MYOFASCIAL DECOMPRESSION

Myofascial decompression is a technique that uses dome shaped “cups” to create negative pressure (suction) combined with gentle, strategic movement to help release the tightness in an area of muscle and fascia, thereby improving quality of movement, and decreasing pain. The suction helps to create “space” in the tissues and restore fluidity to the fascia. Fascia is the support structure or “scaffolding” for tissues. It is fluid and has a high degree of plasticity. It encapsulates and connects multiple muscles allowing for the functional kinetic chain and plays a large role in the quality of our movement. Certain areas of our fascia can lose their fluidity and become a sort of “glue” that causes a restriction in the ability of the tissues to glide, changing the way the forces in the system are distributed and can contribute to pain and injury. We see this occur in common injuries such as shoulder impingement/tendonitis, tennis and golfer’s elbow, work or sport related repetitive overuse injuries, as well as neck and low back strains.

The negative pressure created through the use of myofascial decompression, combined with active and/or passive movement, releases the tonic, tight, facilitated muscles and decreases the density that has accumulated in specific myofascial layers. It helps to bring blood flow, and therefore oxygen, to the area and allows nutrient exchange and helps to release trigger points, or knots, in the muscles. Myofascial decompression can also help decrease scar tissue and improve the pliability of the tissue/muscle. We are experiencing some exciting results with the addition of myofascial decompression to our tool box here at North Jersey Physical Therapy Associates, call today to come in and see if this technique is appropriate for treatment of your pain/movement impairment.

COULD YOUR POSTURE BE CAUSING YOUR NECK PAIN and HEADACHES?

Do you have neck pain and/or headaches that get worse after sitting long periods, or after prolonged cell phone, laptop, or tablet use? The way you are holding your head up could be overworking the muscles of your head and neck, contributing to your pain. With the increasing use of hand held electronics, slouched posture has become more prevalent than ever. In neutral, upright posture (as depicted in diagram below), the head is positioned over the shoulders and should present as a 10-12 pound load for the spine and muscles to support. As we increase neck flexion and look further and further down, the weight of the head progressively increases. Notice at the far right of the diagram the head can begin to mimic a 60 pound load on the spine and neck muscles due to the slumped posture. When you think of your head as a 12 pound weight versus a 60 pound weight, it’s no wonder your neck and head begin to hurt with improper posture!

Neck and Head Pain Posture
DR. KENNETH HANSRAJ/SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL

It is important to think about creating space by brining your lower ribs up and away from your pelvis, drawing your breast bone up, and imagine you are putting your head on the ceiling.  Be sure not to arch your lower back.  These are all cues that can help facilitate abdominal elongation and proper upright posture that will place your shoulders over your hips and your head over your shoulders.

The next time you sit down to read a book, use your tablet or cell phone, think about the way you are holding your head, and try to bring the reading material up towards eye level so you do not allow your head to bend down and pull on your spine and neck muscles.  Fixing your posture alone may not be enough to eliminate your head and neck pain, but it is certainly a great place to start.  If you have persistent head or neck pain, call today to come in for an evaluation and individualized treatment plan at North Jersey Physical Therapy. 

LOW BACK PAIN BEYOND the STRUCTURE BASED DIAGNOSIS

According to statistics, Low Back Pain has a lifetime prevalence of 65% to 80% . With a prevalence so high, there is a good chance you will experience low back pain at some point in your life. Perhaps you have in the past, or you have some low back pain right now. When it comes to the proper treatment, how do you know what is right for you? Chances are, you’ve probably seen a physician, possibly received some medications, maybe even an x ray and MRI, and perhaps your physician has recommended you try a course of Physical Therapy. At North Jersey Physical Therapy, we have a unique approach to the treatment of your low back pain.

According to statistics, Low Back Pain has a lifetime prevalence of 65% to 80% . With a prevalence so high, there is a good chance you will experience low back pain at some point in your life. Perhaps you have in the past, or you have some low back pain right now. When it comes to the proper treatment, how do you know what is right for you? Chances are, you’ve probably seen a physician, possibly received some medications, maybe even an x ray and MRI, and perhaps your physician has recommended you try a course of Physical Therapy. At North Jersey Physical Therapy, we have a unique approach to the treatment of your low back pain.

