Complete Health Fitness

Call Now to Schedule An Appointment(916)704-7873

901 Sunrise Ave. Roseville, CA 95661

Golfers Success Toolbox

Golfers Success Toolbox

Golfers often spend hours on end practicing again and again specific drills… waiting for those practiced/ honed skill(s) to be used for a potential winning shot.  Only to wake up one day and feel unbelievable pain which may limit their play… or even worse… make them take time off… due to injury.

Experts in sports medicine note a number of factors that may contribute to common golf swing injuries:

  1. Overuse and over-practice
  2. Poor swing mechanics
  3. Over-swinging
  4. Not warming up the muscles properly
  5. Rotational stresses placed on the spine
  6. Incorrect grip setup
  7. Traumatic force of the body resulting from a poorly executed swing

Does this sound familiar?   Has this happened to you?  Often times, this may have been alleviated with preventative manual massage therapy.

At Complete Health Fitness, we focus on improving flexibility, mobility and performance.  So you can spend more time doing the things you enjoy.

Many golfers report wear and tear on their bodies over time.  Pain might be minimal at first; even perceivably manageable.  However, if left unchecked, may develop in to things like: Golfer’s Elbow, Tendonitis, Bursitis, Frozen Shoulder, Carpal Tunnel syndrome, Thoracic Outlet syndrome, etcetera… or even worse.

10 Common Golf Injuries:

  1. Back Pain
  2. Tendinitis in the Elbows
  3. Knee Pain
  4. Rotator Cuff
  5. Wrist Injuries
  6. Hand and Finger Injuries
  7. Neck Injuries
  8. Foot and Ankle Injuries
  9. Hip Injuries
  10. Sunburn

Imagine if you were able to complete a little bit of specific preventative therapy, mixed in with some strengthening, stretching, mobility exercises.   Then you may be able to avoid pain (injury) and maintain a high level of performance.

Do not let pain interfere with your performance.

Ask yourself this question…

“To be your best… is it possible to compete at this level, if you are not taking care of your body?”

Why not book an appointment with Complete Health Fitness today?

Call for an appointment: (916) 704-7873

Email: Therapy@CompleteHF.com

 

 

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Are you ready for the CrossFit Open?

Are you ready for the CrossFit Open?

The start date of February 22, 2018 is fast approaching.

Anyone aged 14 or older can compete…but are you ready?  Have you been putting in the time, hours of practice, which are necessary to give yourself the best possible chance to do your best?

Is your body working as you would like?  Have you been keen to schedule time for mobility and self-care?

If not, you might consider coming in for a tune-up of sorts.  Some well needed therapy can go a long way!  We strive to help you improve your performance, decrease your recovery time, and address any aches and pains you may be experiencing.

Some common injuries and ailments we have helped resolve for many athletes are:

  • Lower Back Pain and Strain
  • Knee Pain
  • Elbow Strain
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

The time is near… why not give yourself the best possible opportunity to do your best!

3, 2, 1, go!Stage 1: The Open

Five Weeks – Feb. 22 thru March 26

18.1 – Feb. 22-26
18.2 – March 1-5
18.3 – March 8-12
18.4 – March 15-19
18.5 – March 22-26

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Shoulder Pain – Trouble Working, Training and even Sleeping

August 23, 2015
By: Peter Fuller

shoulder_pain_therapy_image1

What is it?
Shoulder pain is usually described as pain in the shoulder joint. Signs and symptoms typically begin gradually, worsen over time. One might experience and/or feel tightness, tension, restriction of movement, cracking/popping noise during movement.

Etiology/Causes
If not taken care of through some sort of therapy, symptoms usually progressively worsen. Eventually, any movement of the shoulder causes pain, and range of motion may start to become limited. The Shoulder may begin to feel frozen. In this stage, pain may begin to diminish, however, the shoulder becomes stiffer, and using it becomes more difficult. For some people, the pain worsens at night, sometimes disrupting sleep. For others, there is a decrease in strength; numbness, tingly, achy, or other uncomfortable sensations and/or unwanted indicators.

The muscles, ligament and tendons become tight and restricted. If left unchecked, the shoulder become less mobile and over time, adhesion and/or calcification may occur.

Perhaps the condition develops through over-use, over training, improper form/technique, repetitive movements, stress, acute trauma, degenerative issues. For whatever, the pain gets worse, structures on the body become compromised, mobility becomes increasingly more difficult and function becomes limited. In some cases, Frozen Shoulder may develop.

This occurs, when the bones, ligaments and tendons that make up your shoulder joint are encased in a capsule of connective tissue. Frozen shoulder occurs when this capsule thickens and tightens around the shoulder joint, restricting its movement.

If conservative treatment measures are unsuccessful, surgical treatment may be necessary.

Doctors aren’t sure why this happens to some people, although it’s more likely to occur in people who have diabetes or those who recently had to immobilize their shoulder for a long period, such as after surgery or an arm fracture.

shoulder_pain_therapy_image2

Therapy
The literature shows support for stretching and strengthening the shoulder girdle muscles. Corticosteroid injections, compression/sling is sometimes recommended / prescribed.

It is important to seek a proper evaluation of shoulder pain to determine the cause of the problem and to start the proper treatment program for the condition.

