Trigger points and reasons why I don’t bother.

The term Trigger Points (TrPs) is often used by therapists to describe localised tender spots that may refer pain to other areas when stimulated.  Whilst there seems to be less argument about whether they exist or not there is more about what they might be and there are major issues with being able to find them, perhaps 50/50 at best, and the reproducibility of actually being able to find them, 18%. In fact in 1992 a, admittedly small, blind study was carried out on them using using both those with Myofascial TrP’s and fibromyalgia. Yet the best of the best of Trigger Point specialists including Simons, of Travell and Simons writers of the Trigger Point bible, and 3 others couldn’t find or agree on any  where they were given as much time as required to find them.

For myself they were never a good fit in any treatment I was trying to carry out as the treatment of them seemed to be the polar opposite of what I was trying to do otherwise, that is relieve pain not cause more pain. The treatment of TrP’s for most manual therapists seems to revolve around pressing hard on something that is already sore and use the symptoms to help understand what the underlying problem may be and treat that not the symptoms, I’ve always felt that they were symptoms of an issue elsewhere rather than a problem in and of themselves.

There is certainly more evidence to suggest that TrP’s  may be a sensitization of the nervous system, possibly centrally. This carries even more weight when you consider that the areas that the referred pain cover are very similar to the path of the peripheral nerves. There is a great short piece over at the HumanAntiGravitySuit giving a couple of lovely diagrams of how the idea of TrP’s may be more about nerves. Continue reading “Trigger points and reasons why I don’t bother.”

The Hinge and your golf swing

The hinge movement I’m referring to is that of hip flexion and the movement should occur without any movement in the spine whether at the lumbar, thoracic or cervical areas. So when we hinge the torso should be fixed and all the movement should occur at the hips. In the picture below Adam Scott has gone from a more flexed position through the lumbar and thoracic area with an extended cervical position to having a more neutral position. Continue reading “The Hinge and your golf swing”

Managing injuries

First and foremost when trying to manage an injury we need to find out what it is. Whether you’re a runner, golfer, footballer, rugby player or any other sport there is generally plenty of advice and suggestions online on how to treat the symptoms that you have. This can be helpful in allowing you to function until you get treatment and perhaps continue to train but unless you’re very lucky the chances of your self diagnosis being correct are slim. This is where coming to see us at Performance Sports Therapy fits into your return to activity as our job is to help identify what the injury is and, perhaps more importantly, what caused it.  Continue reading “Managing injuries”

Do not go gentle into that good night: Exercising as we age

Keeping moving as we age is much more important than is often given consideration too and it is often just accepted that as we get older we can do and will do less. From our 30’s we start to lose muscle mass, medically known as sarcopenia, at a rate of up to 3-5% per decade in those who are physically inactive. So given that most people have sedentary jobs, if you buy into the idea that as you get older you can do less then it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, especially where the accepted inactivity alongside the sedentary job push us towards the 3-5% figure. Continue reading “Do not go gentle into that good night: Exercising as we age”

Injury Prevention

Often in pursuit of our training goals we spend too much time training too hard chasing after a particular time, distance or weight and not enough time laying the groundwork that would help achieve these goals. To help avoid injury in your training take your foot of the gas for most of the year and just pick 2 or 3 6 week periods to really go after it can help the process of achieving these goals whilst avoiding injury. That doesn’t mean your not looking for improvement for most of the year you are just not chasing after it. Continue reading “Injury Prevention”

A strategy for dealing with aches and pains

In our goal of moving better and dealing with the aches and pains that come from work, training and life in general I often hear that X worked when I tried it but the problem came back. This something that often is said regarding soft tissue work you can do at home such as stretching, foam rolling/ other self MFR techniques or even work carried out by a manual therapist/physiotherapist. Often what is forgotten is that these techniques or treatments are designed to help improve range of movement and tissue quality but you need to “own” this newly created movement by using it and often by re-patterning our movement. If you simply treat the area then go back to using it just as you did before then it’s hardly surprising that the relief was only temporary. Continue reading “A strategy for dealing with aches and pains”