UBC Nursing Massage Therapy Promotion

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Ryan headshotRyan Abreu and West Point Grey Physiotherapy is pleased to announce that we will be offering 50% off an initial 60 minute Massage Therapy session for all UBC Nursing students and faculty throughout October. Put down your books, stethoscopes and scrubs and give yourself an hour to take care of your bodies and minds. If you have the time please visit and like our Facebook page.

Massage Therapy sessions can be very beneficial to all student nurses whether you come in because of the extended hours sitting and studying, the 12-hour shifts with constant walking or the overall stress of the program. Treatment will help with decreasing tension in over used muscles, breaking up myofascial restrictions that contribute to poor posture and decrease overall stress levels. It can help with reducing existing pain or injury and also as a preventative measure for keeping tissue healthy.

Have a stress free October!

Ryan Abreu Massage Therapy Bio

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website headshotMy name is Ryan Abreu and I recently moved to Vancouver, BC in April 2014. My beautiful surroundings of trees, flowers and mountains has inspired me to write some of my thoughts down which I will use this blog for.

I am a registered massage therapist from Ontario and moved to Vancouver to continue my career and to be with my girlfriend. I graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Kinesiology degree and then went on to get my massage therapy diploma from Sutherland Chan School and Teaching Clinic in Toronto. Since 2013 I have had the great opportunity to work with tremendous health care professionals and clients. I spent a year treating motor vehicle accident patients at Physiotherapy on Wheels in Streetsville Mississauga, where I was employed by 3-time Olympic gymnast Alan Nolet. I also had the opportunity to work with LifeMark Physiotherapy, a company which is Canadian owned and has over 100 clinics across the nation. I was fortunate enough to use that experience to get my Massage Therapy Registration in BC and continue to work with LifeMark in Vancouver at the Stadium Chinatown station and at West Point Grey Physiotherapy near UBC.

My passion for athletics and healthy living has led me into my massage therapy career. I have trained in Taekwondo for 20 years and have competed and coached athletes at the provincial and national level. Over the years I have seen and experienced the wear and tear a competitive body endures with training and competition and have seen the benefits massage therapy provides. My goal is to treat every individual from athlete to retired senior and from desk worker to skilled worker to help each person reach a pain free state and allow them to perform at their absolute best. I want to keep athletes training, students studying and workers working.

If you would like an initial treatment I will be working at LifeMark Physiotherapy at 181 Keefer Place Registered Massage TherapistMonday and Wednesday, http://www.lifemarkchinatown.ca/ and at West Point Grey Physiotherapy at 4347 West 10th Ave on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, http://bcphysio.ca.

Massage Therapy and Plantar Fasciitis

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Plantar Fasciitis 

Plantar Fascia

Plantar Fascia

With the beautiful summer we are having here in Vancouver the streets are full with avid runners keeping in shape and perhaps preparing for the next 5K 10K or marathon of the season. I have had the opportunity to work with several runners many of them who are presenting with plantar fasciitis, which is a condition that can ruin any runner’s season. It is very important to recognize symptoms so that they can be treated.

Plantar Fasciitis is typically characterized by pain on the bottom of the foot with normal heel to toe walking/running, pain during the first few steps of the day and sometimes referred pain to the top of the foot, achilles tendon and in the ankle joint. After a warm up the pain usually subsides a little. So what can be done for someone experiencing these symptoms?

Seeing a Massage Therapist and Physiotherapist is very effective in assessing and treating the condition. There are several soft tissue techniques, joint mobilizations, stretches, strengthening exercises and self-care measures that can be used and taught by therapists.

Dynamic and passive release techniques

Dynamic Release of Plantar Fascia

Dynamic Release of Plantar Fascia

  • The client will point their effected foot and crunch their toes as much as they can.
  • The therapist will palpate for a restriction in the plantar fascia and then provide sustained point specific pressure to the restriction.
  • The client will then slowly start to relax the foot and pull the foot and toes back towards themselves as much as they can with the pressure from the therapists maintained.
  • This process will be repeated at a different restriction.

This treatment is fairly aggressive and can be very painful. A gentler approach would be to use the same process but instead of the patient actively performing the movements their therapist can point the clients foot and perform the actions for them.

Joint mobilization of big toe.

1st Metatarsal Joint Mobilization.