The Shoulder joint is fixed differently than other joints. As such, many shoulder injuries take 3-6 months before noticeable improvement is noted. Most shoulders typically resolve within 12 to 18 months.

shoulder_pain_therapy_image3

Goal
• Reduce pain and inflammation and tissue stress
• Restore muscle strength and flexibility
• Normalize strength, flexibility, and restore lower extremity functional mobility

Intervention Approaches / Strategies
• Therapeutic Exercise
• Shoulder (Head/Neck/Shoulder) stretching exercises
• Nerve mobility exercises
• Strengthening exercise
• Manual Therapy
• Soft tissue mobilization to fascia of Mayofascial tissues suspected of creating the entrapment
• Neural mobilization

Manual therapy modalities may be used to decrease inflammation and pain. Therapeutic exercise will increase strength and flexibility of the shoulder (shoulder girdle and surrounding structures) and manual therapy will address soft tissue and joint limitations.

Realistically, many things improve after just 5 or 6 visits. Note: age of individual; activity level; age of injury; all come into play as well.

Please do not let pain or inflexibility linger on for weeks, months, years, or decades. If left alone, things do not typically get better; actually they tend to get progressively worse. It is important to stay alert, pay attention to your body and invest in regular manual therapy. It will help keep you moving well and your lymphatic system flowing optimally.

We hope you will consider giving Complete Health Fitness (CHF) a call. We would be happy to provide therapy to you and assist you.

 

Disclaimer
This information is intended for general reference purposes only.  Neither this information nor transmissions between you and Complete Health Fitness are intended to provide and/or substitute for legal advice, professional medical advice or a medical exam and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before starting any new treatment.

Magazine Articles

Bowen Technique Massage Article CondensedMASSAGE Magazine, by Vicki Mechner

Issue # 106 (Nov/Dec 2003) pp. 102-107

Newspaper Articles

49er Great Roger Craig Still on the Run
Mercury News, by Mark Emmons
Posted: 10/03/2008

No Pain No Gain Kid
Sports Illustrated, by Jill Lieber
November 28, 1988

NFL Notebook Craig Sets the Pace for Running Backs
New York Times, by Thomas George
October 11, 1988

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Pain commonly disguised: Bruising, Shin Splints or Compartment Syndrome

by: Peter Fuller (September 2014)
Do you have pain in your lower legs? Sometimes it feels like shin splints; other times more like a badly bruised muscle or deep bruising. Whatever it is, it seems like it is taking longer than it should to heal; and it is beginning to concern you.

You are dedicated and consistent. You try your best to pay attention to your body, eat right, get enough sleep and put in the time training so you can perform well. However, at this stage, you seem to be modifying cross training more often than doing prescribed workouts. You question whether to allow the pain to interrupt your intense training regimen and constantly evaluate whether you push through, train hard, and continue to place high load demands on your body. Do you need to take more active recovery days? Can you afford to take some time off from training and competition?

375x321_shin_splints_tibial_stress_syndrome_ref_guide
Bruising is typically not alarming. People often get bruises when they bump into something or when something bumps into them. Bruises can occur in some people who exercise vigorously, such as athletes and weight lifters. These bruises result from microscopic tears in blood vessels under the skin. Often this can be alleviated with self-therapy and/or stretching and heal given enough recuperation time. It not, you may be thinking, perhaps it might be something more; like Shin Splints.

Shin splints are very common. Runners might get them after ramping up their workout intensity, or changing the surface they run on – like shifting from a dirt path to asphalt. Shin splints are also common in dancers.

Your shins throb and ache after your daily run or engaging in a quick sprint without any stretching or warm-up. For example: just sprinting to catch the bus. It could be shin splints.

They can be caused by:

  • Irritated and swollen muscles, often from overuse
  • Stress fractures, which are tiny breaks in the lower leg bones
  • Over pronation or ”flat feet” — when the impact of a step makes your foot’s arch collapse

What if adequate rest does not seem to give you what your body needs to heal?  Often people unsuccessfully attempt to resolve shin splints on their own.  You already tried arch supports, shoes that fit you properly, neoprene sleeve and anti-inflammatory pain killer/medicines.  They have had questionable results for relieving symptoms.  What is next?  It may also be you are suffering from something else altogether; Compartment syndrome.

Compartment syndrome is a painful condition that occurs when pressure within the muscles builds up inside an enclosed space in the body.  This pressure can decrease blood flow, which prevents nourishment and oxygen from reaching nerve and muscle cells.

Compartment Syndrome
The dangerously high pressure in compartment syndrome impedes the flow of blood to and from the affected tissues.  Groups of organs or muscles are organized into areas called compartments.  Strong webs of connective tissue called fascia form the walls of these compartments.

Compartment syndrome develops when swelling or bleeding occurs within a compartment.  As a result, the fascia does not stretch or easily expand; this can cause increased pressure on the capillaries, nerves, and muscles in the compartment.  Blood flow to muscle and nerve cells is disrupted.  Without a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients, nerve and muscle cells can be damaged.

In acute compartment syndrome, unless the pressure is relieved quickly, permanent disability and tissue death may result.  This does not usually happen in chronic (exertional) compartment syndrome.

Go to an emergency room immediately if there is concern about “acute” compartment syndrome. This is a medical emergency.

Compartment syndrome (Exertional compartment syndrome) most often occurs in the anterior (front) compartment of the lower leg (calf).  It can also occur in other compartments in the leg, as well as in the arms, hands, feet, and buttocks.

Acute compartment syndrome can also occur after injuries without bone fractures, including: overly tight bandaging, prolonged compression of a limb during a period of unconsciousness, extremely vigorous exercise, especially eccentric movements (extension under pressure). Taking anabolic steroids can also contribute to developing compartment syndrome.

Your symptoms may subside if you avoid the activity that caused the condition.  Cross-training with low-impact (Range of Motion) activities may be an option.  Some athletes have symptoms that are worse on certain surfaces (concrete vs. running track, or artificial turf vs. grass).   Symptoms may be relieved by switching surfaces.

