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What is the Human Balance System?

Balance is the body’s ability to maintain the line of gravity within the base of support.  With balance, you can make automatic postural adjustments to maintain posture and stability throughout everyday life.  There are three key players in maintaining your balance:  Vision, Vestibular, and Proprioception.

  • Vision: Your vision tells you where you are relative to other objects.   Because of your vision, you can sense motion between […]
By | August 31st, 2017|

Mystery Muscles

 

Throughout the human body there are certain muscles that have lost their presumable original function or have developed minor new ones.  We call this human vestigiality.  Many of these human features have appeared to become physiologically useless throughout evolution.  Let’s take a look at a few known vestigial muscles and uncover the mystery of their existence.

  1. PALMARIS LONGUS: The palmaris longus originates on the medial epicondyle of […]
By | July 6th, 2017|

What are Muscle Knots?

A muscle knot is often called a myofascial trigger point in the medical world.  What causes a myofascial trigger point is unclear, like many things in science!  The general consensus is overused muscles, overload, or direct trauma.  Muscles can become overused from sustained or repetitive low-level muscle contractions, like poor posture!  Regardless, trigger points are often defined as “tender spots in discrete taut bands of hardened muscle that produce local and referred pain.

By | May 3rd, 2017|

What are Eccentrics?

Before we start, it’s important to know that there are three types of muscle contractions:

  • Eccentric: we’ll talk about today!
  • Concentric: Shortening of a muscle, like a bicep curl
  • Isometric: No change in length of the muscle, like a plank

So what are eccentrics?

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Eccentric activity is when a muscle contracts while lengthening under a load.  During functional activity eccentrics are often the […]

By | April 10th, 2017|

Why Hold a Stretch for 30 Seconds?

Why do you hold a stretch for 30 seconds?  Good Question!

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First, what is stretching for?

Stretching is meant to improve muscle elasticity which in turn improves flexibility and joint range of motion.  Stretching helps elongate muscle fibers to make them stronger as well as realign disorganized collagen fibers in the direction of your pull.  This reorganization of the collagen helps rehabilitate […]

By | March 24th, 2017|

What’s Better, Heat or Ice?

A common question we often get at Wallace and Nilan is, “what is better for my injury, heat or ice?” Well here’s the lowdown folks:

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HEAT

What does it do?

Relaxes and loosens tissue

Stimulates healing of damaged tissues

Eases stiffness by making tissues more supple

What do I use it on?

Aching joints/chronic conditions

Cramping or spasms

In Physical Therapy, we usually put moist heat on FIRST to help loosen up your muscles before […]

By | March 15th, 2017|