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Old 23-03-2012, 02:00 AM   #1
zendogg
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Default Muscle activation Techniques

Hello all,
I have been reading up on some of the threads on various treatment modalities like ART, MFR, and others and really enjoyed the deconstruction. I would love some comments on Muscle Activation Techniques as described by their take on the science behind the modality.
I have been fully trained in the techniques but hold absolutely no allegiance one way or another. I am curious how it could possibly be Ectodermed al la Jason Silvernail's recent thread on further crossing the chasm.
Of course I have seen some remarkable changes in clients and also some sessions that ended in a frustrated practitioner and an even more frustrated client.
Interestingly, I don't think inhibition is actually a problem (you'll read about this if you follow the link). I have found that, almost always, "resetting" the nerves with DNM techniques seems to set the strength back to normal.

here is the link to the science page of Muscle activation techniques.
http://www.muscleactivation.com/science.html

I don't know if that will be an active link because I don't know how to make all those pretty links y'all seem to do so seamlessly in your posts.
Thanks for any thoughts.
Nathan
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Old 23-03-2012, 03:14 AM   #2
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Nathan, I had just posted over on another blog my take on a treatment that seemed to be similar to what you call muscle activation techniques. Check it out here in the comments section of the post.

Interesting that I did not get a reply, I wonder why?
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Old 23-03-2012, 03:48 AM   #3
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Yes similar to the gentle isometric treatment in the MAT protocol. I am not sure I completely understand the concept of desensitization that you are presenting so I'll ask you to share more about it before I ask more questions.
Curious, because I have been reading about placebo and mental reorganization (for lack of a more scientific term) I am wondering if your ability to help the patient create a non painful action in an area that she "KNOWS" should produce pain if you created a placebo of sorts? A reorganization of the perception of possibilities around that wrist?

Thanks!
Nathan
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Old 23-03-2012, 04:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by zendogg View Post
I am wondering if your ability to help the patient create a non painful action in an area that she "KNOWS" should produce pain if you created a placebo of sorts? A reorganization of the perception of possibilities around that wrist?
Nathan
Yup, Mirror therapy can work.

Regards,

Weni
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Old 23-03-2012, 01:57 PM   #5
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I was not presenting any concepts of desensitization in my post, not sure where you got that impression. You will have to point to specifics of what I wrote to clear that up for me.

The blog author was referring to desensitization that is a long standing technique of various gradual graded exposure basically of different sensory input to try and reduce the increase sympathetic tone with a patient of this sort.

For more info on what Weni is referring to I would direct you here for more info on Graded Motor Imagery and the use of laterality reconstruction, then motor imagery and finally mirror therapy.
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Old 23-03-2012, 02:08 PM   #6
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Nathan,

I live in Denver, CO, the home of MAT. I have worked in clinics that use it extensively, I have been informally trained in it. I am also casual aquantinces with the PT whom runs the con ed side of things at MAT.

I have a couple of problems with it. For the following commentary I use the word patient and athlete interchangeably partially because it is to early for me to think and write clearly secondly the technique is marketed to and geared toward an athletic population however I have seen it used outside of this scope.

1) Overly cost prohibitive nature of the classes and the technique. The technique is fairly simple to understand. When con ed. teachers try to horde a technique I feel they are trying to market it to make money rather than open it up to the general public for scrutiny. In terms of MAT this has hurt its rep with the therapy community and that is why most of the marketing goes to personal trainers. Which again tends to blur the line between the training and therapy community.

2) The neurophysiology claimed in the rationale is very spotty. It takes a very simplistic reflexive look at complex motor patterns.
For anyone wonder the lowdown on the technique. Essentially you test joint ROM, look for decreased ROM compared to the contralateral side. You then take the muscle into the shortened ROM (active inhibition) and attempt to do 3 sub max isometric holds against manual resistance at 20lbs of force. If the person gives (moves 2-3) inches then that muscle is "inhibited". You train the muscle via cross friction massage over the orgin and insertion at the tendon insertion and then perform follow up 6-8 sec sub max isometric contractions; repeat until test is no longer inhibited.
Anecdotally, both as a patient and therapist, it does work at getting you to up train your voluntary contraction of a muscle. Therefore I believe it works on sensorimotor integration to help a person that has either learned sensorimotor amnesia or a protective response is not allowing them to have willful control of a muscle or movement pattern.

