Articles in Category: Massage

Fascial Dysfunction and Treatment

on Monday, 03 July 2017. Posted in Massage, Newsletters, General Health

Fascial Dysfunction and Treatment

By Luke Attkins

Diploma of Remedial Massage, Certificate IV of Massage Therapy

Member: AAMT, SCA, CAA, CA.


Fascia is commonly described as a 3D spider’s web that runs underneath a person’s skin and attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and internal organs.
















A common problem that arises between fascial tissues is adhesions that are caused by the shortening and tightness of the muscular units that surround that area. Fascia that surrounds muscle compartments or is in broad superficial sheets has a tendency to shorten in areas of stress, causing problems in mobility and joint function.


Professor Vladimir Janda, characterised myofascial dysfunction into two categories; upper cross and lower cross syndrome. These two syndromes are classified as postural syndromes causing shortening and weakening of specific muscles, leading to postural dysfunction. 


Upper-cross syndrome is described as rounding of the shoulders and forward carrying of the head. This postural syndrome shows the tightening and shortening of the pectoralis muscles and upper trapezius whilst simultaneously weakening the rhomboids (middle trapezius).


In lower-cross syndrome postural signs are anterior pelvic tilt and accentuated lordosis of the lumbar spine. This is caused by the tightening and shortening of these muscles: hip flexors, tensor fasciae latae (thigh) and erector spinae group whilst simultaneously weakening the abdominal and gluteal muscles.


Things that are associated with these two postural syndromes can lead to chronic pain through the back, legs, neck, shoulders, and chest and if left untreated it can start to affect the diaphragm causing problems with breathing.

























Myofascial release (MFR) is a physical therapy technique that involves applying gentle pressure into the connective fascial tissue releasing muscular shortness and tightness which in turn helps eliminate pain and help with restoring motion.


Techniques that are used in the release of fascial tissue are: skin rolling, fascial stretching, and fascial separation (lifting and rolling of the muscles). The benefits of this treatment are diverse.  Direct bodily effects can help improve flexibility, function, ongoing back, neck, shoulder, hip or any type of pain that is affecting an area containing soft tissue.  MFR is commonly used as an approach to work with tissue-based restrictions and their two-way interactions with movement and posture.  


This style of treatment usually goes for 30-60 minutes a session. Recommended amounts of treatment sessions are 4-6 but that may vary across the board as each person responds differently to treatment. 


If this sounds like something you may be suffering from or are finding hard to correct, give us a call and book in with Luke Attkins as he is trained in MFR treatment.

How Long will it take to Get Better?

Written by Don Williams BSc, MChiro, ICSSD. on Wednesday, 23 September 2015. Posted in Massage, General Health, Sporting Injuries, Acupuncture, Training and Performance, Chiropractic

How Long will it take to Get Better?

By Don Williams

B.Sc., M.Chiro., ICSSD., PG Dip. NMS Rehabilitation Cert DNS. Memb: FICS, CEA


One of the most common questions that we get asked every day in practice is, “How long will it take to get better?” Unfortunately there is no short answer to this question, however, in this article I will try to outline some of the contributing factors and delineate some guidelines and ideas which may help answer this question for you.


Everyone is an individual, and in that sense, how different people respond and heal from different injuries does vary somewhat, some injuries are particularly unpredictable, shoulders are particularly problematic in identifying how well or how quickly they will respond to treatment. However with most injuries, there are general time frames in which most healing will occur.


Most people who have ever had an injury and minor procedure which required stitches will remember that the stitches generally come out in around 7 days and this time frame is a good indication of how long a cut or trauma takes to “bond” back together, however, the general healing process generally takes around 21 days. This is the timeframe for the body to lay down a “callus” or matrix of fibres around the injury and develop new connections and bridges to stabilise the injury and repair. But this timeframe is dependent on good blood flow and environment for repair, additionally, just because the injury is stabilised, does not mean that it is fully healed and fully function. This healing process and time frame is specifically relevant for muscle and skin.


Areas of the body that receive poorer blood supply take longer to recover. Tendons and particularly joint cartilage and ligaments receive a lower direct blood supply and take longer to heal. We normally expect that tendon and ligament injuries will take 6 weeks to start to repair well and 3 months to be stable.


Bones fractures also take longer to heal. Interestingly, the ratio of cortical bone (the dense outer “shell”) to cancellous bone (the “spongey” inner core) also affects the healing rate. So when we look at bones like the tibia (the larger of the two lower leg bones) they take a particularly long time to heal (up to 4 months).


The other interesting thing to note is that an injury is not always something that is readily assessable via an x-ray or scan and often, the severity of the pathology on the scan can be very unrelated to the amount of pain. For example, someone with severe degenerative changes noted on an x-ray may not have any pain, and in contrast, someone with very severe pain may have really good looking x-rays.


