In today’s clinic I spent two hours shadowing a graduate sports therapist who saw 2 patients. The first patient (22-year-old male) was experiencing muscle soreness in the Erector spinae, trapezius and Quadratus lumborum due to heavy lifting at the gym 5/7. Treatment was soft tissue massage to the before mentioned muscles. The patient and therapist were discussing the pros and cons of split workouts vs full body workouts which lead me to do some research on this after the clinic session. Thomas & Burns (2016) found that there were no significant strength and lean mass differences between a full body workout (1x week) and a split workout programme (3x week) which both lasted 8 weeks with the same set totals. This suggests that a once a week full body workout programme can be just as effective as a 3-times a week split workout programme as long as the intensity is adjusted accordingly.
The second patient came in for their initial assessment due to bad tension headaches in the past 3 days. She also noticed reduced neck lateral flexion and has a history of migraines. Objective found decreased AROM in lateral flexion to right side and in rotation when compared to the left side, with pain on palpation on the right upper trapezius. Diagnosis was general muscle tightness in neck (upper traps, levator scapula). Treatment was soft tissue massage, passive stretching and strengthening exercises for the upper traps (wall pushers, cat & camel). After the session I revised normal range of motion values of the neck which I found was neck flexion: 45°, extension: 45°, rotation: 60°, lateral flexion: 45° (Cael, 2010).
This session went well, I learned that even though soft tissue massage does not really benefit patients’ long term, that it has its place in treatment for its short term effects, which benefits patients psychologically. Furthermore, I will revisit NMT application parameters as I could not recall the pressure duration during the session, which is why I did not include them in my treatment.
Cael, C. (2010). Functional Anatomy: Musculoskeletal Anatomy, Kinesiology, and Palpation for Manual therapists (1st ed.). Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Wolter Kluwer.
Thomas, M. H., & Burns, S. P. (2016). Increasing Lean Mass and Strength: A Comparison of High Frequency Strength Training to Lower Frequency Strength Training. International journal of exercise science, 9(2), 159–167.