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Myofascial Treatment Techniques

Updated August, 2019

Many treatment techniques for stiff joints are targeted at manipulating the myofascial system and soft tissue structures in order to impact their function. These structures include but are not limited to:

  • Muscle

  • Tendon

  • Ligament

  • Fascia

  • Skin

  • Nerve

No matter what structure is affected, Royal City Physio has the Myofascial Treatment Techniques you need!

Some of the Techniques that We Offer at Royal City Physio Include:

1) Cupping

Cupping is a technique that we frequently use to release tension throughout tight tissue. The negative pressure created under the cup acts to separate any structures that may be adhered to surrounding tissue. It is commonly used to release soft-tissue structures and increase blood flow to the area. Most hands on techniques that we use, such as massage or deep transverse friction massage, compress the tissues. Cupping is the one technique that we have the can separate these tissues so it can be a nice addition to other therapies. The cupping technique that we use is different than the technique of traditional Chinese medicine and usually results in less redness/bruising.

The effect can be significantly improved movement of tissue and of the joint that this tissue crosses and as a result decreased pain. A common injury that is treated with cupping is Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), which is tension in the IT band resulting in pain to the outside of the knee.

2) Deep Transverse Friction Massage

Deep transverse friction massage is a technique that is performed by applying a firm pressure transversely across the tissue in an oscillatory manner. This can be done to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Benefits of this technique include:

  • Increased blood flow facilitating the healing process

  • Increased sensory input decreased pain

  • Preventing scar tissue formation

  • Increasing mobility breaking up adhesions

This technique is commonly used over ligaments/tendon following an acute injury in order to increase blood flow promote proper orientation of fibers during the repair process, and decrease the formation of scar tissue/adhesion. It can also be done across scars throughout the healing progress to improve the mobility of the tissue surrounding the scar. This technique is often painful during the session however results in deceased pain for up to 24 hours post treatment. This treatment can be given to patients as a home exercise to continue with daily to help with the healing process.

3) Muscle Energy Techniques (MET)

Muscle energy technique is a form of active stretching that can be used to relax and lengthen a muscle. In this technique there is a combination of passive stretching and gentle sub-maximal contraction.

Firstly, the muscle is passively brought in to a stretch position by the therapist. The patient then gently performs a sub-maximal contraction of the muscle being stretched for 3-5 seconds. Once the muscle relaxes it temporarily becomes inhibited which allow the therapist to push slightly further in to the stretch.

This cycle is repeated 2-3x until the desired effect is obtained, or the patient cannot stretch any further. This technique is very commonly used in the muscles of the hip and pelvis. This is also a great technique that can be given to patients as part of a home exercise program to help with symptom management.

Jayme Gordon graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Master's degree in Physical Therapy. Prior to this she completed a Bachelor's of Science Kinesiology degree at the University of Victoria. She is a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association as well as the Physiotherapy Association of BC. Jayme has a passion for working with a diverse patient population ranging from athletes to community dwelling seniors. Book with Jayme today.

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