1st Metatarsal Joint Mobilization.

  • The therapist will stabilize the 1st metatarsal (Big Toe at the joint) with one hand.
  • With the other hand the therapist grasps the Big Toe just above the nail and distracts the joint by pulling directly outward from the joint in a straight line.
  • With the toe distracted the therapists glides the distracted toe at a 90 degree angle towards the clients head.

This treatment will help with improving big toe extension which is often very painful with plantar fasciitis.

Kinesio Tape

Kinesio Taping for Plantar Fascia.

Kinesio Taping for Plantar Fascia.

Kinesiolgy tape is a newer modality becoming very popular with athletes. It has been effective with many conditions, plantar fasciitis being one of them.

  • Start by having the injured foot pointed back to the nose (dorsiflexed).
  • Anchor a strip of tape to the back of the heel and with no stretch fan out the strip across the plantar fascia.
  • A second strip anchored at the top of the foot, stretched and wrapped around mid foot to support the arch.

Ball / Water bottle rolling

Rolling The Plantar Fascia

Rolling The Plantar Fascia

A tennis ball, lacrosse ball or frozen water bottle can be placed under the foot. I find frozen bottle works best since the ice helps manage the pain while rolling. The client will slowly roll the bottle back and forth along the plantar fascia breaking up restriction and lengthening the tissue. They can choose to sit or stand depending on how aggressive they want to roll.

Stretching

The plantar fascia can easily be stretched using a belt while lying down on the back. The middle of the belt should be placed at the toes while having both ends in hand. Pulling the belt to pull the toes back will stretch the fascia.

Gastrocnemius and Soleus Stretch.

Gastrocnemius and Soleus Stretch.

It is also very important to stretch the calves, the outer muscle ‘gastrocnemius’ and deeper muscle ‘soleus’. The gastrocnemius is shown to the left with the soleus stretch shown on the right. By lengthening the calf muscles there will be less tension pulling upward on the heel, which allows the plantar fascia to relax.

Happy Running!

Registered Massage Therapist

 

Massage Therapy and Foam Rollers

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Do foam roller exercises actually do anything?

Foam Roller

Foam Roller

If you go to the gym, participate in fitness classes or have received any kind of bodywork therapy you have probably used or seen others using foam rollers. Could something as simple as a firm cylindrical piece of foam actually have benefits to the human body?

The answer is yes! A foam roller can be a useful tool to break up myofascial restrictions and increase flexibility, decrease pain and prevent injury. For an excellent description on fascia check out: http://www.gotimetraining.com/benefits-of-foam-rolling/

It is very important to use the foam roller properly. To do this one can rest a muscle or muscle group on the roller on the ground. They can use their hands or feet to prop themselves up adding the appropriate pressure to the roller. Like a deep stretch there should be some discomfort but it should never get to the point of pain. A rolling back and forth action should be done very slowly so that the muscle fibers and any restrictions can be ‘ironed out”. The most effective time to do this would be post exercise as part of the cool down and before any deep stretching.

Lower body foam rolling

Lower body foam rolling

The foam roller can break up myofascial restrictions (knots/restricted areas in muscle) in a similar way that massage does. It may not be as specific as a skilled massage therapists hands but it can work effectively on large muscle groups like the calves, hamstrings, quads and glutes. Rolling over joints and bony prominences should be avoided since it can lead to injury. Instead, smaller objects such as a tennis ball or lacrosse ball can be used when rolling muscles in the back or other difficult areas such as; the neck, rotator cuff and soles of the feet. There are also various different densities of foam that can be utilized. Typically white rollers are softer, blue are medium and black are hard. You can choose your preferred density to treat gradually or more aggressively. For information on choosing the perfect roller for you this is a good article: http://www.wikihow.com/Choose-a-Foam-Roller

Rolling plantar fascia using a tennis ball.

Rolling plantar fascia using a tennis ball.

A routine of foam rolling and stretching can help elongate the muscles and keep them supple which will help improve function. A more relaxed muscle will be more flexible, have more endurance and power. It will also decrease chances of muscle strains during activity. Foam rolling is an effective tool for therapists to prescribe as self-care, it is also a tool for athletes and the general population to use to help them maintain the heath of their musculature and should be used regularly.Registered Massage Therapist

 

Keep on Rolling!

Ryan Abreu