Shoulder Decompression Surgery is No More Effective than Sham Surgery

Shoulder pain is common problem that is treated by both manual therapists as well as orthopaedic surgeons. One type of shoulder pain is caused by impingement of the supraspinatus distal tendon between the head of the humerus and the acromion process. This impingement sometimes occurs as result of a bone spur that forms off the

Frictionless Theory and Mobilization of Underlying Bones

There is a hypothesis that the skin-fascia interface with underlying bone is frictionless, and therefore ONLY a perfectly perpendicular (90°, “compressive” / “normal”) force delivered during spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) can move the underlying vertebrae.  It also implies that vertebrae could not be moved in practitioner-defined directions by altering the application angle of SMT. To

Unpacking the Frictionless Skin-Fascia Interface

A 2002 Study stated that the skin-fascia interface is frictionless. This was interpreted that in myofascial techniques, we cannot apply a shear force or tension the tissues under the skin because the skin-fascia interface is slippery. We look into what recent studies tell us and demonstrate that taking any theory too far is precarious.  

Self-Massage Before Stretching Improves Stretching Outcomes

Stretching has been proven to increase flexibility (range of motion/ROM). Most studies attribute this to stretch tolerance. A research study from University of Colorado tested to see if altering sensory input during stretching would influence stretching outcomes. The modulation of sensory input that was tested included transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and self-massage with therapy

Massage Therapy Decreases Cancer-Related Fatigue

Cancer-related fatigue is a prevalent and debilitating symptom experienced by cancer survivors, yet treatment options for this condition are limited. In a study from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, researchers evaluated the efficacy on persistent cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer survivors of weekly Swedish massage therapy versus an active control condition (light

How can lifeguards best recover… resting, running, or foam rolling?

  A lifeguard’s job can be physically challenging because a lifeguard needs to react as fast as possible to initiate a rescue. Some studies have shown that lifeguards need approximately 5 minutes to rescue a victim who is 75-100 meters from shore. This is an exhausting task which results in very high blood lactate concentrations.

Neural Effects of Muscle Stretching on Spinal Cord Reflex Excitability

  Non-local effects of muscle stretching have been well documented. For example, unilateral hamstring stretching can cause increased flexibility of the contralateral hamstrings. In addition, stretching of the lower body (hip joint) can cause increased flexibility of the upper body musculature (shoulder joint) and vice versa. The increase in range of motion (ROM) flexibility is

Massage Promotes Muscle Regrowth Even on Opposite Leg

Massage therapy can increase the regrowth of muscle tissue after an injury, even on the opposite, non-massaged limb, according to a new research from Colorado State University and the University of Kentucky. Massage therapy has multiple health benefits, some long-understood and some recently claimed. Among the benefits recently asserted for massage therapy is the hypothesis

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome and Vastus Medial Obliquus

The delay between vastus medialis obliquus and vastus lateralis muscle onset has been suggested as a possible cause of patellofemoral pain syndrome. However an Italian study dispels this idea. Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS or runner’s knee) is a common musculoskeletal condition in running and jumping athletes, presenting with anterior knee pain, and aggravated by physical

Art Riggs discusses a research attempt to define “Deep Tissue Massage”

A recent article published in Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies by authors from Israel attempted to objectively define deep-tissue massage to provide an evidence-based therapy. However, massage therapist and instructor, Art Riggs, commented that gallant as their effort is, the task of defining deep tissue massage is not only impossible, but is unproductive. Deep-tissue