It is also important to note that many people use pain as a guide to where they have a problem or not. This is a situation which has been reinforced with dodgy advertising commercials by big pharmaceutical companies suggesting that all of our aches and pains can be targeted and resolved with a little tablet.  At times pain killers can be helpful, but it is important to realise that, contrary to the advertising campaigns, and the statements of the celebrities fronting these commercials, these drugs do not “target” the source of pain. They work globally in the system to mask the pain. In fact anti-inflammatories drugs can actually slow the healing process and all of these drugs have potential for complications and side effects, some of these can be severe.


But pain is only the tip of the iceberg. Pain exists as an indicator that something is going wrong in our system. We have an area that is under duress or load which is unhappy or injured. Sometimes there are weaknesses or imbalances or inappropriate actions which have caused this problem to develop. Getting rid of the pain is a good start, but addressing the underlying dysfunction or causative factors is also important to reach a good long term outcome.


Part of our goal in assessment at Institute of Sports and Spines is to try to assess the contributing factors which caused your problem to develop in the first place and help you to eliminate or address these issues.


Another complicating factor as eluded to, early in the article is the individual nature of response.

Sometimes we will see muscle spasm problems which are very severe and painful, which is not related to severe pathology. At times these issues will respond very quickly to treatment and at other times they will be a little stubborn and take a little longer. Generally, the response to treatment gives a more accurate prediction of how quickly the issue will settle. Further to this, if you have had previous episodes of the same problem, the previous response rate is generally a reasonable indicator of the response rate for future episodes.


So as a general time line for healing rates:

  • Early tissue healing occurs in around 7 days

  • The majority of soft tissue healing takes around 21 days.

  • Early bone healing takes 6 weeks (up to 4 months so large, long bones)

  • Cartilage and Ligament issues take around 6 weeks to 3 months

  • Re-education and retraining takes a minimum of 3 months

  • Remodelling can take up to 1 year.


In a perfect world things can progress more quickly. The addition of complicating factors can drag these times frames out.  The better that problems are managed and treated increases the probability of a good resolution and good long term outcome.


Later in this newsletter and over the next few additions we will outline more specifically injuries of the neck, back, knee, hip, shoulder and tendonopathies.


If you have any further questions then talk to the team and we will help you out with more specific advice.


Fracture Healing -


Fracture Healing


Wound Healing -


Wound Healing






How to Relieve Aches and Pains

on Thursday, 16 June 2016. Posted in Massage, General Health

How to Relieve Aches and Pains

Brandi Cutler

Diploma of Remedial Massage, Level One Dry Needling

Memb: ANTA


Ever woken up in the morning and just felt really stiff and sore? Finished a gym session and felt fatigued for days after – also known as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)? Do you get a stiff lower back trying to get out of a chair? Is your neck getting stiff from a restless sleep or incorrect sleeping on a pillow? Here are some fantastic ways massage can help relieve these symptoms and many more! The world of massage is full of numerous tools and techniques that can help you with the various aches and pains of everyday life. These techniques combined with also the likes of acupuncture, chiropractic and exercise physiology can help you achieve all results your after and fast!


Different massage techniques can assist in raising the Para-Sympathetic (rest and Digest) Nervous System, thus decreasing the Sympathetic Nervous system (Fight and Flight). This will assist in pain management.


Fascia is a connective tissue that covers every muscle fibre and bundle. When it is under stress, it becomes hard like a plastic but after a myofascial release massage it becomes a soft, gel like substance. This combined with trigger pointing and/or dry needling can effectively help release the tension you are holding in all areas of the body.


Trigger points are essentially muscle stuck in contracture that will eventually lead to muscle failure. Once they are released, strength, tone and range of motion are returned to the muscle. Stretching will also help prevent these trigger points or ‘knots’ as you also might have heard them be referred to as, from forming in the muscle.


Hot Rocks and even the use of heat packs can help to soften the fascia and muscles. Hot Rocks can be used in a relaxation massage, remedial massage and is also generally used as a combined tool to effectively treat tight muscles.


Dry Needling is a technique that uses the same needles as acupuncture. However, acupuncture runs on the Chinese medicinal system of meridians and channels whereas dry needling deals with the direct muscle effected. The practitioner will find a trigger point or ‘knot’ in your muscle and effectively put the needle in, this can assist with trigger points that keep re-occurring and or will not release under normal treatment. Results from dry needling can be for a longer period than normal techniques due to the muscle being directly stimulated to release. The practitioner will then twirl the needle 3 times, looking for a twitch response from the muscle or a dragging sensation. After the third time the practitioner will then take the needle out leaving the muscle feeling even more relaxed and rested, similar to trigger point technique. Dry Needling combined with massage is very effective and is just one technique offered here at the Institute of Sports and Spines.


Treatments may include instructions of stretches clients can or should start to do. This will assist in keeping the aches and pains away for a longer period. People should be stretching after gym and each stretch must be held for a minimum of 30 secs to 1 minute. This is because it takes 20 seconds for the muscle to realise that something is happening then the additional time the muscle goes oh I am meant to be this long. This then helps to achieve better range of motion and reduction in tension which means reduced aches and pains.


For more information or to book a consultation with Brandi Cutler, please contact reception on (07) 3398 7022 and they will be more than happy to help.