April is Oral Health Month and an important part of this celebration is National Dental Hygienists Week™, celebrated annually in the second week of April. Good oral health is critical to overall health.
Did you know that Massage Therapy can help alleviate symptoms of TMJ dysfunction and help build jaw awareness to correct muscle imbalances in the jaw?
TMJ dysfunction is a disorder of the muscles of mastication (chewing and speech), the temporomandibular joints and associated structures. It can manifest as head, jaw and/or ear pain and is associated with:
- popping and / or clicking in the jaw,
- range of motion changes in the jaw (limitations and/or deviations when opening and closing), and
- lock jaw.
Potential causes of the dysfunction are:
- muscle imbalances in the jaw,
- muscle overuse (chewing gum, chewing on one side, prolonged yawning, pipe /cigar smoking, or an activity / occupation requiring a mouthpiece or mouthguard etc),
- malocclusion (loss of a tooth or molar, disturbing the mouth’s balance),
- bone alignment and postural dysfunctions (scoliosis, head forward postures – think desk jobs, leg length discrepancies etc),
- increased stress (clenching jaw, grinding teeth),
- direct physical trauma,
- sinus blockage or infections, and
- joint pathologies (hypermobility, osteoarthritis etc)
Contact your friendly neighbourhood massage therapist if you experience any of these symptoms. Or call the clinic to book an appointment at 830.6600
Do you experience any of the following symptoms?
- mild to severe pain on the sole of your foot / heel, especially first thing in the morning or after being seated for an extended period of time?
- inflammation in the sole of your foot?
- ‘fallen arches’ or flat feet?
If so, you may be experiencing Plantar Fasciitis, an overuse condition resulting in the inflammation of the plantar fascia. [Plantar (sole of foot), fascia (a connective tissue) and ‘itis’ (inflammation)].
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of foot pain in athletes, and also affects those that stand for prolonged periods of time. The plantar fascia acts like a bowstring during walking phases and when coming up onto the toes. Overuse and stress causes tissue fatigue and microtearing.
Excessive pronation (weight on inside edges of feet, sometimes caused by flat feet) also stretches the plantar fascia, supporting ligaments and intrinsic muscles of the feet, leading to more microtearing. Conversely, excessive supination (weight on outside edges of feet) and increased body weight can place greater compressive forces at the heel, requiring the heel fat pad and the fascia to absorb more stress / shock. This in turn causes the soleus muscle of the calf to compensate, and further compounds the stress placed on the fascial attachments. Bone spurs on the heel may also result.
Therapeutic massage can help alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, and get you hopping, skipping and jumping again.
Some causes include..
- overuse (ie: overtraining, poor technique, running on hard surfaces, prolonged standing, running, dancing)
- poor biomechanics (ie: excessive pronation or supination)
- short / tight muscles (particularly of the lower leg)
- improper / worn out footwear
- weight gain (including pregnancy)
Do you experience any of the following symptoms?
- pain, tingling or numbness in the back of the leg, calf or sole of the foot?
- loss of proprioception or strength in your lower leg?
- pain in the buttocks, low back, hips, or back of leg?
- your hips / sacroiliac joints are locked up or want to lock?
- pain when going from a seated to standing position?
- tissue changes in the skin of your legs or swelling in your lower leg?
If so, you may be experiencing Piriformis Syndrome. In a nutshell, Piriformis Syndrome is a compression of the Sciatic Nerve by the pirifomis muscle. The piriformis lies deep to the glute muscles and is responsible for restraining rapid / vigorous internal rotation of the hip (ie: during walking and running), helps externally rotate the hip in a neutral position, as well as horizontally abduct and internally rotate the femur with the hip is flexed.
The sciatic nerve travels under the piriformis and travels down the leg. In 10-20% of people the sciatic nerve actually runs through the piriformis. Any tightness in the muscle can result in compression of the nerve, translating into some of the potential symptoms listed above.
Your friendly neighbourhood Registered Massage Therapist can help take that pain out of your butt and get you moving freely again!
Some potential causes include…
- anomolies in the course of the nerve (ie: piercing through the piriformis)
- direct and indirect trauma to the muscle (ie: fall on the buttocks, catching oneself from a fall)
- inflammation of the muscle, its fascia or the joint (ie: hip arthritis, post-hip replacement swelling)
- overuse (ie: repeated bending / squatting, forceful rotation of the hip, jogging / step machines, weight lifting)
- postural / positional concerns (ie: prolonged sitting, pregnancy, fallen arches / ankles, sleeping position)
- trigger points (see post from January 21st)
February is National Heart Health Month.
Research suggests and proves that taking care of your heart will help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and ailments including high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Massage therapy is just one avenue to keeping your heart healthy and happy. Click HERE to read how.