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Tools for treating fasciae at the workplacePrint

Treating trigger points and fasciae to promote workplace health

Are you currently reaching towards the neck or shoulder area because it hurts there? Then you're experiencing the same as many others. Sometimes, you even touch lumps that are more or less large and react sensitively to pressure. These are known as myofascial trigger points that, like sticking fasciae, are a frequent cause of back pain. Here we will summarise the cause of the issue and how you, too, can treat your pain at the workplace.

What are myofascial trigger points?

Myofascial – i.e. occurring in muscle and fascial tissue – trigger points are point-shaped, nodular calluses. They mainly appear in the muscle areas that are responsible for movement, and they often affect the neck, shoulder, and back area in particular. Their causes are diverse; for instance, it begins with physical inactivity, sitting for too long, poor or forced posture, stress, as well as poor nutrition or injuries. This often results in adhesions in the fascia layers (also commonly known as "connective tissue layers"), which can disrupt blood circulation, the nerves, and the balance of fluid in tissues. Experts call them local contraction nodules – bringing about what is known as a trigger point.

Finding trigger points and identifying symptoms

Trigger points feel like small nodules or lumps in the tissue, and if you suffer from tense muscles, you can often feel them yourself. Simply use your fingers to stroke and apply light pressure on your muscles. Sometimes, applying strong pressure on the points will make you wince in pain. Trigger points can cause neck and back pain as well as headaches and even tinnitus. Furthermore, they can also disrupt sleep and concentration, cause dizziness, stomach aches, joint blockages, as well as disruptions in blood flow and nerve irritation (your arms or legs "fall asleep"). Did you know that trigger points can also cause pain in faraway parts of the body? This phenomenon is known as referred pain and explains why triggers for pain are not always immediately found.
Medical science can now explain the cause of referred pain: The muscle where the trigger point is located loses strength, and another muscle from what is known as the muscle chain needs to take over its job and is quickly overloaded. As such, the problem has moved elsewhere.

Fasciae – what exactly are they and what problems can they produce?

Fasciae – which are a large "sensory organ" and communication system in the body – can be another cause of pain. You can think of them as a huge network structure that performs important tasks for body perception, joint stability, and fine coordination.
Inactivity and repetitive, monotonous strain are the natural enemies of fascia. If a person does not exercise enough, the fascia tissue loses its stable and yet smooth structure and becomes hard, matted, and sticky, resulting in painful tension and muscle pain.

What can you do about it?

If you suffer from painful trigger points or sticky fasciae, you have several options to treat it. Classic fascia treatment, acupuncture, or massages from specialists can help,
and treating fasciae yourself is very simple and efficient. By doing so, you loosen the sticky areas and change how the liquid flows in your fasciae, thereby promoting blood circulation and water absorption, which improves smoothness and reduces friction.

Ultimately, this is a boon for mobility and for alleviating pain.

Treating fasciae at the workplace

There are various tools for treating fasciae, although not all of them are as equally well-suited for the workplace. For instance, the TensionTerminator is easy to use, which makes this excellent tool particularly suitable for companies and their employees.

The TensionTerminator is a medical product that was developed by physiotherapists for self-treatment of myofascial tensions, specifically for use at the workplace itself. It consists of two fascia balls, also known as twin balls or duoballs, which are height adjustable and are mounted on a rail on the wall. This type of fascia balls (double ball) is especially well-suited for the neck and back area. They come in different sizes and are particularly used for twinging pain along your back.

Another module of the TensionTerminator is a foldable lever for treating trigger points.

The lever's two noses – one pointing forwards and the other pointing downwards – "replace" a therapist's thumbs. By applying the necessary pressure, you can relieve trigger points,
and the modules' height adjustment enables employees to reach every tension area on their entire back and treat it themselves.

Properly using the lever

It is quite simple to use the lever. For pain in specific areas, place your back on the metal rail and position the folded-out lever precisely on the pain area. For pain in the upper neck area, you can use your fingers on your opposite hand to help you feel the trigger point, thereby enabling you to exert pressure using the bottom nose of the lever. During the process, it is important to keep your shoulders very relaxed to avoid unnecessarily increasing the tension.
The front nose of the lever is used for all other trigger points in the back and pelvic area.

Simultaneous massage and fascia therapy

If you experience pain along your spine, place your back along one of the two duoballs. You must place your spine so that it sits precisely in the middle between the two balls. Afterwards, fold your arms in front of your chest and slowly roll up and down with your back rounded. You can vary the pressure that is exerted on the area you wish to treat using the position of your legs. The further your legs move away from the wall, the more you increase the pressure, allowing you to manage the load entirely based on your personal sensitivity.

Where can I use such a tool in my company?

The appropriate tools should be used wherever employees are present, for instance, at the office, in production facilities, at the warehouse, or in the logistics area. Of course, all workplace regulations must be taken into account. Areas in which employees take breaks, such as the coffee kitchen or the printer area, have proven to be the perfect installation sites. For all intents and purposes, it is ideal wherever employees can use it on their breaks to preserve their health and to improve their well-being.

Experience has shown that employees gratefully accept these tools if they are well-visible and easy to reach, and using them quickly becomes a part of their normal routine.

As a result, it significantly relieves the workforce's pain and tension while also greatly increasing awareness of tension, ergonomics, and movement at the workplace.

Checklist

  • These tools must meet all the latest legal standards set forth for a medical product. If it needs to be mounted on walls, then this must also be possible without any issues.
  • It is important that you can quickly and intuitively use the tool, which also makes people more willing to use it. Therefore, it must be quickly ready for use without additional equipment or installation time. Another important factor is that it must be height-adjustable so that it can target the pain area.
  • Since almost the entire weight of the body rests on the tool at times, dimensional stability and robustness are essential.
  • Make sure that the tool is easy and simple to clean, especially when it undergoes continuous use. Furthermore, since it is used by different people, it is important for all the components to be abrasion-resistant, insoluble and easy to clean and/or disinfectable. Be aware of how resistant each component is to disinfectants, especially in "cleanrooms" and at health institutions.
  • To successfully treat fasciae, you must be able to deliberately control the rolling motions and perform them in at least two directions, e.g., by using movable duoballs.
  • To treat trigger points, you need a stable apparatus that is able to do so with the appropriate level of operational versatility, which is the only way that this tool can also be properly used by people of different sizes.
  • Depending on the person, there can be significant differences in how they sense pain. Therefore, the tool must enable different intensities/pressure levels by varying the techniques. This is where wall mounting has a major advantage over fascia rolls that are used on the ground, which can otherwise slip. You can use your own body weight to precisely control the pressure level and intensity.
  • There is also one important principle for proper use: you absolutely need detailed instructions on its use and technique. It must provide background and usage information, information on its effects, and it must point out possible contraindications.

Minimum requirements

  • It is a medical product
  • Effective, simple, and intuitive use
  • It can be used at the workplace
  • Dimensionally stable, robust, abrasion-resistant and insoluble
  • Easy to clean and disinfectable
  • Enables controlled rolling motions in at least two directions
  • By varying the techniques, you can achieve different intensities/pressure levels
  • Detailed instructions on its use and technique

Products in this sector with the AGR seal of approval

Manufacturer

ErgoPhysion
Richardsweg 7
6020 Innsbruck
AUSTRIA
Tel. +43 699/10222520
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.ergophysion.com

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