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I have recently begun to comb through Clinical Application of Neuromuscular Techniques to enhance my knowledge of soft tissue therapeutics. As far as I know this is one of the more comprehensive textbooks that cover not only the
mechanics of dysfunction, but a handful of techniques designed at
addressing the issues, information on biochemistry, and is extremely
well referenced.

As I was reading through last night, the idea of “beneficially overactive tissues” was brought to mind. While it is common practice to identify patterns of muscle hyperactivity or hypotonicity like
Janda’s Crossed Syndromes or some of what Sahrmann discusses, and
subsequently seek to eliminate these overactive tissues, generally with
stretching, it may not always be the best play. As I noted in my
article on hip flexor stretching, attacking tight or toned musculature
right off the bat can do more harm to an individual than can taking
time to first reestablish control. Along the same lines, addressing
muscle tissue tone with foam rolling and manual therapies can sometimes
be contraindicated as the excess tone or tightness is guarding the body.

For example, as you’ll often find in runners with a history of SI dysfunction, the biceps femoris is often chronically toned and shortens over time. While there may be many reasons for excessive tone, the
biceps femoris has the ability to tension the sacrotuberous ligament,
which reduces total excursion of the SIJ. By reducing the tone alone,
you’ll run the risk of altering what little force closure exists on the
SI joint and bigger problems will follow. In the same vain, reducing
tone of the hamstrings may potentially compromise the body’s ability to
handle spinal loading if authentic stability is not developed.

Muscle splinting occurs often when a tissue that needs to be immobilized. It differs from general tightness, however, in that when the guarded muscle is placed at rest, the splinting response is
diminished. Often, you’ll see this in cases where the ITB is causing
problems. In an effort to control excursion, the adductors and the
abductors of the hip kick on simultaneously so that further tissue
damage is resisted. In cases like these, the best step is to hand the
client to someone more capable of dealing with the situation. Once a
tissue is taken care of and ready to begin to be loaded again, the
guarding response may still exist, and must be respected. In cases
where the guarding is excessive, a number of kinesiotape applications
can help reduce the tone and protect the formerly injured tissue as
well that will augment your therapist’s manual methods.


Carson Boddicker

Boddicker Performance

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