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Back Answers Newsletter, Issue #005
April 09, 2013

A Monthly Newsletter
from Lower Back Pain Answers

In this issue…

1. Progress update on soon-to-be released DVD: Self-Treatment for Iliopsoas Syndrome

2. My recent talk at the University of Vermont Medical School

3. The reason Active Isolated Stretching is my preferred stretching method

1. Self-Treatment for Iliopsoas Syndrome DVD in latter stages of editing

I continue to receive numerous inquiries about this DVD, so I wanted to assure everyone who’s expressed interest in the release date that it should be ready in May, hopefully in the earlier part of the month. This DVD will include:

• A clear overview of the anatomy of the iliopsoas muscle
• Self-massage techniques
• How to diminish trigger point referrals
• The most effective stretching and strengthening techniques for Iliopsoas Syndrome
• And other techniques to relieve this pervasive problem

I have posted some preview material on the website in the form of still photos taken from the video footage. By the end of this week I hope to post some actual video footage. You can check it out here (don’t forget to use the password):

Password: neuromuscular

2. My recent talk to the Medical School at the University of Vermont

For the past couple of years I’ve been invited to speak to the first-year medical students as part of their Complimentary & Alternative Medicine program. It’s an opportunity for me to address a missing link in the education of these prospective physicians. This year I focused on Myofascial Trigger Points, a topic they will be unlikely to learn about unless they pursue it on their own.

Myofascial Trigger Points occur in muscles that have become ischemic (low blood flow), often as a consequence of chronic muscular contraction. Once a trigger point becomes active, it can refer sensation to another part of the body. The sensation could be any of the following: pain, tingling, numbness, thermal sensations (hot/cold), aching, weakness, or even that the body region “just doesn’t feel right.”

Trigger points can occur in any muscle in the body and can often be responsible for a myriad of strange or mysterious symptoms. You might have pain or other symptoms that your doctor can’t explain. But just because allopathic tests such as X-rays, MRIs, or CAT scans come back normal, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong. Such tests don’t tell you anything about what’s happening the largest organ of the body: the muscular system.

This was the point I wanted to drive home to the medical students during my talk, and looking around the room I saw a lot of lightbulbs going off. They asked a lot of great questions which led to a very fruitful discussion.

My hope, of course, is that these medical students become “a new breed of doctor” who doesn’t insist to their patients that their pain is “all in their head” when standardized tests come back normal.

Have you had this experience? Have you been told that there’s nothing wrong with you despite experiencing significant pain and discomfort? You might be suffering from Myofascial Trigger Points.

If so, I have found that Active Isolated Stretching is the only stretching technique that’s effective in relieving Trigger Points. Try some of these from the stretching videos page…

3. The reason Active Isolated Stretching is my preferred stretching method

It’s still amazing to me that Active Isolated Stretching is not practiced in every physical therapy office in the world. But unfortunately it is still not well-known.

It is a well-documented fact that Static Stretching — stretching in which a muscle is put on a stretch for 20 or 30 seconds — will often provoke what’s called the Protective Stretch Reflex.

This reflex creates a kind of bracing in the muscle that does not allow for optimal muscle lengthening. And this is precisely what is needed for muscles that are chronically contracted and painful.

Instead of a static stretch, Active Isolated Stretching takes advantage of a repeated 2-second stretch which gently “sneaks up” on stubborn muscular tightness and has the power to relieve even the most resistant inflexibility.

See my full article about the comparison between Static Stretching and Active Isolated Stretching here.

Well, that’s it for this issue of Back Answers. As always, if you know anyone else suffering from back pain, please be sure to send them to Lower Back Pain Answers.

Wishing you the best!

Lower Back Pain Answers

Written by Stephen O’Dwyer, CNMT
Lower Back Pain Answers
1 Mill St. – Ste 226
Burlington, VT 05401

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