We Offer Myofascial Release!

Myofascial Release is a highly specialized stretching technique used by physical therapists to treat patients with a variety of soft tissue problems.

To understand what Myofascial Release is and why it works, you have to understand a little about fascia. Fascia is a thin tissue that covers all the organs of the body. This tissue covers every muscle and every fiber within each muscle. All muscle stretching, then, is actually stretching of the fascia and the muscle, the myofascial unit. When muscle fibers are injured, the fibers and the fascia which surrounds it become short and tight. This uneven stress can be transmitted through the fascia to other parts of the body, causing pain and a variety of other symptoms in areas you often wouldn’t expect. Myofascial Release treats these symptoms by releasing the uneven tightness in injured fascia.  The collagenous fibers of fascia are extremely tough and resistant to stretch.  In fact, it is estimated that fascia has a tensile strength of as much as 2,000 pounds per square inch.  No wonder when it tightens, it can cause pain!

In other words, Myofascial Release is stretching of the fascia. The stretch is guided by feedback the therapist feels from the patient’s body. This feedback tells the therapist how much force to use, the direction of the stretch and how long to stretch. Small areas of muscle are stretched at a time. Sometimes the therapist uses only two fingers to stretch a small part of a muscle. The feedback the therapist feels determines which muscles are stretched and in what order.

Each Myofascial Release technique contains the same components. The physical therapist finds the area of tightness. A light stretch is applied to the tight area. The physical therapist waits for the tissue to relax and then increases the stretch. The process is repeated until the area is fully relaxed. Then, the next area is stretched.

The therapist will be able to find sore spots just by feel. Often, patients are unable to pinpoint some sore spots or have grown used to them until the physical therapist finds them. The size and sensitivity of these sore spots, called Myofascial Trigger Points, will decrease with treatment.

Most patients are surprised by how gentle Myofascial Release is. Some patients fall asleep during treatment. Others later go home and take a nap. Most patients find Myofascial Release to be a very relaxing form of treatment.  It is not unusual for a patient to experience some therapeutic pain after treatment, however this will resolve in about 24 hours.  Remember to drink plenty of water.

Myofascial Release is not massage. Myofascial Release is used to equalize muscle tension throughout the body. Unequal muscle tension can compress nerves and muscles causing pain. Progress is measured by a decrease in the patient’s pain and by an improvement in overall posture.

Call Be Fit Physical Therapy & Pilates, LTD at 630-964-4008 to schedule your initial evaluation to see how Myofascial Release can benefit you!


Pilates and Total Knee Replacement

While discussing the topic of total knee replacement, every PT is aware of the need for early and constant mobilization following surgery. The Pilates equipment provides many options for encouraging early range of motion using passive stretching and PNF stretching techniques with the assistance of the spring resistance. The exercises encourage both flexion and full extension in a variety of body positions, and the tension of the springs can vary from approximately 20 pounds to 170 pounds.

One of the Pilates apparatus called the Cadillac uses a push-through bar that allows the patient to lie in supine with the feet elevated. The Pilates Combo Chair offers both seated and standing positions, and the Pilates Reformer offers both sidelying and supine options similar to a lying leg press.

With the use of Pilates equipment, it is possible to create multiple exercises to allow the patient comfort, support, and varied functional activities for a creative therapeutic exercise program geared to mobilization, whether it is early or late in the rehabilitation process. Not to mention that it reduces the stress to the PT, who may have to do much of this mobilization manually.

Physical Therapy Products, July 2010

We Offer CranioSacral Therapy

The Craniosacral System is a physiological system.  It is a semi-closed hydraulic system contained within a tough waterproof membrane (the Dura Mater) which envelops the brain and the spinal cord.  An important function of this system is the production, circulation and re-absorption of Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF).  CSF is produced within the Craniosacral System and maintains the physiological environment in which your brain and nervous system develop, live and function.

CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. It was pioneered and developed by Osteopathic Physician John E. Upledger after years of clinical testing and research at Michigan State University where he served as professor of biomechanics.

Using a soft touch which is generally no greater than 5 grams – about the weight of a nickel – practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and it’s effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.

Few structures have as much influence over the body’s ability to function properly as the brain and spinal cord that make up the central nervous system. And, the central nervous system is heavily influenced by the craniosacral system – the membranes and fluid that surround, protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord.

Every day your body endures stresses and strains that it must work to compensate for. Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten and distort the craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.

Fortunately, such restrictions can be detected and corrected using simple methods of touch. With a light touch, the CST practitioner uses his or her hands to evaluate the craniosacral system by gently feeling various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. Soft-touch techniques are then used to release restrictions in any tissues influencing the craniosacral system.

By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, CranioSacral Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunctions, from chronic pain and sports injuries to stroke and neurological impairment.

Conditions Addressed

• Chronic Neck and Back Pain                                    

• Orthopedic Injuries, Sports Injuries, and Pain

• Migraines and Headaches                                       

• Stress and Tension Related Disorders

• Fibromyalgia                                                                  

• Chronic Fatigue

• Scoliosis                                                                           

• TMJ Syndrome

• Motor-Coordination Impairments                       

• Central Nervous System Disorders

• Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries                                

• Many Other Conditions

Call Be Fit Physical Therapy & Pilates, LTD. to schedule your initial evaluation, 630-964-4008

Schedule your Private Pilates Lesson

Be Fit Physical Therapy and Pilates offer Private Pilates lessons using the Pilates equipment (Cadillac, Reformer, Chair and Barrels).  A great way to get in shape for the summer!

Call the schedule your one-on-one session.  Immediate openings available! 630-964-4008

Suffering From Low Back Pain?

Have you or are you suffering from low back pain?  We can treat that here at Be Fit Physical Therapy & Pilates, LTD.  We have a wide variety of treatment plans to fit your needs.  Call today to schedule an initial evaluation to see how we can help you! 630-964-4008