Do you push yourself hard in training?  Perhaps you know of someone struggling with pain.  Please do not let pain linger on for weeks, months, years, or decades.  If left alone, things do not typically get better; actually they tend to get progressively worse.  It is important to stay alert, pay attention to your body and invest in regular manual therapy.  It will help keep you moving well and your lymphatic system flowing optimally.

We hope you will consider giving Complete Health Fitness a call.  We would be happy to provide therapy to you and assist you.

Magazine Articles

Bowen Technique Massage Article Condensed

MASSAGE Magazine, by Vicki Mechner

Issue # 106 (Nov/Dec 2003) pp. 102-107

Newspaper Articles

49er Great Roger Craig Still on the Run
Mercury News, by Mark Emmons
Posted: 10/03/2008

No Pain No Gain Kid
Sports Illustrated, by Jill Lieber
November 28, 1988

NFL Notebook Craig Sets the Pace for Running Backs
New York Times, by Thomas George
October 11, 1988

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Low-Back pain trapping you and you’re afraid to move?

by: Peter Fuller (August 2014)
At some point in our lives, about 80 percent of the general population will struggle with excruciating back-pain. It will cause you to find new ways to get around. Some resort to waddling around, crawling or just trying not to move at all. It may interfere with sleep, work, and put an abrupt halt to extracurricular activities.

After months of trying, the traditional Western model of medicine leave many feeling discouraged. Trips to the regular treating physician seem endless and do nothing; only result in prescription drugs. Referrals to physical therapy, Orthopedist and other specialists leave a person with a shot or two of cortisone injections and the pain just returns after a few weeks. Finally, a person is left trying to decide if a consultation with an Orthopedic surgeon is the best route.

For me, I always want to consider surgery as a last resort; after all other non-invasive methods have been tried first. Manual therapy at Complete Health Fitness may be the answer you may be looking for…and just didn’t know it. We specialize in Bowen, Neuromuscular, Thai table and Cranial Sacral as well as a host of other modalities.

We might start by reviewing your movement patterns with a Range of Motion Assessment, Postural Evaluation, Consultation and Examination. Then move on to discussing your daily habit of stretching, strengthening and self-rehabilitation exercises. These may impact the therapy provided.

One option: Advanced mobilization for the Back, Hips, Legs and Calves. (PDF available with your visit to the clinic) If done properly, typically it helps loosen stiff, tight, and restricted muscles.

Another option might be: Hang Ten with Sway, Lean and Tilt. (PDF available with your visit to the clinic) This therapy really opens up the body from the Back all the way down to the bottoms of the feet.

When the above is combined with specific focused manual therapy the results can be astounding; truly remarkable.

Where you are struggling with pain around your T12, Quadratus Lumborum, Posterior Hips, Inferior Aspect of the Scapula or tension in the entire Back down to the bottom of the Tailbone…give us a call. Life is too short to live in pain. Give Complete Health Fitness a call, we can help get you back to your best.

Magazine Articles

Bowen Technique Massage Article Condensed

MASSAGE Magazine, by Vicki Mechner

Issue # 106 (Nov/Dec 2003) pp. 102-107

Newspaper Articles

49er Great Roger Craig Still on the Run
Mercury News, by Mark Emmons
Posted: 10/03/2008

No Pain No Gain Kid
Sports Illustrated, by Jill Lieber
November 28, 1988

NFL Notebook Craig Sets the Pace for Running Backs
New York Times, by Thomas George
October 11, 1988

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Pain in the Ass?

You might be neglecting your Posterior Chain

by: Peter Fuller (December 2013)

How Neuromuscular therapy and Bowen therapy may resolve your Posterior Chain issues?

Posterior Chain – How do posterior chain muscles come into play?
Let us define the terms:  Which muscles comprise the fabled “superior posterior.” While definitions differ, hip extension is typically seen as a primary function of the Posterior Chain. (AKA. p-chain)

Main functions and muscles include:

  • Transversospinalis Group (spine support)
    • Multifidi
    • Rotatores
    • Semispinalis Capitis
  • Erector Spinae Group (back and spinal extension)
    • Spinalis
    • Longissiumus
    • Iliocostalis
  • Serratus Posterior Superior / Serratus Posterior Inferior (support ribs/trunk/back)
  • Intertransversarii (facilitate the movement of the spine as a whole)
  • Interspinalis (support extension of vertebral column)
  • Ligamentum Nuchae (serves to sustain the weight of the head)
  • Supraspinous Ligament (helps maintain the upright position of the head)
  • Thoracolumbar Aponeurosis (covers and supports the deep muscles of the back)
  • Quadratus Lumborum (supports: vertebral column, 12th rib, Ilium [hips])
  • Gluteal Muscles (hip extensors, femoral rotation)
  • Hamstring Muscles (hip extension, knee flexion)
  • Gastrocnemius or Calf (plantar flexes ankle, knee flexion)
  • External Obliques (back and spine support, in tandem with anterior core)

What causes Posterior Chain problems?

Many a people have had the nagging pain in the “tuchas” (AKA. derriere; bum; hinny; buns; buttocks).  It is difficult to say for certain what caused the pain to develop in each situation, as each case is unique.

Let us review the ACTIONS

The Quadratus Lumborum can perform four actions:

  1. Lateral flexion of vertebral column, with ipslateral contraction
  2. Extension of lumbar vertebral column, with bilateral contraction
  3. Fixes the 12th rib during forced expiration
  4. Elevates ilium, with ipslateral contraction

Note:
Ipslateral Contraction = On the same side, as opposed to contralateral.
Contralateral contraction = Taking place or originating in a corresponding part on an opposite side.

