Reciprocal Inhibition + STM | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Reciprocal Inhibition + STM


Those of you following my facebook page know that I have been dabbling in Neurokinetic Therapy a bit after seeing some cases posted in Stop Chasing Pain's page.

Since I have only the textbook to go on, and have not taken the courses, I have only rudimentary explanations for the results I have been seeing. However, I decided to take those principles and apply them to what I am already using in the clinic. Those of you doing any STM, functional release or IASTM can try this too!

Here is an example, the patient you are working on has unilateral cervical and shoulder pain, with restrictions in cervical ROM, and grade 1 restrictions in the left first rib. My manual therapy triad starts with STM/IASTM to the superficial tissues around the first rib. YMMV depending on two things 1) How well the patient tolerates the STM 2) Tone vs. restrictions

Let's take a look at #2

Treating tone normally requires slower strokes starting superficially to decrease it and "peel back" the layers. This is opposed to the rapid "stripping" strokes often used with instruments to reduce adhesions. A few of my patients recently have presented with tone that was not responding to normal STM/IASTM techniques. I had the patient resist scapula depression, which immediately reduced the tone in the upper traps, which in turn responded much faster to the STM, now that I could concentrate on the deeper adhesions.

For the cervical extensors, I resisted cervical flexion, which reduced tone in the extensors, then worked on them with the EDGE, and was also able to get deeper, much faster. I estimate using reciprocal inhibition will reduce the overall treatment time of most areas by 3-5 minutes.

Try it and let me know what you find!

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