Saturday, October 4, 2008

Reduction of Lateral Epicondylitis

A common misconception in the self treatment of pain is that we always need to stretch where it is that we feel the pain. A classic example is in the case of lateral epicondylitis, or "tennis elbow".

When I look at the mechanics of what is commonly the cause of this condition I see a few factors coming into play.

First off, this is not a condition that is solely seen at the racket club and on the courts. Lateral epicondylitis is often seen with wrench turners, bakers, massage therapists, sign language interpreters, and so on. Any body whose lifestyle requires them to repetitively flex the forearm is at risk for this pesky pain generator. To be fair, racket sports beat the hell out of these tissues, on the back hand, if they are weak!

Here's the deal...I have found this to be true in 90% of my clients. Weak.

The fix...balance. Oh balance, what a concept. Aside from work and sport, we were gifted with all sorts of other interest and ability. Bike riding for lesier or transport, car driving, dishes washed, weeding the garden, holding young ones, typing a blog, we use our forearm flexors to do nearly all we do. Enough of that.....

The fix...strengthen the opposing muscle group. Stretch the tight line, strengthen the weak line. The following images demonstrate a few simple daily techniques to stop this potentially lifestyle altering, and oftentimes painful epidemic.

Stretch the tight line...

So whats the problem? Is that a tight muscle, a joint problem, or a weakness?

Stretching the flexor muscles of the forearm, in some schools of thought, will reciprocally strengthen the extensors of the forearm. Be sure you are stretching all the way out from the fingertips as is shown in the above image.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Back to Work

Well, I know I have been a slacker on the blog postings as of late. I have been busy in the clinic, at home, teaching, running around the country with the Freedom From Pain Institute and working on many side projects.

I have a new article coming out in Massage & Bodywork Magazine, "Tuning the Athlete- Breathing and Lumbar Alignment". This will appear in the upcoming issue, Nov/Dec Sports Massage issue. This was a tough concept in the beginning. Writing an article like this is a a great self teaching tool, it requires much research, and made me really look deep into what I was thinking about! Much fun! I will post it when the article has hit the stands later this month.

Our massage business in Flagstaff has remained busy through this troubled time in the market. It seems when times are tough people seek out what makes them feel good. A movie, some good comfort food, and good old pain management are on the top of the list, nothing like an hour on the table, to get away, forget the newsman and stock market for a bit. I am honored to play a role, it makes me feel good, in bringing some peace into peoples lives.....thanks folks.

Today begins another 40 hour intensive in Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques(R), at NAMTI in Sedona. This is a great time of year to be able to drive through Oak Creek Canyon, view the wonders of nature every day before class begins...should be a great time once again! The apples are coming out of the orchards and every market seems to have fresh roasted green chilies! YUM!!

I will be joining Erik and the crew from Freedom From Pain at the next workshop in Atlanta, Oct. 17-19.

Myoskeletal Alignment for Neck, Sciatic and Shoulder Pain

Three day seminar provides innovative approaches for the massage therapist to utilize advanced neck, shoulder, and pelvic stabilization routines. Therapists learn immediately applicable deep tissue techniques for clients suffering neck, shoulder, and low back pain.

70% Hands on Seminar: Human dissection videos and "lively" massage demos teach innovative ways to "Find and Fix" tendon, ligament, joint capsule, and nerve impingements. Erik will demo on class participants for the following


  • Neck "Cricks"
  • Facet- Rib Pain
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Scoliosis
  • SI Joint Pain
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Low Back Dysfunction

Dalton's popular workshop series compliments all forms of manual therapy and offers practical strategies for correcting reflex muscle spasm caused by joint blockage.

Well, off to see the wizard!