STYC01 Clinical Reflection 22/01/19

In the 1 hour session the main focus was to practice stretching techniques that we would have to perform in our soft tissue theory exam. This included both soft tissue release (STR) and muscular energy techniques (METs).

Reflective Summary 

Out of both stretching techniques I was less confident with Soft Tissue Release. Generally, you apply pressure to the muscle you want to target while it is being stretched. I would select this method for a number of reasons. This includes if I wanted to separate fibres, realign adhesions, breakdown collagen tissue or lengthen shortened fibres. Another advantage of this technique over stretching is it is more effective, as it targets fibrous areas and scar tissue that are likely to be damaged. Muscular energy techniques are different to STR as they involve a primary force from the patient’s own effort and movement, rather than the therapist. There are two types of METs: Post Isometric Relaxation (PIR) and Reciprocal Inhibition (RI). PIR contracts the target muscle/agonist whereas RI contracts the antagonist. If you have a weakness or injury in the agonist, for example the quadriceps, you could perform RI of the quadriceps or PIR of the hamstrings. This means that there is not as must stretch on the injured area/muscle but it is still having an effect. I am more likely to use METs to strengthen weak muscles or relax muscles that are overactive.

Areas for further improvement 

I think it would be important for me to do more research into understanding why and when different techniques are used. This will allow my choice of treatment to me more precise, improving the effectiveness of it. A topic that I need to revise is contraindications for different treatments, so I am not putting the patient at any risk and considering their safety at all times. Knowledge of musculoskeletal system cam always be improved as it will allow me to be aware of the pairs of muscles that work together, along with synergists and fixators which could be affected by injury.

Things to Remember 

  1. Before you begin any treatment always test ROM
  2. Explain to the patient why you have selected a specific treatment
  3. Remember METs should not be used on acute injuries





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