I was trained as a Physiotherapist in Adelaide South Australia the home of The Maitland school of Mobilisations, which is the traditional way of treating musculoskeletal problems. I have been doing this for Twenty years with good results using the traditional methods.
My frustration as to why when I got someone better they would return down the track with the same problem usually on the same side only perhaps a little worse. now they may have referred pain as well as their original Back pain. I thought I was not a very good Physio, I started talking to Physio Blog other Physios and realised that this was the “norm”. In fact this is how Chiropractors operate differently in that they usually get people in for maintenance treatment at a point that they estimate the next “onset” is about to occur. Unlike physios who tend not to do maintenance they rely more on providing people with home exercise regimes. this of course assumes that people are going to diligently follow the advice of their Physio and continue with the exercises. Of course, most do not.
This frustration led me about 10 years ago to look into this dilemma. I was lucky enough at that time to work with another physio who was working with this very muscle. Our earlier treatment was to trigger point and stretch the muscle. Of course I no longer do this as I now have other more effective techniques. Trigger pointing a muscle immediately increases the pain barrier and will effectively make the muscle tighten to protect itself from what it perceives is an assault on it. think of it like someone hitting you in the stomach your immediate involuntary reaction is to double over and try to protect that area. I also looked into the current research on this muscle and found that the research done showed the amazing Crumpling and Shearing effect that this muscles force had on the Lumbar spine in particular.
Stretching has been a favourite of mine for a long time. I use to use this a lot. But, recent research into the effectiveness of the humble stretch and its efficacy seems to be in doubt. Pre and Post stretches on one group of athletes and no stretching on another group showed no significant benefit of one group over the other. These groups were of similar age and fitness levels.
When I first started using the Soaz muscle to treat low back pain, I was still in doubt and so I would still use the other traditional methods that I was trained in at the same time. Of course I got good results, but never could tell whether it was the Soaz or the mobilisations. In fact it took me many years to make the break from treating in the way I was trained and use Soaz exclusively. Since doing this about four years ago, I have not used the traditional methods and I not only get good musculoskeletal results, but surprisingly, have had benefit with gut issues like Irritable bowel syndrome and restless leg syndrome also chronic night cramps. This slow evolution has been due to my own self limiting beliefs and my concern of how this would be accepted by the traditionalists.