Ischemic compression is a generic1 manual release technique in trigger point therapy. The technique begins by palpating the tissue to locate the taut band (trigger point), while the patient is asked to report if any referred pain is felt. When a trigger point if found, steady and deep manual pressure is applied directly to the point. The pressure is held for 5 to 10 seconds and then released for 2 to 3 seconds. It is repeated 3 to 4 times in the session. Each time the pressure is reapplied, it becomes stronger. The compression is repeated until the local or referred pain is diminished, or until two minutes have passed. There are no rubbing, stroking, or stripping movements used.
Continue Reading » Ischemic Compression
The brachialis muscle is located on the front part of the upper arm, nearest the elbow. Along with the biceps brachii and the brachioradialis, it is one of the primary flexors of the elbow. It gets its name from the Greek words brachialis and brachion, pertaining to the (upper) arm. It is important not to confuse these words with the Greek brachy which means "short." Although not as large as the biceps brachii, the brachialis is a relatively large and wide muscle and these two muscles, along with the coracobrachialis, make up the anterior (front) compartment of the upper arm. Unlike the biceps brachii, which attaches to the radius, the brachialis attaches to the ulna, making it suited for flexion of the elbow only, since it can only pull on the ulna and the ulna does not rotate. However, it provides strong elbow flexion in both supination and pronation.Bibliography item doyle not found.,Bibliography item simons not found.
Continue Reading » Brachialis Muscle: Locations, Actions, and Trigger Points
The biceps brachii is a two-headed muscle located on the front of the arm, and makes up the largest part of its bulk. The name biceps is derived from the Greek word bi, meaning "two" and the Latin caput, meaning "head." The name brachii is a form of the Latin and Greek words brachialis and brachion, which describe something that pertains to the arm. Thus, biceps brachii means "two headed muscle of the arm." These two heads, one shorter than the other, arise from two separate origins which, although they partially combine into one large muscle, retain somewhat their separate features, both inserting together at the elbow.Bibliography item doyle not found.
Continue Reading » Biceps Brachii: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points
The teres major muscle is a small, round muscle lying along the lateral border of the scapula. It forms the inferior border of both the triangular space and quadrangular space. The muscle gets its name from its shape and size. Teres means "round" in Latin, and the term major refers to it being the larger of two muscles, the teres minor muscle lying just superior to the major. Both the teres major and minor are similar in shape, only the major is larger. It can be palpated in the trough between the lateral scapula and the latissumus dorsi, but is deeper than the lattisumus.
Continue Reading » Teres Major Muscle: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points
The scalene muscles are three paired muscles of the neck, located in the front on either side of the throat, just lateral to the sternocleidomastoid. There is an anterior scalene (scalenus anterior), a medial scalene (scalenus medius), and a posterior scalene (scalenus posterior). They derive their name from the Greek word skalenos and the later Latin scalenus meaning "uneven", similar to the scalene triangle in mathematics, which has all sides of unequal length. These muscles not only have different lengths but also considerable variety in their attachments and fiber arrangements. As you will see from the descriptions below, these muscles are in a very crowded place and are related to many important structures such as nerves and arteries that run through the neck.
The proper names for the muscles we call the rhomboids are Rhomboideus Major and Minor or the Rhomboidei. Although two different muscles, they are very difficult to distinguish from one another and perform the same actions together. They run obliquely downward from the spine to the inner edge of the scapula, on each side of the middle back and connect the vertebra in that area to the medial border of the scapula. They are largely covered by the more superficial trapezius muscle.
Continue Reading » Rhomboid Major and Minor Muscles: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points
The extensor digitorum1 muscle gets its name from the Greek and Latin ex which means "out of", and the Latin tendere, which means "to stretch". So an extensor is a muscle that stretches out or straightens out a joint. The word digitorum is from Latin, indicating the digits or fingers. Communis is Latin for "common" and it refers to a muscle which has several branches or structures.Bibliography item doyle not found.
