Tag Archives: therapeutic

Is there any merit to Functional Strength Training?

Q: What is functional strength training?
A: Functional strength training has become a popular buzzword in the fitness industry. Unfortunately, it is also subject to wide interpretation.

In extreme cases some personal trainers believe that by mimicking the explosive, ballistic activities of high-level competitive athletes, they are training in a functional manner. All too often, however, such training programs greatly exceed the physiological capabilities of the average exerciser, which ultimately increases the possibility that an injury might occur. Most would agree that there is nothing functional about sustaining an injury due to improper training. In many respects, functional strength training should be thought of in terms of a continuous movement. Training to improve functional strength involves more than simply increasing the force-producing capability of a muscle or group of muscles. Functional strength training involves performing work against resistance in such a manner that the improvements in strength directly enhance the performance of movements so that an individual’s activities of daily living are easier to perform. Simply put, the main aim of functional training is to transfer the improvements in strength achieved in one movement to enhancing the performance of another movement by affecting the entire neuromuscular system. Accordingly, individuals shouldn’t rely on any single group of exercises. Individuals should use all the weapons in their training arsenal. Functional strength training should serve as a supplement to traditional strength training, not as a replacement.

Properly applied, functional strength training may provide exercise variety and additional training benefits that more directly transfer improvements to real-life activities.

Source: Bryant, Cedric X. 101 Frequently Asked Questions about “Health & Fitness” and “Nutrition & Weight Control”.

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Trigger Point Therapy

What Is Trigger Point Therapy?

By STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT Qualified

What are trigger points?
A (Myofascial) trigger point is a hyper irritable and painful area. It’s called a trigger point or trigger site because it “triggers” painful responses, but a trigger point is more than just a tender muscle knot. It affects not only the muscle where the trigger point is found, but also causes “referred pain” in other tissues supplied by similar nerves. Trigger points are most notable in a taut band of muscles fibres. The trigger point will be the sorest point in the band. The therapist will locate and deactivate them using finger pressure. One technique is to pick up the muscle fibres in a finger pincer grip.

Here are a few symptoms you should know about:
If you have restless leg syndrome, you have TPs; if your teeth hurt, you have TPs; if your workouts plateau, you have TPs; if you have painful menses or irritable bowel syndrome, you have TPs.
Simply rubbing the surface of the skin with a massage lotion, a vibrating massage or using heat will not change the condition of a single trigger point. What it needs is sufficient deep sustained pressure to the knotted-up area.  As we work the Trigger Point, your body will undergo soft tissue release, allowing for increased blood flow, a reduction in muscle spasm and the break-up of scar tissue. It will also help remove any build-up of toxic metabolic waste. Your body will also undergo a neurological release, reducing the pain signals to the brain and resetting your neuro-muscular system to restore its proper function. In other words, everything will work the way it should again.

What You Should Know About Trigger Point Therapy?
It is used to treat painful trigger points that cause referred pain. Trigger points take time to create and it will likely take more than one session to get rid of it. These points are often areas of chronic “holding” and you need to learn how to move in different ways to keep them from recurring. Muscle Energy Technique can be enormously helpful when improving range of movement.

How Long Does It Take To Get Relief?
The length of time it takes to release a trigger point depends on several factors, one of which is how long you have had your trigger point. Other factors include the number of trigger points you have, how effective your current treatment is, and how consistently you can administer or receive treatment. Trigger points are very fickle; they need to be addressed frequently using a technique that will apply the pinpoint pressure that is needed. Attending a good massage therapist frequently enough to get a trigger point to release can become quite expensive, with my guidance I can show you how you can help yourself between treatments for faster more effective relief. What I’m saying here is that you need to take responsibility for managing your own care. From time to time, of course, you may find you need help from medical professionals. But even so, the more you know the better care you’re going to receive. This is naturally going to require some time and effort on your part, but the payoff will be faster with far better results.