Case Study

White twenty-one (21) year old male presents with Low-Back pain and tight Gluteal muscles.  States he jumped up and believes he landed wrong, because when he landed, he felt a pain which has gradually become worse and worse over the past 12 months.

What we do to help?

We review the Etiology and Anatomy.  After a Consultation, Postural Evaluation, and Range of Motion Assessment it is determined…the problem may be originating from the Quadratus Lumborum.  The Quadratus Lumborum is sometimes known as the “hip hiker” because its capacity to laterally tilt (elevate) the hip. In this case, perhaps the jump and landing may have caused some subsequent pull on the Gluteal muscles and put Pressure around the Sacrum, around the Sacroiliac Joint, and even cause a false sense of Sciatica pain.

As a skilled massage therapist we may suggest we help loosen the muscles, improve blood flow, take pressure off of the nerves, allowing the body to rest, heal and restore the function and structure of the body.

With focused applied massage techniques, sore/tight/tonic/toxic/achy/restricted muscles (ligaments and tendons) can be softened and calmed.  Massage will also increase blood flow to the area, thus providing more nutrients and allowing faster restoration of healthy, mobile muscle tissue.  This is why an ever increasing number of athletes at all levels are employing the services of massage therapists.

Along with the manual therapy we try to assist by recommending specific Stretching and Foam Rolling exercises which others in similar situations have stated have helped them. (as it relates to your specific ability and needs)

 We are here to help you be your BEST!  Thank you for your time.

posterior_chain

Magazine Articles

Bowen Technique Massage Article Condensed

MASSAGE Magazine, by Vicki Mechner

Issue # 106 (Nov/Dec 2003) pp. 102-107

Newspaper Articles

49er Great Roger Craig Still on the Run
Mercury News, by Mark Emmons
Posted: 10/03/2008

No Pain No Gain Kid
Sports Illustrated, by Jill Lieber
November 28, 1988

NFL Notebook Craig Sets the Pace for Running Backs
New York Times, by Thomas George
October 11, 1988

Posted in Article | Leave a comment

Foot Pain

by: Peter Fuller (October 2013)

Neuromuscular therapy and Bowen therapy may resolve your Foot Pain?

Foot pain
How do muscle adhesions, fibrosis scar tissue and calcification come into play?

Let us define the terms:

Adhesions: an abnormal union of membranous surfaces due to inflammation or injury.

Fibrosis: the thickening and scarring of connective tissue, usually as a result of injury.

Scar Tissue: the connective tissue forming a scar and composed chiefly of fibroblasts in recent scars and largely of dense collagenous fibers in old scars

Muscle Calcification: the accumulation of calcium salts in a body tissue. It normally occurs in the formation of bone, but calcium can be deposited abnormally in soft tissue causing it to harden. Calcifications may be classified on whether there is mineral balance or not, and the location of the calcification.

What causes adhesions, fibrosis, scar tissue and calcification?

Muscle tissue is comprised of small bundles, or fascicles, of cells that are bound together in increasingly larger bundles that form a single muscle, such as the bicep muscle on your arm.  The tissue that wraps around the bundles of cells is known as fascia.  When a muscle is injured, overused or underused, these fasciae begin to stick together.  These are what we refer to as adhesions.  You may refer to them as knots.

There are many ways in which you might injure your muscles, thus creating scar tissue.  For the sake of brevity, we will discuss only one.  Let’s say you are running and you trip, causing your legs to move farther away from each other than they normally would.  This can cause the muscles to pull too tight and tear apart.  When this happens to your muscle tissue, your body sends out repair cells known as fibroblasts to bind the torn edges together in order to prevent further separation.

cumulative-injury-cycle

Myofascial Adhesion and Fibrosis (Scar Tissue)

One of the most common human conditions is adhesions.  Adhesions are tufts or piles of substances or tissue that accumulate all over the body when conditions are correct.  They are a type of scar tissue.  They can occur at every level of the body such as inside the cells themselves, and even at the atomic level.  They can also occur at the cell membranes, the intercellular substance and matrix, as it is called, and at more gross levels such as in the muscles, skin, organs and entire architecture or structural level of the body.

Nerves are fibers or cords that transmit electrical signals to various parts of the body i.e., brain, eyes, fascia, heart, lungs, muscles, organs, spinal cord, etc. It’s like an extremely complex highway or fiber optic system or matrix that’s alive and works 24/7 to keep us alive and functioning. The signals can originate from the brain or central nervous system or other sensory receptors.

Now adhesions, knots, and scar-tissue (AKS) are caused by the excessive formation of fibrin, a protein that helps form blood clots and repairs muscle, lung, and other tissue as a result of stress or trauma. The normal formation of fibrin contributes to and aids these natural processes but problems arise when excessive amounts are produced to form AKS. A thickening of the tissue will start to occur which initially is designed to strengthen and protect the area but too much will interfere with the normal function of the fascia, muscles, and nerves.

How Adhesions Cause Illness

Adhesions may not directly cause illness.   However, they indirectly cause every type of ailment known to mankind.  This occurs because they:

1. Restrict circulation of the blood and lymph fluids.  This impairs cellular nutrition.  It also restricts hormones from reaching the cells, along with other important chemical substances such as insulin, glucose, fatty acids and hundreds of others.

2. Restrict drainage of the tissues, causing toxin retention.  This interferes with the elimination of all waste products from the cells and even the body.  Not only are the tissues squeezed and restricted so that toxins build up there, but one can even become constipated, for example, if the colon has adhesions.  Urine may not flow out of the kidneys adequately, or the bladder may not empty properly.  The liver stops working correctly as well, as the liver cells are less able to eliminate many thousands of toxins that instead begin to accumulate in the liver, kidneys, and everywhere in the body.