Continue Reading » Extensor Digitorum Muscle: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points
By Eric Troy, Ground Up Strength
If you ask a doctor what shin splints are you probably will not get a straight answer. That is because there are no straight answers to give. Shin splints is the generic name we use for any leg pain that is below the knee and above the ankle. The term is nondescriptive and does not refer to any one type of pain or pathophysiology. It is often called a "wastebasket" diagnosis.
Shin splints therefore should not be considered an adequate diagnosis of chronic lower leg pain as this will offer no guidance to treatment and avoidance. Basically, if your doctor tells you that you have shin splints they are basically telling you that you have shin pain, which you probably already knew!
However, there is a typical pain syndrome, called Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, that can be considered somewhat synonymous with shin splints. This syndrome causes pain that usually occurs in the lateral front of the lower leg or more to the inside of the lower leg, called the "posteromedial" region. It is most common following repetitive running and jumping activities such as running, volleyball, and soccer. There are many articles that will run through all the complexities of shin pain and try to tell you the truth about shin splints by dumping data about all the many causes..but most of them are rare compared to MTSS.
The splenius muscles are broad and thin, getting their name from the Greek word splenium, meaning bandage. Capitus comes from the Latin word for head, caput which refers to the origin of the splenius capitus on the mastoid process and adjacent occipital bone of the skull, underneath the sternocleidomastoid. Cervicus derives from the Latin word cervix which pertains to the neck, referring to the splenius cervicus having its origin on the cervical spine. Bibliography item arnold not found.,Bibliography item simons not found.
Continue Reading » Splenius Capitus and Cervicis Muscles: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points
By Eric Troy, Ground Up Strength
The deltoid muscle is a large, triangular, course, and thick muscle which gives the shoulder its shape and contour. Its name is often reported to have derived from the Greek letter Delta (Δ) but it actually derives from the Latin word deltoides which means "triangular in shape or form" and was taken from the shape of the letter delta and the word eidos (oid) meaning shape or form. The deltoid is the principal abductor of the arm at the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint and also flexes and extends the humerus. The deltoid is the largest and probably the most important muscle of the shoulder complex. Bibliography item howell not found., Bibliography item doyle not found.
Continue Reading » Deltoid Muscle: Location, Actions and Trigger Points
The digastric is a double muscle of the throat which is located under the chin, behind and below the corner of the jaw, immediately in front of the top of the sternocleidomastoid, one for each side of the jaw and neck. It gets its name from the Greek word for "two bellies". The Greek word dia means double and gaster means belly hence digastric meaning "two-bellied".Bibliography item arnold not found. The digastric is made up of an anterior and posterior belly. The anterior belly extends from the digastric fossa of the mandible and the posterior belly extends from the mastoid notch of the temporal bone. Both bellies then insert to the body of the hyoid bone via a fibrous loop over a common intermediate tendon between the two bellies.
Continue Reading » Digastric Muscle: Location, Actions and Trigger Points
Many of the people that come to Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers are seeking someone to help them with muscular pain and chronic tension from Myofascial Trigger Points. They've heard that Trigger Point Therapy is a great way to naturally relieve their pain and restore function.
Continue Reading » Trigger Point Therapy
The terms trigger points and tender points are often used interchangeably. However, they are two different things and it is very important to understand the difference, especially if one suffers from a condition known as Fibromyalgia Sydrome.
The temporalis muscle is a large, thin fan-shaped muscle located in the side of the skull above and in front of the ear. It is a muscle of mastication and its role is similar to the masseter, which is to elevate the mandible (lower jaw) and so close the mouth. Although the masseter is the more powerful muscle the temporalis is an important chewing muscle. It starts at the temporal bone of the skull but passes all the way down beneath zygomatic arch (cheek bone), attaching to the mandible, enabling it to assist the masseter in closing the jaw but also to retract the mandible.
Continue Reading » Temporalis Muscle: Location, Action and Trigger Points
The trapezius is a three part (tripartite) muscle of the upper back extending from the base of the skull all the way to the lower thoracic spine and laterally from the clavicle to the entire length of the spine of the scapula. Together the two trapezii form a diamond or kite-shaped trapezoid from which the muscle derives its name.
