(This section is a continuous work in progress)

Shin Splints

Pain in the medial shin also called medial tibial stress syndrome is usually caused by overloading the muscles of the lower leg either because of sports  that put enormous pressure on the lower legs (e.g., running) and/or muscle imbalance.  With a majority of the runners I have treated so far, I have found working the fibularis muscles on the outside of the lower leg all the way from their attachments under the foot and on the side of the foot to their upper attachments on the side below the knee to be very effective in relieving the pain. 

Chronic Muscle Tightness

Chronic muscle tightness can have multiple causes: faulty movement patterns, bad posture, or emotional issues (such as grief) to name a few. I've found it imperative to get comprehensive information about current personal life circumstances in order to make a priority list of  the most likely causes and address them systematically. Different causes require different approaches and techniques to be effective in releasing chronic muscle tightness. For example, grief may show as tightness in the chest muscles (pectoralis major & minor), because of an innate reflex to protect oneself from the emotional distress. Another example is hamstring tightness which may be due to the butt muscle (gluteus maximus) not doing its job as a prime mover of extending the thigh because it's overstretched from too many hours of sitting down (in the car, at the job etc.) The former needs a gentler approach and may elicit an emotional response when worked on, whereas the latter requires strenghthening techniques that can make gluteus maximus work optimally again and take the load of the hamstrings. In both situations, stretching can only provide temporarily relief if the main causes are left unaddressed.     

ITB Syndrome

You feel pain in the lateral side of the knee, which I often see in runners and bikers. The Ilio-Tibial Band is a thick band of fascia that helps stabilize the thigh and especially the knee during movement. Pain can be caused by muscular or structural imbalances. Only the former is within my scope of practice, but I have had positive results releasing trigger points in the TFL, gluteus medius and maximus that connect to the ITB and breaking up adhesion in the tendons attached to the lateral side of the knee, followed by kinesio-taping of the area. To maintain reduced pressure on the knee, stretching and foam-rolling will be given as homework. 

Strains & Sprains

A strain occur in a muscle and a sprain occur in a ligament usually from rapid twisting/bending if muscle is too tight or a joint is being too forcefully contracted, such as if lifting done improperly and you are not well warmed up or when running and your ankle rolls over in too forceful an inversion. Strains and sprains can happen almost anywhere in the body, most common are hamstring strains and ankle sprains, as well as strains of the tiny muscles in the back. Depending on whether the condition is a strain or a sprain, acute or chronic different techniques will be applied that can aid the healing the body is already working on, whether it is breaking up scar tissue adhesion or stimulate the flow of nutrition and blood to and from the injured area.    

"Silicon Valley Syndrome"

This syndrome is also know as upper cross syndrome, where you feel pain in the neck and upper shoulders due to hours hunched in front of a computer. Bad posture both when sitting and walking only exacerbates this syndrome. The muscles of the neck, upper shoulders and upper chest are tight due to the excessive weight they bear when you are sitting with your head forward and the prolonged time you are sitting with your shoulders rounded. Muscles of the middle back gets weakened because they are in a stretched position for many hours. In order to relieve the pain, I work on releasing neck, upper shoulder, and upper chest muscles. Then, I'll provide you with exercises that can help you maintain the normal resting length just regained through massage, and exercises that will strengthen the weak middle back muscles.    

TMJ Disorder

Temporo-Mandibular Joint Disorder is an umbrella term covering the muscles of mastication (chewing) and the temporomandibular joint. The symptoms are pain, restricted mandibular movement and/or noises with mandibular movement. Symptoms can become chronic and difficult to manage and thus very detrimental to quality of life. I have treated TMJ disorder successfully by focusing on releasing trigger points in the lateral and medial pterygoids, as well as releasing neck and chest muscles to correct for rounded shoulder posture and release pressure on the jaw.

Achilles Tendinitis

Pain in the heal and ankle area caused by irritation of the tendons of the gastrocnemius and soleus, and frequently seen in sports that involve jumping. Different massage techniques and stretching will be applied to the Achilles tendon and gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.  And you may need to consider footwear modification/orthotics for optimal healing.

Plantar Fasciitis 

Also known as the Heel Pain Syndrome. Pain is usually felt in the mid-foot or heel caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia in these areas. Usually, the best way to relief this pain condition by means of massage is to release the gastrocnemius, soleus and toe flexors, which may also involve trigger point release. 

Tennis Elbow

Pain on the lateral side of the elbow caused by irritation of wrist/finger extensor muscles from overuse. Pain also occur with power grip (e.g., back hand in tennis) as the extensors are necessary in stabilizing the wrist. I have had success relieving pain by applying massage to the extensor muscles of the forearm as well as stretching. Often, I have found that there are trigger points in the triceps and supinator that need to be released before a significant decrease in pain takes place.

Golfer's Elbow

Pain on the medial side of the elbow caused by irritation of the wrist/finger flexor muscles from overuse. Pain also occur with power grip as flexors generate strength for grip and wrist flexion (often used by baseball pitchers and golfers). Massaging the flexor muscles of the forearm and releasing any trigger points found there and in the triceps will effectively decrease the pain.  

De Quervain's Syndrome

Pain in the thumb and wrist area caused by tendinitis of the extensor pollicus brevis and abductor pollicus longus. This is a condition, I know firsthand, and I have had success relieving this condition by applying massage to the forearm extensor and flexor muscles, friction to the extensor pollicus brevis and abductor pollicus longus tendons and muscles.  And in my case, I found trigger points  in the scaleni muscles in the neck which - when relieved - completely resolved the pain. 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Pain, numbness, and weakness in the wrist area due to irritation of the median nerve that passes under the retinaculum in the wrist. Most likely caused by repetitive motions while holding your wrist in positions that have caused swelling and compression of the nerve.  Relief for this condition includes techniques applied to the forearm and scalene muscles in the neck as well as stretching. You may need to adjust your posture, work stations etc. for optimal results.  

"Pseudo Bursitis" in the hip

You feel pain in the outer hip area, which usually increases with prolonged sitting, and can extend all the way to the gluteus maximus. If conventional bursitis treatment (cortisone injection or surgery) hasn't helped, in my experience  the pain may actually be caused by trigger points in the TFL or gluteus medius. After I have released the trigger points, I will then provide you with exercises to keep those muscles at a normal resting length, as well as strengthening exercises to stabilize the hip muscles. 

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