3. Restrict the flow of meridian energy in the acupuncture meridians.  This is very important and the reason why some doctors like to remove large scars in certain locations.  The acupuncture meridians feed energy to the body organs.  It is a very deep system of energy of the body.

4. Restrict the flow of other subtle energies throughout the body.  Our bodies require a number of subtle energies for their health.  All of these can become restricted by different kinds of tissue adhesions.

5. Alter and restrict the physical movement of the body in hundreds of ways.  That is, they cause chiropractic (bone alignment issues) and all other structural imbalances such as kyphosis, scoliosis (twisting of the spine), osteoclastic and bone deformities, ligamentous attachments and deformities, and every other type of structural problems imaginable.  When people say they have a “bad back”, for example, it often just means they have restrictions or adhesions in the neck, back, hips, knees, legs or elsewhere that alters posture, tires the body, restricts nerve flow, and ends up causing pain or other discomfort.

Foot_Pain

What are the signs and symptoms of Foot problems?

The symptoms of Foot pain may be short-term or long-term:

  • Pain in the feet
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Muscle weakness, difficulty moving or controlling your foot
  • Foot pain that increases with standing, sitting, or squatting

How can I help manage Foot pain?

Manual therapy: A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.  An occupational therapist teaches you skills to help with your daily activities.  A skilled massage therapist will help loosen the muscles, improve blood flow, take pressure off of the nerve allowing the body to rest, heal and restore the function and structure of the body.With focused, applied massage techniques, however, the scar tissue can be broken down.  Massage will also increase blood flow to the area, thus providing more nutrients and allowing faster restoration of healthy, mobile muscle tissue.  This is why an ever increasing number of athletes at all levels are employing the services of massage therapists.

pain-in-foot

How can Foot pain be prevented?

Our muscles are both powerful and delicate. As such, we should treat them with utmost care and respect by hydrating, feeding, stretching and exercising them properly.  Even if we treat them properly, they may still suffer from adhesions or scar tissue.  If they do, we should extend that care and respect by massaging them until they are restored to health.

More modern methods include stretching, exercises, massage, and many methods of manipulation of the tissues.  These include: Active Isolated Stretching (AIS), Active Release Technique (ART), Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), structural integration, visceral manipulation, and other types of deep tissue work and so-called bodywork.  These therapies, in general, are excellent and complement nutrition balancing science as they seek to balance the body in a physical and structural way.

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Ask your caregiver how much you should weigh. Ask him to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.
  • Exercise: Ask your caregiver about the best stretching, warm-up, and exercise plan for you.

We are here to help you be your BEST!  Thank you for your time.

Magazine Articles

Bowen Technique Massage Article Condensed

MASSAGE Magazine, by Vicki Mechner

Issue # 106 (Nov/Dec 2003) pp. 102-107

Newspaper Articles

49er Great Roger Craig Still on the Run
Mercury News, by Mark Emmons
Posted: 10/03/2008

No Pain No Gain Kid
Sports Illustrated, by Jill Lieber
November 28, 1988

NFL Notebook Craig Sets the Pace for Running Backs
New York Times, by Thomas George
October 11, 1988

Posted in Article | Leave a comment

Sciatica Therapy

by: Peter Fuller (June 2013)

Neuromuscular therapy and Bowen therapy may resolve your Sciatica pain?

How can I help manage sciatica?
A skilled massage therapist will help loosen the muscles, improve blood flow, take pressure off of the nerve allowing the body to rest, heal and restore the function and structure of the body.

Sciatica

What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a condition that causes pain along your sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs from your spine through both sides of your buttocks. It then runs down the back of your thigh, into your lower leg and foot. Any place along your sciatic nerve may be compressed, inflamed, irritated, or stretched and cause symptoms.

Sciatica_leg2 Sciatic3

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica may be related to certain activities, poor posture, and physical or psychological stress. Any of the following may cause or increase your risk of sciatica:

  • Disc problems: A slipped disc (soft cushion in between the bones of the spine) is the most common cause of sciatica. The disc may press on the sciatic nerve. One bone in your spine may slip over another, or you may have narrowing of the spinal column.
  • Muscle injury: This may happen after you twist or lift a heavy object. Swelling from sprained or irritated muscles in the buttocks, thighs, or legs press on the sciatic nerve.
  • Obesity or Pregnancy: Extra weight increases pressure on your back and legs.
  • Trauma: Direct blows on the buttocks, thighs, or legs, car accidents, or falls may injure the sciatic nerve.
  • Diseases of the spine: Arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, or infection of the spine may also affect the sciatic nerve.

What are the signs and symptoms of sciatica?

The symptoms of sciatic may be short-term or long-term:

  • Pain that goes from the lower back into your buttocks and down the back of your thigh
  • Numbness or tingling in your buttocks and legs
  • Muscle weakness, difficulty moving or controlling your leg or foot
  • Leg pain that increases with standing, sitting, or squatting

How is sciatica diagnosed?

Your caregiver will ask about other health conditions you may have. He may ask you about your job, history of back pain, diseases, or surgeries you have had. He will examine you and move your legs to see what increases pain. You may also need any of the following:

  • X-rays: This is a picture of the bones and tissues in your back, hip, thigh, or leg. This test may show other problems, such as fractures (broken bones).
  • CT scan: This test is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your hips, thighs, and legs. The pictures may show your sciatic nerve, muscles, and blood vessels. You may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help caregivers see the pictures better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): This scan uses powerful magnets and a computer to take pictures of your hips, thighs, and legs. An MRI may show damaged nerves, muscles, bones, and blood vessels. You may be given dye to help the pictures show up better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the caregiver if you have any metal in or on your body.
  • Electromyography: This is also called an EMG.  An EMG is done to test the function of your muscles and the nerves that control them. Electrodes (wires) are placed on the area of muscle being tested. Needles that enter your skin may be attached to the electrodes. The electrical activity of your muscles and nerves is measured by a machine attached to the electrodes. Your muscles are tested at rest and with activity.
  • Nerve conduction tests: These tests check how surface nerves and related muscles respond to stimulation. Electrodes with wires or tiny needles are placed on certain areas, such as the buttocks and legs.

