Muscle Balancing

Muscle Balancing (MB) works to treat protective muscle spasm by inhibiting muscle spindle activation, thereby decreasing afferent impulses to the brain. By interrupting this pathway, the patient’s muscle is allowed to assume a normal resting tone thus relieving the tender point, protective muscle spasm, fascial tension, joint hypomobility, and pain. MB expands on the work and teachings of Dr. Lawrence Jones D.O. (Strain and Counter-strain) and Positional Release Therapy.

MB is an indirect manual therapy technique in which the practitioner evaluates the patient for tender points. These tender points are usually four times more sensitive than normal tissue and can be found in the muscle, fascia, bone, and joints (ligaments). You will learn to record the tender points that you have located on a scanning evaluation sheet and prioritize your findings using the general principles of treatment. The practitioner will treat the most severe tender point by positioning the patient’s body or body part in a position of comfort for approximately 90 seconds, thereby relieving the tenderness and pain by reducing and arresting inappropriate proprioceptor activity in the muscle. This technique alleviates both articular and soft tissue dysfunctions in the body, thus restoring proper pain-free movement.

MB will help reduce muscle tenderness, protective muscle spasm, fascial tension, pain, and will help to increase joint mobility, decrease swelling, restore proper joint biomechanics, functional ROM and postural alignment. You will see immediate changes in your patient's pain and functional level. MB can be used in the treatment of back pain, sciatica, neck pain, headaches, rib pain, upper and lower extremity orthopedic dysfunctions and postural deformities. Because of the gentleness and effectiveness of MB, its use is appropriate for the following patient populations: pediatrics, geriatrics, sports injuries, auto accidents, general orthopedic conditions, amputees, respiratory and neurological patients. You will be given a highly illustrated manual outlining each evaluation and treatment technique. This course involves a combination of theory, demonstration, and hand-on practice. Evaluation and treatments will be performed by each participant using the methods taught. Plenty of time is allotted for hands-on practice as well as questions, discussion and review.

MB, like all other mobilization techniques, begins with evaluation. You will learn to utilize the principles of ARTS to evaluate The Total Body Lesion.

The A stands for Asymmetry: The practitioner evaluates the patient for Postural Asymmetry in the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes in both standing and sitting. Which body part displays the greatest asymmetry?

The R stands for Range of Motion: The practitioner evaluates the range of motion (ROM) of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine, the rib cage, upper and lower extremities. You will learn to assess any restriction to normal ROM in both active and passive movement.

The T stands for Tension Tests: The practitioner will perform tension tests for the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine, the rib cage, upper and lower extremities. Normally, when performing tension tests, the palpation should find a soft, supple and springy end feel. If the sensation is hard and restrictive, dysfunction is present.

The S stands for Special Tests: The practitioner will perform specific orthopedic tests to confirm your findings.

Muscle Balancing is taught as two courses (upper & lower quadrant).

  • MBUQ: This course will teach you how to evaluate and treat protective muscle spasm in the muscles of the cranium, cervical, and thoracic spine, the rib cage, shoulder, elbow wrist, and hand.
  • MBLQ: This course will teach you how to evaluate and treat protective muscle spasm in the muscles of the lumbar spine, pelvis, hips, lumbo-sacral and sacro-iliac joints, knee, ankle, and foot.

Course Objectives:

  • Gain an understanding of the history, principles, and neuromuscular basis of Muscle Balancing
  • Conduct a thorough orthopedic and tender point evaluation of the muscles of the cranium, spine (cervical, thoracic and lumbar), rib cage, pelvis, sacrum, upper and lower extremities
  • Ability to chart your results of the evaluation and formulate a treatment plan
  • Determine the proper sequence of treating the Total Body Lesion
  • Perform Muscle Balancing on the muscles of the cranium, spine (cervical, thoracic and lumbar), rib cage, pelvis, sacrum upper and lower extremities
  • Understand the clinical importance of Muscle Balancing and the treatment of joint and muscular skeletal dysfunctions
  • Integrate Muscle Balancing with other treatment modalities

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