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  1. #1
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    Question Rotation to decrease tone

    I have a question:

    Physiologically, how does rotation, traction and compression (of for example the shoulder joint) lead to decreased tone in hypertonic and spastic patients?

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    Re: Rotation to decrease tone

    A Good question. Although I could use a refresher, I will say this on the subject: It has to do with facilitation of the neuromuscular system. The above techniques provide input to the joint including the capsule, myofascial tissues, and most importantly the nervous tissues. This input stimulates the conscious as well as unconscious proprioceptors. The unconscious proprioceptors include the muscle spindle (consisting of the nuclear bag and chain) and the Golgi tendon organs while the conscious proprioceptors include the pacinian corpuslce, the ruffini end organs, the golgi type endings and the golgi massoni.

    The process then continues as the afferent stimulus is sent to the brain via the appropriate tracts which could include anything from the spinothalamic, the spinocerebellar, and so on. Typically, areas that would receive this input (again don't qoute me on this as I need some review) include the motor cortex, the cerebellum, the basal ganglia, the reticular formation, the thalamus and the frontal cortex. The brain would then compute this information and formulate an appropriate response via efferent pathways.

    I believe that the intention or gentleness behind the input (traction, rotation etc) is most important in working with tone. If you were to grab someone's arm and begin to forcefully rotate or apply forceful traction, you would see an increase in tone not a decrease. And this should go without saying. If someone were to grab me by the arm and begin cranking on it, of course my body is going to go in to some degree of protection and increase the tone in that general area. However, if one were to work with my body and receive what I am giving them, utilizing the above techniques (traction, rotation, compression, etc) will contribute to a global reduction of muscle tone and relaxation.

    Again, my physiology needs some refreshing, but I hope this has been of some help. You may also find some interesting information in looking up Trager Techniques, which is essentially utilizing the above techniques in a shaking and playful manner to decrease muscle tone, facilitation and maximize fascial mobility. Not recommended for children with neurological deficits.



 

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