How is sciatica treated?

  • NSAIDs: These medicines decrease swelling and pain. NSAIDs are available without a doctor’s order. Ask your caregiver which medicine is right for you. Ask how much to take and when to take it. Take as directed. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems if not taken correctly.
  • Acetaminophen: This medicine decreases pain. Acetaminophen is available without a doctor’s order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
  • Muscle relaxers: This medicine helps relax your muscles. It is also given to decrease pain and muscle spasms.
  • Epidural steroid medicine: This may include both an anesthetic (numbing medicine) and a steroid, which may decrease swelling and relieve pain. It is given as a shot close to the spine in the area where you have pain.
  • Chemonucleolysis: This is an injection given into the damaged disc to soften or shrink the disc.
  • Surgery: This may be done to correct problems such as a damaged disc, or a tumor in your spine. It may be done to decrease the pressure on the sciatic nerve. Caregivers may also release the muscle that may be pressing into your sciatic nerve.

How can I help manage sciatica?

  • Ultrasound therapy: This is a machine that uses sound waves to decrease pain. Topical medicines may be added to help decrease pain and inflammation.
  • Manual therapy: A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain. An occupational therapist teaches you skills to help with your daily activities.  A skilled massage therapist will help loosen the muscles, improve blood flow, take pressure off of the nerve allowing the body to rest, heal and restore the function and structure of the body.
  • Assistive devices: You may need to wear back support, such as a back brace. You may need crutches, a cane, or a walker to decrease stress on your lower back and leg muscles. Ask your caregiver for more information about assistive devices and how to use them correctly.
  • Download Sciatia Stretches PDF

How can sciatica be prevented?

  • Avoid pressure on your back and legs: Do not lift heavy objects, or stand or sit for long periods of time.
  • Lift objects safely: Keep your back straight and bend your knees when you pick up an object. Do not bend or twist your back when you lift.

Sciatic4

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Ask your caregiver how much you should weigh. Ask him to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.
  • Exercise: Ask your caregiver about the best stretching, warm-up, and exercise plan for you.

 

What are the risks of sciatica?

An epidural steroid injection can lead to pain disorders or paralysis if it is placed incorrectly. It may also cause headaches, leg pain, and blockage of blood flow to the spinal cord. Surgery may cause you to bleed or get an infection. If not treated, your muscles and nerves may become damaged permanently. You may have decreased strength. You may not be able to move your leg or control when you urinate or have bowel movements.

When should I contact my caregiver?

Contact your caregiver if:

  • You have pain in your lower back at night or when resting.
  • You have pain in your lower back with numbness below the knee.
  • You have weakness in one leg only.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care?

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have trouble holding back your urine or bowel movements.
  • You have weakness in both legs.
  • You have numbness in your groin or buttocks.

Care Agreement
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User’s use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of the Blausen Databases or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Magazine Articles

Bowen Technique Massage Article Condensed

MASSAGE Magazine, by Vicki Mechner

Issue # 106 (Nov/Dec 2003) pp. 102-107

Newspaper Articles

49er Great Roger Craig Still on the Run
Mercury News, by Mark Emmons
Posted: 10/03/2008

No Pain No Gain Kid
Sports Illustrated, by Jill Lieber
November 28, 1988

NFL Notebook Craig Sets the Pace for Running Backs
New York Times, by Thomas George
October 11, 1988

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Facet Joint Strain, Syndrome and Therapy

by: Peter Fuller (June 2013)

Neuromuscular therapy and Bowen therapy an appropriate measure for dealing with Facet Joint strain/syndrome and pain.

What is it?
Etiology:

The trouble with facet disease – and all other types of osteoarthritis – is that it cannot be cured or reversed. This means that if conservative treatments fail to alleviate the patient’s pain, spine surgery may be recommended to provide lasting relief.

Causes

Facet Joint Staring occurs when the small joints between the vertebrae, the facet joints, are overloaded or overstretched as a result of poor posture or an injury caused by the sudden movement of the joint.  The facet joints become inflamed and the muscles on either side of the spine go into spasm causing the back to become stiff and painful.  In severe cases the nerves can become irritated which may cause pain around the neck, spine, lumbar and side of the chest.

Erector Spinae Group_muscles_width600

Review of anatomy

Facet joints are small joints behind the discs which help to support the spine and allow it to move. There are 2 facet joints at each horizontal level; one on the right and one on the left of the spine. Facet joint surfaces are lined by cartilage. The facet joint itself is wrapped by a thick fibrous capsule that holds the joint in the proper alignment and gives it strength. Each facet joint receives 2 small nerve branches from the spinal nerves, which send sensory information from the facet joint to the spinal cord and then to the brain. If the facet joint is arthritic or otherwise irritated, the nerves send the information to the brain, which translates the information as “pain”.

Facet joints are susceptible to trauma and wear-and-tear changes. Trauma to facet joints such as Whiplash injuries, sleeping with a twisted neck, a sudden jerk of the neck, twisting while lifting overhead, or unguarded rotational motion of the spine, may lead to joint capsular tears, irritation of the joint surface, or distortion of the joint alignment. Daily wear-and-tear changes of facet joints can be caused by cartilage loss or spinal disc degeneration. In this case, the height between the vertebrae is diminished as the disc collapses, which results in abnormal loading forces on the facet joint at that level.