That being said, I have found I don't use it much now that I don't work in a clinic that uses a lot of it. Why? Probably I consider the x-friction invasive, I use other means of stimulating sensorimotor function including imagery and light touch etc.

I do like the aspect of submax contractions and utilizing the end ROM for training. I find that you have to drive a greater signal from higher centers to the neuromuscular unit due to active inhibition to maintain a constant force than at a mid ROM. Therefore these positions work great at improving voluntary control of muscle groups, increasing reciprocal inhibition of antagonist areas, and adding possible movement patterns to a limited movement repertoire.

I have found the manual muscle testing portion of the technique to be fairly inconsistent with some positions. Many of the MMT are fairly similar to Kendal's; with some new positions. I find it is better and more reliable with young athletes than older people; but not always.

Overall, there is a lot of mesoderm wrapped up in the technique aka structuralism. As it focuses on arbitrary ROM and symmetry and an idea that a non inhibited athlete should be able to do all testing positions without limitation. Which if you have seen the 100 or so positions, you will know this is impossible for anyone.

In talking with the head therapist, it is sad really, how little they focus on other aspects of functional progression and what a small part voluntary contraction of a muscle plays in rehab and their lack of emphasis on functional movement progression of an athlete/patient. IMO, sensorimotor integration and willful voluntary control of movements and body parts is but a small albeit important part, of an entire continuum of movements needed in rehab cases.

An additional note, I heard that Peyton Manning was getting this technique done here in Denver when he was rehabbing from his neck fusion. Now he is a Denver Bronco. I don't know what that means but maybe something worked, we'll see on that one

Eric
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Last edited by Milehigh; 23-03-2012 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 23-03-2012, 06:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Interesting that I did not get a reply, I wonder why?
Kory,
You must have forgotten to ring the bell above your gravesite.


I know it looks cool and all, but that white script on black background makes me see double. Harrison's probably seeing cross-eyed trying figure out what the hell you're talking about.
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Old 23-03-2012, 07:17 PM   #8
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Kory,
You must have forgotten to ring the bell above your gravesite.
Thanks, John always can use a good laugh mid-way through a Friday.
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Old 26-03-2012, 04:36 PM   #9
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I have completed coursework many years ago in MAT and other alphabet soup letters...enough to fill a substantial bowl an a blustery New England day.
Nice technique when in the hands of a skilled and knowledgeable practitioner and not a masher...contrary to popular belief the positions of testing are not based on she shortening of the muscle to approximate the attachment points. They are based off of CK (relax everyone, mention does not initiate infection) muscle testing procedures which take their positions from reflexes associated with the meridian system. Think of the psoas test...why would you abduct the hip if you wanted to bring it closer to the spine?
It is an adequate method of downregulating threat and restoring muscle contraction in a pain free mechanism...when used properly once again. Unfortunately most of the practitioners have no skill manual therapies or pain theory. Harkening back to another thread, having strength coaches as the primary care givers for injury resolution is not a good idea.
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Old 26-03-2012, 05:02 PM   #10
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They are based off of CK (relax everyone, mention does not initiate infection) muscle testing procedures which take their positions from reflexes associated with the meridian system. Think of the psoas test...why would you abduct the hip if you wanted to bring it closer to the spine?
That makes sense, I always wondered about about where they come up with some positions because they were not true active insufficient potions.

Can you clarify CK for me?

Eric
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Old 27-03-2012, 11:46 PM   #11
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in a word...no.
I wish I could, but too much mysticism for me.
Muscle testing techniques, and an explanation of the brain as a central processing unit (cpu) are interesting however and I would suggest investigating it for the sake of an explanation of tcm in western terms...otherwise, not much in the way of peer reviewed material available.
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Old 28-03-2012, 12:00 AM   #12
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Are CK and TCM acronyms for something? I don't understand.

Eric
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Old 28-03-2012, 01:33 AM   #13
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sorry, clinical kinesiology and traditional chinese medicine.
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