A wise man once asked me, “Can a person stretch another person’s muscle?” I thought, what a silly question. “Of course!” Physical therapists, athletic trainers, massage therapists, and more stretch muscles, duh! The wise man replied and said, “No, you are wrong. A muscle cannot just be stretched from one length to another automatically. It is a chain reaction. This reaction is controlled by the nervous system, and this is what truly stretches the muscle.”
Well, Eureka! I am back in physiology. Yes, this is true, but many therapists and aforesaid professions overlook this. We are trying to yank on limbs and force them through a range of motion, all while the patient/client’s body and mind have a guard around the muscle that is causing further tension through a protective mechanism. In other words, Therapists are trying to prevent contractures and gain or maintain muscle length manually at the same time the patient/client is activating their neurological system to fight that exact purpose, so it’s a lose-lose. Or maybe a lose-lose-win, because this is the norm of rehabilitation these days and people keep coming back but I’m here to tell you there is a better way.
Examples of current methods:
Example 1: Post total knee surgery. The dreaded knee flexion/extension… the therapist pushes your leg and the patient holds their breath in fear and pain…sound familiar?
Example 2: The child with spasticity who is forced to stretch the elbows and knees to prevent further contracture with sustained positioning and bracing through the day and night.
NOW here is the physiology behind THE NEWEST TECHNOLOGY, that will electrically activate the chemical that is truly controlling the muscle ability to change the length or else it’s all just a little battle between the therapist and body part…are you ready? Stay with me, I promise I can make this information easily understood if you read on.
There are about 430 muscles in the human body all controlling different actions and body positions. Physical Therapists are specialists in rehabilitating the musculoskeletal system. System is the keyword. It’s not just muscles: there are nerves, fascia and ligaments, and bone. The muscles have an intimate relationship with the nervous system that provide activation and feedback to produce coordinated movements and joint stabilization for sustained positioning. FACT: Skeletal muscles cannot contract or release unless stimulated by neurons. Even cardiac and smooth muscles can contract without direct stimulation however, they are still influenced by the nervous system. The nervous system is now the key. It’s like my son’s video games when the enemy robots are controlled by one supervillain, you must take down the supervillain! No point in just tiring yourself battling each robot that keeps coming no matter what. The nervous system is the supervillain.
The muscles have four main actions: ability to stretch or increase in length, the ability to develop tension (a contraction which may or may not end up in a change in muscle length), elasticity (returning back to resting size) and irritability (the ability of the muscle to respond to an electrochemical signal).
Take a look at this amazing short (under 5min) YouTube video showing the change of muscle length at this level. ***Please watch the entire video and do not get discouraged by not understanding the medical terminology. The point is the sliding filament mechanism and the power stroke. It works both for contraction and extensibility.
So, now you see, if we can activate the action desired, whether gaining length or stimulating force to produce strength and The ExerScience Center can do this electrical stimulation with the latest technology. You are stretching the muscle without any of those supervillains controlling or guarding the process. If you cannot let go through your mind due to prior injury or just being afraid to move your body, a biohacking signal is what you need!!! If you have spasticity you cannot get rid of and the constant Botox injections are leaving you with lack of function in your body region, well let’s not paralyze the muscle - Biohack it! Biohacking is nothing new, it’s just now available to the general public under medical supervision. So before ending this blog, you can biohack your muscles in the opposite direction for rehabilitation, nerve and muscle regeneration and even next level sports performance training and bodybuilding. Learn the limitless potential of biohacking and schedule your appointment today.
To schedule an appointment, please call us at 813.803.7070