Monday, August 3, 2015

Tools for pain relief and enhanced performance

Pain and dysfunction of any body part has many possible causes. I would venture to say that every single one of us can identify with nagging muscle pain or muscle "knots."

Tools for pain relief and enhanced performance


Pain and dysfunction of any body part has many possible causes. I would venture to say that every single one of us can identify with nagging muscle pain or muscle “knots.” 

In medical terminology, this is a myofascial restriction of the actual muscle fibers and the connective tissue, fascia, that envelops them.  In my opinion, full healing is not possible without addressing this common soft tissue problem.  

There are several techniques available to address myofascial restrictions. I commonly utilize my hands for deep massage, myofascial release, acupressure and stretching. There also have been tools developed to accomplish muscle release when used by a skilled practitioner. 

In my office, we use HawkGrips tools for instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization.  This allows the user to focus mechanical force along a small contact surface to treat the target tissue.  

HawkGrips are a surgical-grade stainless steel instrument designed to detect and treat soft tissue restrictions. We glide the tools over the skin and feel for any soft tissue adhesions. The tools actually transmit vibrations from the muscle and connective tissue to the instrument which can be felt and heard.  There are various different strokes applied for deep pressure to restricted tissue in order to break adhesions, soften tissue and promote oxygenation and circulation to the affected areas.

Performing tissue mobilization in this manner with my patients has resulted in reduced pain, improved range of motion, increased flexibility and overall enhanced performance. We have had great success in treating soft tissue restrictions of the neck, back, shoulders, knees and feet using HawkGrips in combination with therapeutic exercises, postural re-training and teaching optimal body mechanics.  

In general, soft tissue treatment, whether completed with hands or tools, is a highly effective hands-on approach in managing many acute and chronic pain syndromes, sports injuries, aging disorders, and traumatic and surgical scarring.  In my opinion, ignoring these soft tissue restrictions is the missing link in many people’s care.

Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.

Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
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J. Ryan Bair, PT, DPT, SCS Founder and Owner of FLASH Sports Physical Therapy, Board Certified in Sports Physical Therapy
Brian Cammarota, MEd, ATC, CSCS, CES Partner at Symetrix Sports Performance
Ellen Casey, MD Physician with Drexel University Sports Medicine
Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D. Head Team Physician for Phillies & St. Joe's; Rothman Institute
Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Justin D'Ancona
Peter F. DeLuca, M.D. Head Team Physician for Eagles, Head Orthopedic Surgeon for Flyers; Rothman Institute
Joel H. Fish, Ph.D. Director of The Center For Sport Psychology; Sports Psychology Consultant for 76ers & Flyers
R. Robert Franks, D.O. Team Physician for USA Wrestling, Consultant for Phillies; Rothman Institute
Ashley B. Greenblatt, ACE-CPT Certified Personal Trainer, The Sporting Club at The Bellevue
Brian Maher, BS, CSCS Owner, Philly Personal Training
Julia Mayberry, M.D. Attending Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeon, Main Line Hand Surgery P.C.
Jim McCrossin, ATC Strength and Conditioning Coach, Flyers and Phantoms
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Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales and Hatfield, PA
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Tracey Romero Sports Medicine Editor,
David Rubenstein, M.D. Sports Medicine Surgeon, Rothman Institute
Robert Senior Event coverage, Sports Doc contributor
Justin Shaginaw, MPT, ATC Athletic Trainer for US Soccer Federation; Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute
Thomas Trojian MD, CAQSM, FACSM Associate Chief of the Division of Sports Medicine at Drexel University
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