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Massage News - November 2016

Massage News - November 2016

Intermuscular force transmission along myofascial chains

Reecently Krause and colleagues from Department of Sports Medicine, Goethe University in Germany published a review to provide a systematic overview on tensile transmission along myofascial chains based on anatomical dissection studies and in vivo experiments. As evidence for the existence of myofascial chains is growing, and the capability of force transmission via myofascial chains has been hypothesized. However, there is still a lack of evidence concerning the functional significance and capability for force transfer. A systematic literature research was conducted using MEDLINE (Pubmed), ScienceDirect and Google Scholar. Studied myofascial chains encompassed the superficial backline (SBL), the back functional line (BFL) and the front functional line (FFL). Peer-reviewed human dissection studies as well as in vivo experiments reporting intermuscular tension transfer between the constituents of a myofascial chain were included. To assess methodic quality, two independent investigators rated studies by means of validated assessment tools (QUACS and PEDro Scale). The literature research identified 1022 articles. Nine studies (moderate to excellent methodological quality) were included. And the finding is... Concerning the SBL and the BFL, there is moderate evidence for force transfer at all three transitions (based on six studies), and one of two transitions (three studies). One study yields moderate evidence for a slight, but not significant force transfer at one transition in the FFL. The findings of the present study indicate that tension can be transferred between some of the examined adjacent structures. Force transfer might have an impact in overuse conditions as well as on sports performance. However, the authors also acknowledged that different methods of force application and measurement hinder the comparability of results. Considering anatomical variations in the degree of continuity and histological differences of the linking structures is crucial for interpretation. Future studies should focus on the in vivo function of myofascial continuity during isolated active or passive tissue tensioning.

Acute effects of lateral thigh foam rolling on arterial blood flow

A new study on foam rolling now provides new evidence on its effects on the cellular and physiological level. The study by scientists from Germany assessed the effect of foam rolling on arterial blood flow of the lateral thigh. Twenty-one healthy participants (age 25 ± 2 years, height 177 ± 9 cm, body weight 74 ± 9 kg) were recruited from the medical and sports faculty. Arterial tissue perfusion was determined by spectral Doppler and power Doppler ultrasound, represented as peak flow (Vmax), time average velocity maximum (TAMx), time average velocity mean (TAMn), and resistive index (RI), and with semiquantitative grading that was assessed by four blind-folded investigators. Measurement values were assessed under resting conditions and twice after foam rolling exercises of the lateral thigh (0 min and 30 min post intervention). The trochanteric region, mid portion, and distal tibial insertion of the lateral thigh were representative for data analysis. The results showed that arterial blood flow of the lateral thigh increased significantly following foam rolling exercises compared to baseline. The study detected a relative increase in peak flow (Vmax) of 73.6% (right after rolling) and 52.7 % (30 min after rolling) , in TAMx of 53.2%and 38.3 % and in TAMn of 84.4% and 68.2 % . Semiquantitative Power Doppler scores at all portions revealed increased average grading of 1.96 after intervention and 2.04 after 30 min compared to 0.75 at baseline. This results contribute to the understanding of local physiological reactions to self-myofascial release.

A working experience with CORE Myofascial Therapy

By Taso Lambridis, MSc CORE Myofascial Therapy was developed by George Kousaleos, a highly experienced Structural Integration Therapist based in Florida, USA who also has a major role with the Athletic Program at Florida State University. George developed the Sports Massage team for the British Olympic Association in preparation for the 1996 Atlanta Games and helped established the Olympic massage therapy standards for the Athens 2004 Olympics. Those who have attended any of his course in Australia over the past 2 years can attest to the fact that George is probably one of the most engaging teachers and has an in-depth knowledge of the myofascial method gained from over 40 years of work in the field of Structural Integration. I recently had the opportunity to be part of a team of soft-tissue therapists who attended a 1-week long training internship run by George in Florida, USA with the added opportunity of working on elite-level college American Football athletes undergoing an 8-week speed training and conditioning program. As a physiotherapist, I already received my certification in CORE Myofascial Therapy having attended George’s courses in Sydney but the opportunity of working closely with him was too great not to be missed.My week-long experience gave me the perfect opportunity to apply the CORE Myofascial Therapy to these professional athletes as well to provide me with some insight into the world of Pro-American Football, better known as the NFL. George recently had teamed up with Toni Villani, the Director of XPE Sports in Boca Raton, who is considered a ‘speed guru’ and sports trainer, known for getting excellent results and helping a wide range of athletes to achieve a professional status in their chosen sport. George was to provide CORE Myofascial Therapy with the help of a group of 8-10 therapists each week who would receive instruction on structural bodywork. The aim of the CORE Myofascial Therapy was to enhance the athletes’ training performance and recovery but also very importantly to prevent injuries. 30 elite-level, college American Football players would attend an 8-week conditioning program under the guide of Toni Villani and his trainers. These college athletes were hoping to turn professional and would train at XPE Sports in the hope of performing well at the upcoming trials and securing a professional NFL contract. The training in myofascial therapy and learning about structural integration strategies was done in the morning while the athletes were put through their training sessions and then in the afternoon, we conducted the therapy sessions for about 3 hours each day. We had 45 minutes sessions for each athlete which might seem like a luxury but given the size of these athletes and the numbers of athletes attending XPE Sports, we were kept very busy. In order to ensure a uniformity of treatment throughout the 8 weeks, it was explained to us from the start that we were only to use CORE Myofascial Therapy even though we all had extensive clinical experience in treating athletes. In this way, the athletes would receive the same treatment from any of the therapists who happened to be working on them in any given week. I was impressed that given the intensity of training the athletes been put through, for the whole 8 weeks there was not a single injury. It is also worth mentioning that athletes who regularly receive this work at Florida State University (where George has a key role with the Athletic Department) sustain much lower injury rates than other college athletes. For me personally, myofascial therapy has had profound effects on how I treat patients. Having integrated myofascial release method into my clinical practice for over 10 years, I have found that CORE Myofascial Therapy has given me further insight into the amazing world of fascia and the tools to provide long-lasting beneficial effects to my patients. George Kousaleos will teach CORE Myofascial for Sport and Performance Bodywork in Sydney i November.

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