Massage & Bodywork

January/February 2011

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DISCOVER THE ROOT CAUSE OF INJURY A New Approach to Fitness Evaluation and Training Several years ago, I had a conversation with a massage therapy instructor who had trained with me back in the 1980s. He began talking about the limitations of the methods I'd taught him. As regular readers of my articles know, my work over the past 40 years has focused primarily on orthopedic approaches to pain and injury conditions. These techniques enable us to determine precisely which structures are injured (direct causes of pain) and how they can best be treated. However, as this colleague pointed out, they do not help us understand why those injuries occurred (indirect causes). Frequently, a person will get injured repeatedly—for instance, continually straining the neck, the low back, or the medial side of the knee. On their own, orthopedic techniques do not reveal why this happens or help us prevent those injuries from recurring. As a result of this discussion, I learned that there are now advanced tools that can pinpoint the indirect causes of pain as precisely as orthopedic methods can pinpoint the direct causes. I learned that a growing number of practitioners are using these tools to create customized programs that dramatically enhance a person's whole- body functioning. And I learned that two individuals in Florida—Vincent Cambrea and Chris White—offer a comprehensive training program to teach massage therapists and fitness trainers these new methodologies. I was fortunate to be able to take their Go Primal Fitness training program and have been thoroughly impressed with the results. In this article, I'll share some of the insights I've gained through this program. Cambrea and White did not originate all of the principles presented here. Rather, they synthesized and adapted a wide range of complementary ideas developed by various leaders in the field, including Paul Chek, Greg Glassman, Gary Gray, Charles Poliquin, and others. Therefore, while I'll be talking about this one particular system, you may recognize a number of the concepts from other groups or individuals who have adopted some of the same principles. My decision to write this article was inspired by a firm belief that all massage therapists could benefit from a deeper understanding of exercise. I have been incorporating some exercise into my private practice for nearly three decades, and in the past several years I've become even more convinced of its importance. At this point, I use exercise protocols with almost all of my clients, whether they're seeing me for injury rehabilitation or to enhance their overall health. I've found that adding exercise to the other techniques I use makes my therapeutic work much more effective and long-lasting. I hope you will find the information here to be useful in guiding your own thinking about treatment options, the underlying causes of injury, and long-term health maintenance. By precisely measuring the amount of flexibility in different muscles, we can help determine which factors are contributing to a person's injuries. For instance, limited flexibility in the quadriceps will place chronic stress on the low back, which can lead to recurring strains on the ligaments and muscles in this area. An inclinometer can be used to give a precise measure of cervical spinal curvature, both in a neutral position and in flexion. earn CE hours at your convenience: abmp's online education center, www.abmp.com 93

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