FIT is a multidisciplinary approach of therapy that integrates functional screenings, orthopedic assessments, (passive, active, resistive and special tests) along with myofascial release, trigger point therapy, stretching, corrective exercise (client home care) and joint mobilizations to facilitate an overall balance of the body resulting in structural integration, pain free movement and enhanced overall performance.
It is paramount to make an accurate assessment of the condition in which your client presents so the appropriate techniques can be administered. For example, if the therapist suspects adhesive capsulitis in the clients` shoulder, the end range of the motion in abduction should be evaluated for the end feel of the glenohumeral joint. If the end feel is bone on bone like then joint capsule work needs to be administered or if the end feel is more of a leathery feel then soft tissue work needs to be performed. These specific evaluations need to be correctly assessed to assure the proper treatment is conducted.
Let us now discuss Eccentric Loading. It is one therapy utilized to alleviate the strains in soft tissue. A strain occurs when the collagen matrix and muscle tissue tearor becomes irregular. Meaning, the collagen fibers do not line up correctly. The same theory is applied regarding scar tissue. We need scar tissue, but the problem arises when the scar tissue lines up in an irregular pattern. It is our intention to realign the collagen fibers and the scar tissue. In order to accomplish this we must have the client perform an eccentric contraction of the strained muscle. In this case the hamstrings. An eccentric contraction is when a muscle contracts but elongates at the same time. In weight training this is called “performing the negative motion.” Performing eccentric contractions will realign the collagen and scar tissues hence alleviating the strain.
The therapist instructs the client to bend their leg 90 degrees. The therapist will ask the client to resist the downward pressure as the therapist straightens the client’s leg. The client will only use 10-20 percent of their strength. This can be performed 10-15 times. The therapist will again ask the client to contract their hamstring against the therapist’s resistance to check if the strain is alleviated or lessened. Ask the client to now point to the strain. The strain may be significantly better.
If the client tells the therapist the stain has lessened, the therapist may ask the client to perform the eccentric contraction with more resistance maybe 50-60 percent of their strength. The more resistance the client performs the deeper the strain can be felt by the client. Eventually, the client will feel no pull in the hamstring and at that point the strain will be alleviated.
You can utilize these techniques on any muscle strain and alleviate strains quickly. Multi-directional friction performed directly on a strain will also aid in the alleviation of strains in any muscle.
I have tremendous success utilizing these techniques in the treatment room. Whether I am working with the general population, professional athletes or all other amateur athletes these techniques alleviate strains quickly and allow the athlete to return to their desired profession faster.
Mark Carangelo is an Author, Presenter, and massage therapy school owner who lectures year round on acute and chronic pain also Sports Injuries. He’s developed an orthopedic massage for the clinical therapist seminar series and DVD series. Mark presents at state conventions, is a presenter for The Red Bank Holistic Learning Center and New York Sports Clubs. His audience includes massage and physical therapists as well as athletic trainers, chiropractors, osteopaths, nurses, physicians, occupational therapists, high-end sports and athletic trainers. Mark has been on the New York Jets strength and conditioning staff and works with many elite athletes from UFC MMA fighters to world class swimmers. Mark has amassed hundreds of thousands of hours of clinical experience and his school American Institute of Alternative Medicine recognized as one of the most complete in the USA. He is also served as the vice chairman of the New Jersey massage and bodywork licensing board.
Mark can be reached: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.massageschoolnewjersey.com