Muscle News Daily May 09 2014, 0 Comments

Head to head with 2 injury prevention programs on knee strength in soccer players

With the increase in knee injuries in younger athletes, its no surprise that there are several different types of prevention programs out there. This study in the journal Biology Of Sport looked at the effects of 2 of these injury prevention programs, the 11+ program and the HarmoKnee program. The 11+ program was developed in 2003 and widely implemented as a complete warm up program to reduce injuries in amateur football players aged 14 and over. The HarmoKnee program consists of movements such as jogging, high knee skipping, lunges, squats and curls. 

The study assessed concentric quadriceps and hamstring peak torque at various angles. The results showed that the HarmoKnee program produced greater concentric strength of the quadriceps while the 11+ program had greater concentric hamstring strength compared to the HarmoKnee. Regardless, the act of integrating such programs in the younger athletic population will go a long way in ensuring we reign in the increase in knee injuries. 

Gait retraining may be a good option for runners with iliotibial band syndrome in addition to regular exercises

Iliotibial Band Syndrome is a nasty issue to have if you're a runner. Some of my patients are addicted to the Muscle Wizard since it allows them to get really focused on muscle trigger points and adhesions over the IT Band. Apart from trigger point therapy and deep stripping massage, gait retraining appears to be something that should be considered.

We all know that biomechanics can play a role in the onset of pain. That's why a study in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine just came out with a case study on gait retraining. The full article can be found by clicking here. The runner's treatment focused on increasing step rate above what was preferred by the athlete. The step rate increased by 5%, which was enough to have the runner pain free within 6 weeks of treatment. 

If you are a runner or trainer that treats runners, this article provides a wealth of information on the biomechanical effects of running. Working on step rate can be an effective tool to have to provide a complete rehabilitation and training program for runners. 

Do you look at the TMJ joint and muscles when someone presents with cervicogenic headaches?

Patients with cervicogenic headaches usually respond well to manual therapy to the cervical spine. Most of my treatments consist of trigger point therapy to the suboccipitals, mobilization and / or manipulation to the cervical spine and the use of the Muscle Wizard for home self care. However, some patients may not respond as well to this approach. Could the TMJ area be a factor? A new study showed just that.

A study from Manual Therapy performed a randomized controlled trial that split a group of people with cervicogenic headaches into a usual care of cervical manual therapy and an orofacial manual therapy group. The orofacial group showed a significant improvement in cervical impairment after 6 months while the usual care group did not. The study showed that one should always look to abandon the 'patterns' one sees in their practice and look to other areas like the TMJ. By having more than one tool in your toolbox, you'll be better able to respond to patient complaints. 

Middle deltoid strengthening should not be overlooked when looking at stabilizing a shoulder with rotator cuff tears

The middle deltoid muscle is known to have an elevating effect on humeral head, while the rotator cuff offsets this, creating a stabilizing effect on the shoulder. The study in the journal Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy found that strengthening of the anterior fibers of the middle deltoid muscle fibers could help in improving shoulder function in those with a rotator cuff tear.

These results are significant because not all tears are actually symptomatic. Developing the right exercises may be beneficial in improving function. Another study in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery looked at the activation of various muscles in both symptomatic and asymptomatic rotator cuff tears. The results showed that in the symptomatic subjects, the anterior and middle deltoid muscle activity was decreased while upper trapezius activity was increased compared to the asymptomatic subjects. 

That always leads me to address the surrounding muscles when i come across a symptomatic rotator cuff tear. Strengthening the deltoids, using the Muscle Wizard for trigger points in the upper trapezius and an effective stretching program. Studies like this are good validations to continue focusing on the bigger picture.