Massage & Bodywork

September/October 2013

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best practices Business side | Q & art | table lessons | savvy self-care Availability Error The Danger of Assumptions By Douglas Nelson "You're kidding! Seven?" I remarked with astonishment. "Yep, seven softball games in one day," Mr. H. replied with pride. "How the heck does that happen?" I asked. "Is this the softball version of a marathon? Courtordered punishment?" "No," Mr. H. laughed. "Just a big tournament with a bunch of old guys. Most of us come from great distances, so we have to play all the games in one weekend." "Was there a specific incident at a game that initiated your left-thigh pain?" "I was running the bases, trying to stretch a single into a double, when I tweaked my right ankle pretty seriously. I was able to run on it, or perhaps I should say limp on it, for the rest of that game. Unfortunately, that was game five and we had two more to play. By the end of game seven, I felt this pain in my thigh. It disappeared after a few days, but resurfaced with a vengeance later." I just stared at Mr. H., trying to process these details without getting distracted by the fact that this guy is 67 and can kick my butt from here to Maine and back again. "What happens if you lift your leg? Any pain when you do that?" I queried. As Mr. H. lifted his leg (hip flexion with no knee extension), I happened to put my hand over the rectus femoris muscle belly. What I felt was a remarkable protrusion of muscle tissue right at the muscle belly. I have seldom felt such a pronounced muscle projection as this. My first thought was of several clients who have torn the long head of their bicep: the torn muscle retracts it, leaving the person with what looks like a massive Popeye-style bicep. Outlining the muscle projection with my fingers, I knew I was on to something big. "Is this painful?" I asked, knowing that it would be. "Nope," Mr. H. replied with indifference. Pressing harder, right into the epicenter of the muscle bulge, I asked Mr. H. again if my pressure created discomfort. (How's that for trying to make myself right?) "Nope, not at all," he responded. I looked at him with confusion. "It is thigh pain we are addressing?" "Yes, it really hurts sometimes. My sleep is quite often interrupted." "Does your thigh hurt during activity?" I asked. "No, I do wind sprints and distance runs without any pain at all. If I do leg extensions on a machine, there is no pain during that exercise either. The only time my leg hurts is at rest." See what benefits await you. 35

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