Traction for the cervical spine is indicated for the client with a pinched nerve in the neck because it opens up the intervertebral foramina to decompress the spinal nerves. Dr. Joe Muscolino demonstrates how to easily perform neck traction using a towel.
With any imbalanced posture (postural distortion pattern), including text neck posture, asymmetrical pathomechanical forces are placed into the tissues of the body. These forces have to have an effect. I believe it is impossible to argue that pathomechanics do not lead to dysfunction.
The neck and head do not contribute to the generation of pressure, so head and neck posture should be whatever is most comfortable and least stressful. Forward head posture, a common postural distortion imbalance pattern that occurs is caused by a flexion of the head and neck.
Being able to feel tissue tension barrier is the one most crucial aspect for a clinical orthopedic manual therapist performing deep pressure massage. From a mechanical standpoint, it is only pressure beyond the tissue tension barrier that effects therapeutic change (this is not necessarily true neurally).
When performing deep pressure massage, deep stroking massage must originate from your core by further rocking your pelvis and extending your spine forward. Short deep strokes to the neck between 1 and 2 inches (2-5 centimeters) in length allow you to preserve optimal body mechanics.
When performing deep pressure massage into the neck, maximal pressure for minimal effort is achieved if the angle of your pressure into the client is perpendicular to the contour of the neck where you are working.
For deep pressure massage to the neck, align your core with your stroke by laterally (externally) rotating your arm at the shoulder joint so that your elbow is positioned in front of your core. Now lock your elbow into your core just inside (and usually slight above) your anterior superior iliac spine.
Even perfect body mechanics cannot eliminate all physical stress to your body when doing massage. Ideal body mechanics merely minimize the stress. For this reason, when doing massage, especially deep pressure massage, it is wise to alternate which treatment hand contact you use during a session.
When performing deep pressure massage for the neck with the client supine, it is typical for the therapist to sit, centered at the head of the table. However, this does not allow for efficient body mechanics because it is difficult or impossible to position your core in line with the stroke.
The science of performing deep tissue work to the neck follows the laws of physics and, whenever possible, involves the use of body weight and the contraction of larger muscles instead of smaller ones. The art of performing deep tissue work lies in exactly how these guidelines are carried out and applied.
We can take advantage of our body weight to generate deep pressure massage into the client’s tissues by simply leaning into the client. Pressure derived this way is effectively free because it takes no effort on our part. For this reason, it should be used whenever possible.
Side-lying position for deep pressure massage into the neck can be very effective and can allow for effective longitudinal as well as transverse cross-fiber strokes; however, it is important to avoid exerting deep pressure too far anteriorly onto the transverse processes of the client’s neck.
Force for deep pressure can be generated in two ways: externally or internally. The external generation of force comes from the force of gravity by using our body weight. The internal generation of force comes from the contraction of our muscles.
Whiplashes are usually associated with automobile accidents, but can occur during other activities such as playing sports or from a slip and fall.
According to a recent study, remote stretching the lower limb is as effective as local neck stretching in cervical spine range of motion improvement.
This blog post introduces and explains how the manual therapist can perform assessment and treatment for specific musculoskeletal conditions of the neck.
The term “space occupying condition” is used to describe a condition in which there is compression on a spinal nerve in the intervertebral foramen.
Motion palpation is a specific form of passive (pin and stretch technique) assessment that challenges the intrinsic fascial tissue of the joint.
Postural assessment: Good posture is balanced and symmetrical & does not place excessive stress on the body. Bad posture is asymmetrical and/or imbalanced.
Before treatment can be given, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the mechanism behind the musculoskeletal pathologic condition.
The sternohyoid is an infrahyoid muscle of the anterior neck that attaches from the sternum inferiorly to the hyoid bone superiorly and may cause neck pain.
A whiplash is named for the characteristic whiplike motion of the person’s head/neck during a car accident, usually resulting in strain/sprain of the neck.
A joint functions to allow motion, so two forms of joint dysfunction exist: Hypomobile joint has restricted motion; Hypermobile joint has excessive motion.
The danger with a disc bulge or herniation is that the disc can compress the spinal nerve within the intervertebral foramen, causing a pinched nerve.
Table 1 shows average healthy ranges of axial motion of the cervical spine (head and neck), from the atlanto-occipital joint through the C7-T1 joint.
It is extremely important to be able to locate and palpate the laminar groove of the cervical spine because the thickest musculature is located there.
Manual therapy treatment: Manual therapy treatment for spasmed muscles of the neck (tightness of neck musculature) includes all the major soft tissue technique tools. Heat hydrotherapy, soft tissue manipulation, stretching, and joint mobilization (also known as arthrofascial stretching/AFS). It is …