Continue Reading » Trapezius Muscle: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points
The levator scapulae is a muscle located on each side of the neck, situated posteriorly1. It is named for its action in elevating or "lifting" the scapula and the word levator is the latin word for "to lift". This muscle is like the over-worked back-stage prop guy of the neck. Always in the shadow of the large sternocleidomastoid and hardly ever getting a moments rest.
Along with the trapezius, the levator scapulae works to shrug the shoulders by its raising of the medial margin of the scapula. If the scapula are fixed the muscles assist in cervical extension and if used alone flex the neck laterally to one side.
Continue Reading » Levator Scapulae Muscle: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points
General self myofascial release has become very familiar to the strength training world in recent years but targeted trigger point release is much less well-known. Although myofascial trigger points can certainly be self treated with simple massage techniques and some targeted stretching when needed, in many cases a trained professional may be a better option. This is especially true in the case of chronic recurring pain conditions as opposed to occasional acute pain problems. Trigger points can have an underlying cause, and reading a trigger point self help book, although highly recommended, is a long way from preparing us to identify and treat these underlying causes. However, when choosing to perform trigger point self therapy there are some simple and universal precautions.1
Continue Reading » Trigger Point Release Self Treatment Cautions and Tips
The masseter is a jaw muscle that gets its name from the Greek work "to chew". It is the major muscle of mastication (chewing) of the human jaw and serves primarily to elevate the mandible (lower jaw) while the deep tissues help to protrude (protract) it forward. Although we rarely think of it, the mandible is the only bone of the skull that is actually moveable. The upper jaw is fixed. There is a lot of moving for the mandible to do, therefore, and the masseter is the primary worker. Located on each side of the face in the parotid1 region at the back of the jaw, these muscles are easily visible or palpable when you clench your jaw, as they contract strongly just in front of the lower ears.2
Continue Reading » Masseter Muscle: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points
By Eric Troy, Ground Up Strength
The sternocleidomastoid (SCM) is a muscle of the neck so-named because it originates on the sternum (sterno) and the clavicle (cleido) and inserts on the mastoid process1 (mastoid) which is an easily located bony prominence behind the ear. The muscles pass diagonally across the front and side of the neck beginning at the top of the sternum and ending behind the ear. This two sided muscle is large and ropy, making it the most prominent muscle visible at the front of the neck.
Continue Reading » Sternocleidomastoid Muscle: Location, Action and Trigger Points
I began to hit on this in a previous post, On Breathing.... The purpose of that post was to introduce the fallacy of "expanding the chest". To do so I focused on strongmen of old and their ideas about ribcage expansion. Indeed, that was a fetish that followed into the early bodybuilding days and beyond.
There are still people who insist that everything old is good (or bad depending on their belief system) and so there are people who will insist that everything that happened in the strength training of yesteryear was pure genius compared to today.
Continue Reading » Paradoxical and Diaphragmatic Breathing
Having a forward head posture puts a lot of strain on the muscles of your neck and jaw. Having a "forward head" means that your head (and often one or both shoulders, too) are in front of your body.
Where should your head be instead? Well, when you were a toddler, it was pretty much directly over your body and that's still where it should be. Due to habits, furniture, car seats, work and life, sometimes our head moves out in front of us. That causes a lot of symptoms and TMJ pain, or pain and difficulty moving your jaw, can be one of those symptoms.
Tell any long-distance runner or cyclist about your stinging pain at the side of the knee or hip, and you will get a knowing sympathetic look. ITB (Iliotibial band) friction syndrome is one of the commonest complaints amongst runners, cyclists and intense court sports.
Continue Reading » Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome
For centuries it has been afflicting man. It is intangible, mysterious and yet ubiquitous. Myofascial Trigger Points are the commonest cause of undiagnosed or misdiagnosed aches, pains and other puzzling symptoms. The daily clinical experience of thousands of physiotherapists, massage therapists and physicians verifies that most back and neck pain and headaches which are recurrent and stubborn are caused by trigger points or muscles knots.
Continue Reading » Myofascial Trigger Points and Trigger Point Therapy
Recently, wev'e been talking a lot about the Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Clair Davies. This trigger point self help book, the first of it's kind, is based on the pioneering work of Janet Travell and David G. Simons and their book of two volumes, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual.