As is true with many things in life, there may be more contributing to your pain than meets the eye. In fact, the point of pain may not be the source. Muscles throughout the body can create myofascial trigger points, often referred to as “knots.” These palpable tender spots are a group of muscle fibers that maintain a semi-contracted state for too long. The fascia, which is a non- contractile tissue, covers nearly every muscle fiber, can also be a part of this point restriction. These restrictions can be very tender to touch and can have a greater influence on how the entire muscle activates. Through years of research, medical professionals have been able to map common referral patterns for each muscle.1
Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, or more commonly known as IASTM, is the use of tools to assess tissue quality and to treat areas identified to have scar tissue, soft tissue restrictions, chronic inflammation or degeneration.
Dry needling is an innovative treatment technique performed by a licensed physical therapist to help reduce or heal pain symptoms. This technique has many useful applications ranging from soft tissue involvement to nerve irritation. In general, it is primarily used to target trigger points (sensitive spots in soft tissue) and reduce tension of taut muscles.
You may have heard of (or saw pictures of) dry needling before. A common question for those unfamiliar with this treatment is, “does it hurt?”
The answer is yes and no; let me go into some detail of why:
Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) is a hot topic in physical therapy right now. Even though it has been around since the 1960s, there has recently been a surge in BFR research that supports how this technique can improve patient outcomes.
Muscle mass accounts for 40-45 percent of total body weight,1 which makes it no surprise that muscle injuries can account for anywhere between 10-55 percent of all sustained sports injuries.2 With such a prevalence of muscle-related injuries, it’s important to understand how muscles heal, which includes three phases: Destruction, Repair and Remodeling.2
Have you ever had a patient who sustained a work-related injury with subjective report of radicular symptoms? A patient involved in a motor vehicle accident with report of symptoms radiating down the arm? A lower back injury, with the patient reporting symptoms down into their glutes? AND ALL IMAGING IS NEGATIVE????