Chris Johnson nicely put it regarding EDGE Mobility Bands, "It's almost like cheating."
If by "cheating" you mean making a previously threatening and painful test, functional movement pattern, neurodynamic test, or mobilization pain free, then yes, it could be considered cheating.
Recall from Modern Pain Science studies that it only takes a few days of pain in a limb for it to be cortically smudged in it's virtual representation in the CNS. If in pain, or under threat, pain and movement thresholds are lowered for a particular area of the body. As a progression, the less that individual moves, the more ill defined that area's representation is in the CNS.
Modern Manual Therapy looks to effect the nervous system to produce rapid changes in pain and movement. If a limb is lacks definition in its cortical representation, perhaps wrapping it lightly and comfortably makes the CNS say, "Aha! There's that limb I have been looking for! Hey, that compression feels nice. Alarm? What alarm? No threat here." Pain and movement thresholds are then raised.
A perfect example of this would be any painful or symptom producing neurodynamic test. Using median nerve as an example, first, check to make sure the individual has full wrist extension, supination, elbow extension, shoulder ER, scapular depression and adequate shoulder abduction. If full and pain free passively, the neurodynamic test should also have full ROM when the nervous system is loaded. If it is limited or creates symptoms compared to the other side, lightly wrap the upper or lower arm (wherever their perception of most discomfort or symptoms are), then re-test the motion. Many times it is either symptom free, with greatly improved ROM or nearly there.
Again, any time a dramatic change is made, you are restoring motion that has always been available, but either the nervous system had the area under lockdown due to threat perception, or motor control was off and the patient could not use their motion efficiently or correctly.
Suggested EDGE Mobility Band Uses:
- if joint mobs/oscillations are painful or uncomfortable, wrap the limb lightly, then perform the mobilizations
- any dynamic warmup or stretch that is painful, wrap and re-test/perform
- to relieve the discomfort of neurodynamics used as a treatment
- to mobilize adhered skin status post prolonged limb immobilization
- i.e. after ACL repair and immobilization
- the band can be easily grasped by the clinician as the patient performs mini squats or lunges to mobilize the tissues in the direction of restriction
- in other words, wrap around any limb that is threatened, lightly (barely any stretch or compression) and re-test the treatment, motion, or movement pattern
- leave it on for the duration of treatment (huge advantage no to wrap as others instruct) and re-test without it, the improvements stay if the threat is reduced
Patients will need to perform similar treatments with their own EDGE Mobility Band at home, or their own self reset to keep the improvements going between visits. Any novel ideas or ways you have been using them on your patients?
Keeping it Eclectic...