Dr. Barton Bishop, a member of the Thera-Band Research Advisory Committee (TRAC) published a feature article in PT Products magazine. He described how various products including Thera-Band® and Biofreeze® products can be used by clinicians for sport-specific rehabilitation. Read the story here.
Here are some excerpts from his article:
“It is obvious to most of us that pain is inhibitory—when we hurt, we don’t want to move. But pain also creates neurologic inhibition; pain will actually shut down the muscle and not allow it to work either properly, or at all. This is where topical treatments such as Biofreeze® can come into play. Research by Topp1 has shown that Biofreeze can reduce blood flow immediately after application, thus decreasing pain-causing inflammation. This is a great way to help an athlete play with less pain. Because it is extremely portable, fast-acting, and doesn’t stiffen an area like ice does, Biofreeze can be applied immediately before or during a practice or game.”
“This same idea of activating muscles based on their function and not their action should be repeated everywhere else in the body. The rotator cuff musculature serves a much greater purpose in sports than external rotation, internal rotation, and scaption. In an overhead athlete like a baseball pitcher, the infraspinatus works eccentrically to slow down the internal rotation of the humerus post ball release. It is largely this action that contributes to the significantly high injury levels of shoulders in pitchers. This eccentric activity can be mimicked through an exercise called eccentric catch with medicine balls such as the Thera-Band Soft Weights. The athlete assumes a half kneeling position with the dominant arm raised. The therapist can then toss the Soft Weight from a posterolateral position. The athlete will be required to catch the ball and slow it down as it comes across his or her body. This creates an eccentric activation of the rotator cuff and scapular stabilizer musculature. One of the great features of the Soft Weights is when they increase in weight they stay the same size. They can be caught and held in one hand. This makes the eccentric catch a progressive resistance exercise similar to the other exercises prescribed by SPTs.”