Ultimate 6 Areas
(1) Soleus: Trigger Point Performance Therapy emphasizes the soleus as a major contributor in the biomechanical chain. One of the most frequently used muscles in the body, the soleus, originates just below the knee on the posterior surface of the tibia and the proximal posterior fibula. The soleus muscle is responsible for plantarflexion and acts as an antagonist to the anterior tibialis by limiting the amount of dorsiflexion in the foot. As the soleus muscle is overworked, the fascia of the surrounding muscles adhere to this large muscle causing much greater torque on the calcaneous tendon than what it was ever intended to endure. When the soleus muscle is challenged, the body mechanics can be extremely compromised.
We have found that when the soleus muscle is not addressed, the knee is forced to thrust forward in an attempt to put the foot in a position the body perceives to emulate dorsiflexion. This creates an unstable platform for the knee and puts added stress on the knee joint. In this position, the quadriceps become overworked as they take over the responsibility of lifting the foot and attempt to maintain the structural integrity of the leg. This inefficiency will result in a loss of elasticity through the quadriceps, causing adhesions and scar tissue to break down the pliability of the muscle tissue. For this purpose, we find great benefit in addressing the fascia plane of the quadriceps muscles and along the iliotibial (IT) band.
(2 & 3) Quadriceps and IT Band: The quadriceps muscles, which connect in the top of the pelvis, will cause the pelvis to tilt forward and the buttocks to shift back. As the pelvis tilts, the upper body shifts forward to counterbalance the weight, often compressing the area surrounding lumbar discs 4 and 5. The more compression there is on the L4-5 area, the more you compromise the neurological feed to the lower extremities. Furthermore, the hamstring muscles and IT band, which counteract the quadriceps muscles, can become stretched beyond their intended functional capacity causing greater inefficiency within the body. Rather than simply massaging the IT band and hamstrings, we address the most critical factor in this equation, the pelvic tilt, by lengthening the quadriceps through our self-massage therapy techniques. This will produce better long-term results and more efficient biomechanics.
(4) Psoas: The psoas connects in the groin and at thoracic vertebrae 12 in the middle of the back. The psoas muscle, which is relied upon for core stability, is intended to facilitate good posture and prevents compression on the lower back. When the psoas is challenged, however, it can contribute to the upper body leaning in front of the pelvis, which worsens the compression on the L4-5 area. The psoas becomes severely strained as the buttocks tilts back and the shoulders and chest adjust forward in an effort to open up the breathing pathways and to maintain weight distribution through the planes of the body. The psoas muscle is part of the group of muscles referred to as the hip flexors and plays a primary role in lifting the upper leg. Historically, this muscle was assumed to be extremely difficult to locate with self-massage, but Trigger Point Performance Therapy has developed the means and practices to offer relief to even the most difficult to reach areas of the body.
(5) Piriformis: The piriformis, a small muscle set deep within the buttocks, also becomes over-strained due to the pelvic tilt. When the piriformis goes into spasm or tightens it can impinge the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs directly through the piriformis muscle and tension in this area can interrupt the neuroloigical feed to the lower extremities of the body. Problems resulting from rigidity and tightness in this area can be debilitating for some individuals, resulting in a wide range of issues. Breaking down adhesions and scar tissue along the piriformis is critical.
(6) Pectorals: The pectoral muscles are also affected in this process due to the body's natural reaction to rotate the shoulders forward when the torso is positioned slightly in front of the pelvis. By releasing the scar tissue within this region, the shoulders are going to rotate back naturally allowing more oxygen to come into the lungs and letting the arms swing freely. When Trigger Point Performance Therapy self-massage is practiced in this area, results can be seen instantaneously.