I'd like to extend my gratitude to the Rock Blades company for hosting this past weekends seminar. It was very informative and will undoubtedly improve my patient care in the near future! Just adding "tools to my my tool box"!
What on earth am I talking about you may be asking yourself, as well as "what the heck are Rock Blades?" Sounds painful!! Not really! With the proper application its exactly the opposite. Contrary to popular belief, pain isn't a requirement for rehab modalities. It can be and many times is but when it comes to Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) its not required! best news I've heard all day.
So what is this IASTM? Before I answer that question hows about i describe whats its not? Its NOT meant to effect muscle tissue directly! Whats that mean? Simple, The Rock Blade technique is not intended to change muscle tissue in resting muscle length, activity or pain management. What it IS designed to do is to directly effect fascial tissue. "Whats that" you say? Put simply, its all the tissue between the muscle and skin, including the skin. Basically, the BIGGEST organ in you body! Through the proper application of Rock blades, or similar IASTM instruments, a practitioner can directly effect the movement of skin across muscles (making it more fluid), facilitate or inhibit muscle activation (secondary effect) and help reduce swelling.
How does it work? There are 2 main focuses with IASTM work that I'll explain, the first is the breaking of Adhesions. With injury, of any variety, adhesions form between fascia and muscle tissue. These adhesions keep muscles, fascia and joints from moving as intended. So with the proper technique I can go with the the blades and break those adhesions, only take a minute or 2, to help restore proper glide between the numerous surface. The best news is that this doesn't require much force to get the job done, nor does it take 20-30 minutes! As a matter of fact, when done properly, there should be ZERO bruising!
The second benefit of IASTM work is more neurological in nature. By stimulating sensory receptors in the skin we can increase of decrease the activity of the area of work. With a fast light stroke Pacinian receptors are stimulated, facilitating increased activity in that area in the brain. With a slow deep stroke the Ruffini receptors are stimulated resulting in inhibition in the area. If we look at Hilton's law we know the nerves innervating a patch of skin also control the muscle and bone under that patch of skin. So as we stimulate skin over the shoulder, slow or fast, the muscles under that patch of skin are effected in the same way, either increased or decreased activity.
Lost yet? Haha, no worries. How about if i give you an example? In the case of muscle imbalance, "Tech neck" is a good one, we have the anterior muscles of the thorax that are overactive and the posterior muscles that are under active. Once we've identified the appropriate muscle to treat we would use slow, deep strokes to inhibit the anterior muscle, and use fast light strokes over the posterior muscle that we want to become more active. And to complement we could then use the Kineisiotape to help reinforce the work we did outside the office.
The IASTM world is well established for high level athletes and just now coming to light in the general public. I've experienced nothing but great results in both my patients and myself when used appropriately. When combined with the chiropractic adjustment its truly amazing what happens! If you have any questions please don't hesitate to drop by or give me a bell at the office and I'll e happy to answer any questions you might have. Look forward to seeing you and getting you back to 100%!!