Now that it is understood that your MRI findings might not even be showing the true root cause of your pain, you may be asking yourself, what is causing my low back pain? At North Jersey Physical Therapy we look at how your body moves, we look for compensatory patterns that may have become long term strategies due to muscle inhibition elsewhere, leading to wear and tear in certain areas which eventually leads to pain. Often, the site of the pain is not the same as the cause of the pain. For example, your pain may be in your low back, but the reason it hurts at that segment is because your body is moving too much from that same segment because something else isn’t moving well enough, or certain muscles have become inhibited, or you are overusing muscles that aren’t designed to be used in such a way. You are beating up that one section of your back because something, somewhere else, isn’t doing its job.

Now that it is understood that your MRI findings might not even be showing the true root cause of your pain, you may be asking yourself, what is causing my low back pain? At North Jersey Physical Therapy we look at how your body moves, we look for compensatory patterns that may have become long term strategies due to muscle inhibition elsewhere, leading to wear and tear in certain areas which eventually leads to pain. Often, the site of the pain is not the same as the cause of the pain. For example, your pain may be in your low back, but the reason it hurts at that segment is because your body is moving too much from that same segment because something else isn’t moving well enough, or certain muscles have become inhibited, or you are overusing muscles that aren’t designed to be used in such a way. You are beating up that one section of your back because something, somewhere else, isn’t doing its job.

The physical therapists at North Jersey Physical Therapy will give you a comprehensive initial evaluation, go over their findings and share with you their physical therapy diagnosis, assessment, and treatment plan to address the root cause of your low back pain. They will design a home program to reinforce new movement strategies that will help improve carryover between treatment sessions and promote progress. Call today to improve the way you move!


1 Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD  “Epidemiology of Low Back Pain” ;Pain Physician Vol. 3, No. 2, 2000

2 Boden SD et al.  “Abnoral magnetic resonance scans of the lumbar spine in asymptomatic subjects.  A prospective investigation.” J Bone Joint Surg. Am.  1990 Mar; 72(3):403-8.

Buteyko Breathing Course

Suffer from asthma, allergies, sleep apnea, insomnia or anxiety?

Come to our Buteyko Breathing Course!

Saturday, January 30 and Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lunch Included

North Jersey Physical Therapy Associates
95 Madison Ave.
Morristown, NJ 07960

Practitioners:
$250 CE Pending
Saturday and Sunday
9:00 – 4:30 P.M.

Patients:
$50
Saturday OR Sunday
10:00 – noon

Call for your reservation today: (973) 538-8877

Speaker Patrick McKeown is the Director of Education and Training at the Buteyko Clinic International. Patrick is also the author of the Oxygen Advantage and many other books.

Patrick-McKeown

Pain and Injury from Improper Breathing

By John Vicchio, PT, CCTT

Breathing is unquestionably a key function of the human body. It sustains life by providing oxygen needed for metabolism and removing the by-product of these reactions, carbon dioxide. Breathing has other functions that affect motor control, postural stability and roles in maintaining homeostasis function (maintain internal stability such as balance and equilibrium) in the autonomic nervous system and circulatory system. When breathing becomes dysfunctional it affects people’s lives, challenging homeostasis, creating symptoms that most patients do not associate with their pain and compromising health.

The primary muscles of breathing are the diaphragm, intercostals (muscles running between the ribs) and abdominals, which allow the average person to take over 21,000 breaths per day. These muscles are located in the chest wall compromised of the rib cage/thorax and the abdomen, creating an effective respiratory pump. The respiratory pump can become dysfunctional due to many factors, which are altered and paradoxical motion between rib cage and abdomen called paradoxical breathing, thus increasing use of upper body muscles such as the scalenes, upper trapezius and sternocleidomastoids. Abdominal weakness and rib cage stiffness are common dysfunctions that we see at North Jersey Physical Therapy Associates (NJPTA).

At our clinic we evaluate and treat on how breathing affects postural stability and motor control. Muscles such as the diaphragm, transverse abdominals and pelvic floor muscles are important for motor control and postural support as well as for breathing. If their function is compromised there is an increased susceptibility to low back pain and injury.

At NJPTA, we take a unique approach in treatment, which includes an extensive assessment and treatment using manual therapy interventions, neuromuscular exercises (90/90 Diaphragm breathing, Buteyko breathing) and dry needling. These are all helpful tools in restoring and maintaining motor control/postural stability.

Below is an illustration of optimal breathing from Integrative Core Dynamics:

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