Facet syndrome in the upper neck region may present as headache at the base of the skull, aching behind the eyes, ringing in the ears, and upper neck pain and tenderness. Extension and rotation of the neck usually aggravates the symptoms. Facet syndrome in the lower neck region may manifest itself as pain and tenderness in the neck, shoulder and upper back, loss of cervical spinal curve, and is usually aggravated by neck extension and rotation.

axisandatlasvertebrae_1

Thoracic (middle back) facet syndrome may cause mid-back pain with muscle spasm, and loss of the normal thoracic spinal curve or occasionally pain encircling the rib cage. The pain is usually aggravated by spinal extension and rotation.

vertebral_column_labeled_colored_2010

Lumbar (lower back) facet syndrome usually leads to achy/sharp/throbbing pain in low back, buttocks, hips and occasionally hamstrings, associated with muscle spasm of the back muscles on the same side. The pain is usually aggravated by pressing over the facet joints or simultaneous extension and rotation of the lumbar spine. This pain must be differentiated from sacroiliac pain, which can be in a similar distribution.

Neuromuscular therapy and Bowen therapy (Manual Therapy)

Bowen therapy appropriately applied to the spine may release the Erector Spinae (Para spinal Group) taking the pressure off of the nerves thereby allowing the muscles to relax in their normal resting position.  Neuromuscular therapy may be specifically applied to persistent restricted areas to illicit release of the tonic, toxic, tight musculature and surrounding soft tissue (ligaments, tendons, etc.).  Neuromuscular tools may often be employed where fingers are unable to fit and/or reach.

Goal of Therapy

Release the impacted muscles and soft tissue, dissipate the pressure clamping down on the nerves; alleviate the tight muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissue.  This is often achieved through the use of: Mayo facial release therapy, With Fiber manipulation, Cross Fiber manipulation, Direct Compression, Grasp, Hold, Uncoil, Money Sign, Bowen Therapy Principle (BTP Principle) and other various manual therapy methods.

Further Therapy

Treatment for this condition is normally first attempted conservatively with a combination of:

  • Pain medication, anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drugs, and muscle relaxants
  • Physical therapy
  • Stretching
  • Low-impact exercises
  • The application of heat
  • Massage

Additional Intervention Approaches / Strategies

Physiotherapy –   If exercise alone does not improve symptoms then physiotherapy treatment may be required.  A physiotherapist can use specific treatments including, ultrasound, deep friction, massage, interferential, acupuncture or taping to help relieve pain and aid recovery.

Therapy of facet syndrome

typically includes conservative measures such as local heat, traction, anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), muscle trigger point injections, physical therapy, manipulation, and interventional treatment such as facet joint blocks, dorsal median branch nerve blocks or denervation and Prolotherapy. Unfortunately, there has not been a curative treatment for arthritis itself. After failing conventional measures, facet joint injection is usually performed. If the injection produces significant but short term pain relief, denervation of the facet joint can be performed to eliminate the painful sensation from the joints and thus provide long term pain reduction (in 80% of cases).

Treatment of Arthritis

The trouble with facet disease – and all other types of osteoarthritis – is that it cannot be cured or reversed. This means that if conservative treatments fail to alleviate the patient’s pain, spine surgery may be recommended to provide lasting relief.

Magazine Articles

Bowen Technique Massage Article Condensed

MASSAGE Magazine, by Vicki Mechner

Issue # 106 (Nov/Dec 2003) pp. 102-107

Newspaper Articles

49er Great Roger Craig Still on the Run
Mercury News, by Mark Emmons
Posted: 10/03/2008

No Pain No Gain Kid
Sports Illustrated, by Jill Lieber
November 28, 1988

NFL Notebook Craig Sets the Pace for Running Backs
New York Times, by Thomas George
October 11, 1988

Posted in Article | Leave a comment

Low-Back Pain …Are you moving towards health or away from it? Would you like to “Roll Your Pains Away?”

by: Peter Fuller (March 2013)

Massage therapy an appropriate measure for dealing with low back pain

Low back pain has been a serious health complication affecting more than 80% of the total population at some point in their life.  Statistics document: low-back pain accounts for the most number of disability claims which generally drag on to be the longest; and most number request(s) for sick leave.  As a result of this dramatic situation, massage therapy has subsequently been identified by many health professionals as an effective and preventative measure for low-back pain.  In basic terms, massage is defined as the treatment of superficial coating of connective tissues and muscles so as to enhance relaxation and functioning of well-being (Levine, 1999).

I am sure you have heard regular consistent exercise over the course of one’s lifetime helps alleviate pain and keep things moving.  To some extent, this statement does have some truth, exercise therapy is concerned with identifying and utilizing quality of life and potential movement; thus enhancing prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, or habilitation of health complications. However, based on research, massage therapy is more appropriate as compared to exercise therapy in dealing with low back pain.

This article will focus on deriving the most appropriate method of dealing with problems of low back pain.
Methods
To begin with, massage therapy has been categorized as one of the most effective preventive and curative measure for back pain among other health conditions.  Massage therapy is aimed at improving the circulation of blood by enhancing flow of oxygen and other nutrients to body tissues. The mode of administering massage therapy may vary as each therapist may intuitively employ one or more of the various acknowledged massage modalities.  In the professional arena, a normal massage therapy runs for about 40 to 90 minutes. In this situation, a preliminary consultation and review of the client’s conditions is done.  In the process of conducting a massage therapy session, the therapist or the health professional should carry out a concrete review of the medical history of the client as well as the lifestyles.  This will help identify the right procedures (Ernst, 199).  It is imperative to delineate and employ an appropriate therapy plan.

