively break down fascial restrictions and scar tissue. The ergonomic design of these instruments provides the clinician with the ability to locate restrictions and allows the clinician to treat the affected area with the appropriate amount of pressure.
Common conditions treated by IASTM include:
- Medial Epicondylitis, Lateral Epicondylitis
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Neck Pain
- Plantar Fascitis
- Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
- Patellar Tendinitis
- Tibialis Posterior Tendinitis
- Heel Pain /Achilles Tendinitis
- DeQuervain’s Syndrome
- Myofascial Pain and Restrictions
- Musculoskeletal Imbalances
- Chronic Joint Swelling Associated with Sprains/Strains
- Ligament Sprains
- Muscle Strains
- Non-Acute Bursitis
- Back Pain
- IT Band Syndrome
- Shin Splints
- Chronic Ankle Sprains
- Acute Ankle Sprains
Postural analysis involves assessing an individual’s body position in a weight bearing (standing) position or an unloaded (seated) position. It allows us to access where there are structural or functional imbalances.
Once we have your postural analysis, we can then educate you on which posture your body is holding and prescribe a customised treatment plan to reduce any tensions you have by making a correction to your posture and addressing the causes of your pain not just your symptoms.
Tightness in a particular muscle group may be pulling you out of position and alternatively, weakness in a muscle group may force the body into an unbalanced position and therefore create unnecessary strain in our body. Every deviation in our posture will have a compensatory pattern elsewhere, resulting in imbalances.
Conducting a postural analysis is the first step in correcting tension and imbalances in the body so that it moves, functions, and feels better.
At The SMART Centre we specialise in tailoring your rehab program to meet your specific needs, goals and fit into your busy schedule! Whether it be post-surgical rehab, balancing the muscles to help with your back pain, or training to achieve fitness goals, we have you sorted! Our therapists pride themselves on prescribing intensive and injury/ sports specific programs at a variety of intensities and levels using both equipment and body weight to fit into your routine. Our experienced therapists will guide you through your recovery from initial assessment to full recovery, return to sport or reaching personal fitness goals!