BB: In your opinion, how important is restoring muscle length and decreasing tone in your practice and why is this something that needs to be addressed?
SL: Restoring muscle length and decreasing muscle tone might be one of the things that we neglect the most in our rehab treatments. Muscles that are prone to becoming short or “tonic” like the pectorals restrict the posterior shoulder and scapular muscles from being able to function properly. This can lead to pain, weakness, and dysfunctional movement patterns which will inevitably cause injury.
BB: What are your thoughts on the pec minor and upper trap restrictions influencing shoulder rotational range of motion in overhead athletes?
SL: I think it a lot of this relates back to Janda’s Upper Crossed Syndrome. A good number of our overhead athletes have poor posture in general, which creates glenohumeral joint dysfunction. This is often seen as restricted rotational movements of the shoulder, particularly internal rotation. Once these restrictions are resolved we tend to see a marked increase in glenohumeral mobility. Tightness of the pectorals and upper trap also lead to dysfunctional movement of the scapula and doesn’t allow for the scapular stabilizers to function properly, leading to greater risk of injury in these overhead athletes.
BB: How has the T-Dot Mobility System changed the way you approach soft tissue work in your practice?
SL: As much as I would love to be able to manually address all of the soft tissue dysfunctions I see, it’s not very realistic in a high volume clinic. The T-dot gives me the ability to still get in the soft tissue mobilizations that my patients require and the results are similar to my own manual techniques. It’s actually the first thing my patients use before they get started with their treatment. Once they figure out what areas to target, it’s very easy for them to use the T-Dot and when they realize how helpful it is, they actually request to use it.
BB: How is the T-Dot Mobility different from other methods of independent soft tissue release and how do you feel it is more advantageous?
SL: The difference for me is how much more versatile it is compared to other forms of soft tissue mobilization. What I like about the T-Dot is that we can use movement in conjunction with the soft tissue mobilization, but my patients aren’t as restricted by a floor or wall such as when they use a trigger ball or foam roller. I’m also using it post-operatively with patients that have tightness from guarding. I like that they are in control and they can feel more relaxed going into manual therapy and exercise for their treatment session.
Learn more about the T-Dot Mobility System at www.movementguides.com
Brett Burton is a Physical Therapist - St. Luke's Sports Medicine at St. Luke's Health System and a
Product Development Associate at Movement Guides, Inc.