Massage Therapy is critical in treating soft tissue injuries and conditions. Massage therapy allows muscles to relax, as well as the person being treated to relax and reduce their stress levels. There are many different techniques of massage therapy. The Apex Team offers:
- Swedish Massage for relaxation and stress reduction
- Connective Tissue Massage for the break up of adhesed tissues
- Trigger Point Therapy for the reduction of active and latent trigger points
- Reflexology for the treatment of the feet
- Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
- Postural Balancing
- Sports Massage
- Intra-Oral Massage for TMJ
Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
This treatment is designed to work with recent injuries such as a muscle strain or joint sprain, constipation, whiplash, surgery rehabilitation, stiff necks, IT band release and many other sudden pain symptoms. Depending on the degree of the injury these treatment plans generally span between one and several visits.
The therapist incorporates a combination of cryo-therapy (heat and ice combinations), massage, facilitated stretching, and individually designed self-care programs.
This treatment is designed to work with long term pain syndromes and conditions such as chronic low back pain, tension headaches and migraines, upper back/neck pain, carpel tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, plantar fasciitis, sciatica, TMJD (jaw pain), scoliosis, shin splints, frozen shoulders/hips and many others. These conditions arise over time, usually taking many years, from the body taking on improper posture. Because these postural dysfunctions take time to happen they take a longer time to rehabilitate. The amount of visits required depends on the amount of postural imbalances, the length of time they have been present, and the dedication of the client with their self-care program. Immediate relief is provided in the first treatments, however permanent relief from the discomfort is on ongoing effort.
The therapist begins with a full postural assessment to find where the imbalances in the body are stemming from. These careful measurements create a map for the treatment. First the postural distortions of the hips, trunk, and shoulders are addressed using manual therapy and chiropractic care. Often times bringing these areas into balance corrects the imbalances found elsewhere. If imbalances in the neck, arms, and legs are still present then they are treated accordingly. When the body is brought back into proper balance the painful conditions will be eliminated. Individual home self care programs will be created and are integral to achieving permanent relief.
Intra-oral Massage for TMJD
The jaw (tempero-mandibular joint or TMJ) is the most used joint in the human body. It is constantly working and therefore is prone to injury or dysfunction. When the muscles of the jaw fall out of balance a variety of symptoms occur. Commonly people with TMJ dysfunction experience pain while chewing or opening the mouth, headaches, dizziness, vertigo, neck pain, and other symptoms. Many muscles of the TMJ are outside the mouth and are easily accessible. However a few of the more powerful muscles are located inside the mouth and if they are not treated appropriately the symptoms will persist. Intra-oral work addresses these tender muscles inside the mouth and yields immediate results.
Because this work deals with muscles that are rarely touched or stretched – they tend to release quicker. This means that treatment for this dysfunction usually takes no more then four or five visits with many cases ending in just one or two.
The therapist begins by analyzing the movements and restrictions of the jaw to understand where the dysfunction is occurring. The treatment begins with releasing the external muscles of the jaw with slow steady strokes. Once these muscles have been released and balanced the therapist examines the borders of the joint feeling for any displacement of the bones. If displacement is present, a chiropractic adjustment can realign the join articulations. The last part of the session is spent with the therapist’s gloved fingers inside the mouth releasing the powerful muscles of mastication and stretching the tissues of the gums and roof of the mouth. Individual self-care programs are created to assist in the permanent recovery from the dysfunction.
The health of an athlete’s muscle tissue is the most important factor in performance and longevity. Over-stretched weak muscles don’t respond as fast or as powerfully as healthy muscles. Short tight muscles are prone to being strained or torn. Muscle imbalances put joints at risk for sprains and ligament tears which can end in surgery and a lengthy recovery process.
The goal of sports massage is to keep the muscles of the body in a healthy balance as well as focus on increasing range of motion and maintaining healthy joint mobility. A healthy balanced muscle will perform stronger and longer then a muscle that is overstretched or tight. Blood flow is essential for muscle health. Over stretched and tight muscles reduce the amount of space available for the blood to flow impeding the exchange of oxygen and nutrients for metabolic waste producing poor endurance. On a cellular level, the muscle works as a series of “little fingers” (sarcomeres) that act together creating the muscle contraction. If a muscle is over stretched or short not all these fingers are connecting resulting in weaker and slower contractions of the muscle reducing strength.
In addition to muscle health is cardiovascular health or how strong you are able to breathe and intake oxygen. Over the years the muscles that assist in breathing can get tight or spasmed resulting in a lower lung capacity. Focused treatment on these muscles can increase the space and movement of the rib cage allowing for the diaphragm (the main breathing muscle) to stretch out, further increasing the amount of air the lungs can take in. Focused work on the diaphragm yields great benefits in its ability to expand to its full length further increasing the amount of available lung space.
Sessions vary depending on the sport and position of the athlete. A postural assessment will show which areas of the body are out of balance. Stretching and chiropractic care will create balance in the primary joints of the sport. For sports involving prolonged running and other hard impact on the legs, such as gymnastics, the therapist will spend time making sure the integrity of the arch of the foot is maintained. The therapist will spend time working on primary and sport-specific stress, e.g. a baseball player’s shoulder or a golfer’s low back and torso. For sports that depend on good cardiovascular health like distance running, soccer, or swimming time will be spent increasing the volume of the chest cavity increasing lung capacity. Depending on the dedication of level of competition of the athlete this process could be one session or a permanent aspect of training to keep the athlete in their sport throughout the years.