Sure, you can play through the pain but everyone knows that they perform better when things don’t hurt, move freely and you are able to maintain stability.
Performance athletes aren’t just professionals anymore. Many of the patients we have treated medically over the years are either performing regularly in athletic competitions or simply working to improve their own performance.
We are able to help using simple, easy therapy steps that don’t require too much time – after all, you’re already training!
We routinely help:
Our fascial stretching method is based on a simple acronym – LSS – Lengthen, Shorten, Stabilize.
We LENGTHEN myofascia (muscles and connective tissue) that is too short. Common examples include hamstrings and hip flexors that reduce stride length and are prone to injury.
We SHORTEN myofascia that have been overstretched or weakened restoring proper tone and function. For instance, weak glutes transfer strain to the spinal erectors and cause low back pain; overstretched rhomboids impact the kinetic chain of the arm and reduce strength.
We STABILIZE myofascia that are necessary for functional athletic movement. We see the importance when trying to “cut” laterally in almost any sport – it is necessary for the quadratus lumborum to stabilize the connection between the hips, spine and ribs in order to transfer force safely and effectively to the legs.
The arc of a fascial stretching treatment looks something like this:
- Assess and build a plan (1-2 minutes each, upper and lower body)
- For each affected area:
- Perform a “mini-treatment” on affected area(s)
- Re-assess to confirm or change treatment plan
- Treat again
- Re-assess overall results
So what does “treatment” look like? For those familiar with myofascial and trigger point therapy, the occasional slow, deep pressure may seem familiar.
However, fascial stretching is more interactive – we systematically work joints through their entire range of motion. We provide guidance and gentle traction (pulling) on the joint, while you actively assist and resist. We don’t ask you much about pain because we establish upfront that fascial stretching should be entirely pain-free!
This is not “stretching” in the conventional sense. There is no movement beyond the healthy minimal resistance provided your tissue at the time. Instead, we gently stretch the entire neuromyofascia, including the fascial covering of muscle fibers, tendons, ligaments (along with the joint capsules they blend into) and the associated muscle and nervous system tissue.
Gains in range of motion are not achieved by stretching “further” or “harder” – they are achieved by resetting the entire neuromyofascial system by having the patient apply minimal resistance that is cued by the therapist while gently tractioning the joint and stretching the tissue.
Some may recognize that this process is very similar to PNF stretching that is often part of myofascial therapy. Others will note that the movement-based approach that focuses on decompressing joints and kinetic chains is quite different.
We’re not athletic trainers, we’re not physical therapists – we are myofascial therapists that specialize in optimizing performance through reducing pain, promoting movement and establishing true “core” stability from the inside out.