My time at Harvard completing my last Physical Therapy
Clinical is coming to a close. Although it has flown by, I have gained a lot of
experience and knowledge from working with the athletes and clinicians. One
concept that has been a cornerstone of treatment for our athletes at Harvard
has been a preventative technique used quite often at CPC – That’s right, I’m
Triggerpoint Myofascial Compression Technique (MCT). While
most of you were hoping for the day we phased out this torturous technique,
don’t hold your breath, MCT isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. What sets MCT
apart from traditional foam rolling on an ideological level is the addition of
muscle movement WHILE moving along a foam roller or quad baller.
Lengthening/Shortening the muscle while adding compression is a technique used
in effective forms of soft tissue massage (STM) for rehabilitation – and can
also be used as a preventative measure.
Simply put, we develop adhesions when we work out that we
typically refer to as knots. When we work out, depending on the style and
intent, we “injure” muscles to stimulate the body to repair itself with the
goal of making stronger more efficient neuromuscular and musculoskeletal links.
Due to improper recovery strategies (rest, eating, sleeping, work life) the
repair doesn’t always go to plan, and the repair process may result in
adhesions in an attempt to make the structure stronger. These adhesions affect
muscle length just as though a knot would affect the length of a rope. This
alteration in physiology can alter the functionality of the muscle and
eventually directly or indirectly result in an injury.
MCT provides individuals with the capability to prevent an
injury rather than treat one after the occurrence. Treating an injury can be costly
and time consuming – not to mention the impact it has recreationally and on
your quality of life. When you invest 10 minutes into MCT and mobility you
decrease the likelihood of injury and promote muscle synthesis and repair. It
will always be more beneficial to prevent an injury rather than to treat one.
Medicine as a whole is making a change towards focusing on
prevention. At CPC, we aim to do the same emphasizing functional movement
patterns as well as MCT. Ask a coach at CPC about MCT to ensure you stay on the
prevention side of things.