Examination of the painful lumbar region
During the clinical examination, pain may be aggravated by side-bending in the opposite direction.  This may be due to stretching of the dorsal cutaneous rami by this movement. Equally, rotation towards the painful side may make the pain worse.  Often, the skin and the subcutaneous tissues will be found to be hypersensitive in the dermatomes concerned.  This hypersensitivity can be demonstrated by a skin-rolling test.  Skin tenderness to pinching and rolling is normally thought to have a nonorganic basis, if it occurs over a wide and symmetrical area.  However, if the area is localized and confined to one side, pinch-roll tenderness may well be due to the irritation of a sensory cutaneous nerve.(1, 2)  The hypersensitivity observed may be interpreted as an antidromic stimulation of pain nerve fibers which leads to release of pain-enhancing substances into the skin.(3)

Myofascial trigger points (TPs) are frequently overlooked sources of acute and chronic low back pain.  An active myofascial TP is suspected by its focal tenderness to palpation and by restricted stretch range of motion.  The restricted lengthening of the muscle is due to the tense band of muscle fibers in which the TP is located.  The presence of a TP is confirmed by a local twitch response and by reproduction of its known pattern of referred pain, which matches the distribution of the client’s pain.  Only an active TP causes a clinical pain complaint; a latent TP does not.  Additionally, there are “traditional” and/or if you will…standard/known TPs as well as “non-traditional” TPs unique to an individual and their own personal life’s experiences; muscle memory.  The pain may be relieved by the stretch-and-spray procedure, ischemic compression, or precise injection of the TP with procaine solution.  Relief is usually long lasting only if mechanical and systemic perpetuating factors are corrected.

The most effective type of massage therapy for lower back pain is neuromuscular therapy. Neuromuscular therapy is also called trigger point myotherapy.  The American Academy of Pain Management recognizes this form of massage therapy as an effective treatment for back pain caused by soft tissue injury (such as a muscle strain).

Neuromuscular Massage Therapy Technique
Neuromuscular therapy consists of alternating levels of concentrated pressure on the areas of muscle spasm. The massage therapy pressure is usually applied with the fingers, knuckles, or elbow. Once applied to a muscle spasm, the pressure should not vary for ten to thirty seconds.

Massage Therapy May Reduce Muscle Pain

Muscles that are in spasm will be painful to the touch. The pain is caused by ischemic muscle tissue. Ischemia means the muscle is lacking proper blood flow, usually due to the muscle spasm. This in turn creates the following undesirable process:

  • Because the muscle is not receiving enough blood, the muscle is also not receiving enough oxygen
  • The lack of oxygen causes the muscle to produce lactic acid
  • The lactic acid makes the muscle feel sore following physical activity.

After the muscle is relaxed through massage therapy, the lactic acid will be released from the muscle, and the muscle should start receiving enough blood and oxygen.

Neuromuscular therapy will feel painful at first, but the pressure of the massage should alleviate the muscle spasm.  At this point, it is extremely important to communicate with the massage therapist regarding the pressure – whether the pressure is too much, too little, getting better, getting worse.  The therapist should listen and respond accordingly.  The massage therapy pressure should never be overly painful.  In fact, most people describe the pressure as “good pain”.

What to Expect After Massage Therapy

Following a neuromuscular therapy massage, any soreness that may present itself should fade after twenty-four to thirty-six hours. The muscles that were tight should remain noticeably more relaxed for four to fourteen days, depending on stress, activity level, and severity of back pain prior to beginning massage therapy.

The muscle spasm should relax in response to the pressure applied by the massage therapist.  If the muscle does not relax in response to the pressure, there is usually inflammation present. Massage is not the best treatment option for inflamed muscles, and patients should consult their doctor for treatment for the inflammation.

Most muscle spasms require four to six massage treatments, usually over the course of six to eight weeks, to achieve the best effect.  If muscle spasms do not begin to respond to neuromuscular therapy within two or three massage therapy sessions, neuromuscular massage therapy may not be the best treatment option.

If you have severe lower back pain, it is advisable to be checked by medical personnel (Primary Care Physician) before beginning massage therapy.

Combining Massage Therapy with Other Treatments
Massage therapy may also produce the very good results when combined with medical treatments such as physical therapy, chiropractic, or physician care.  Many massage therapy professionals will work as part of an interdisciplinary health care team in overall patient evaluation and treatment.

Additional Information
For more information on massage therapy and/or the therapy services provided by Complete Health Fitness, checkout www.CompleteHealthFitness.com or give us a call at (916) 704-7873.
We look forward to serving you!

References

  1. Lynn B. Cutaneous hyperalgesia. Br Med Bull 1977; 33:103-8.
  2. Maigne R. Origine dorsolombaire de certaines lombalgies basses : rôle des articulations interapophysaires et des branches postérieures des nerfs rachidiens. Rev Rhum Mal Osteoartic 1974; 41:781-9.
  3. Waddell G, McCulloch JA, Kummel E, Venner RM. Nonorganic physical signs in low-back pain. Spine 1980; 5:117-25.

Magazine Articles

Bowen Technique Massage Article Condensed

MASSAGE Magazine, by Vicki Mechner

Issue # 106 (Nov/Dec 2003) pp. 102-107

Newspaper Articles

49er Great Roger Craig Still on the Run
Mercury News, by Mark Emmons
Posted: 10/03/2008

No Pain No Gain Kid
Sports Illustrated, by Jill Lieber
November 28, 1988

NFL Notebook Craig Sets the Pace for Running Backs
New York Times, by Thomas George
October 11, 1988

Posted in Article | Leave a comment