Rodney McBride
M.S. CSCS CPT LMT
310.473.9443
rmc_bride@hotmail.com

Some Final Thoughts on Hypertonicity











Some Final Thoughts on Hypertonicity

Hopefully by now if you read my two previous blogs on the concepts of hypertonicity, normotonicity and hypotonicity (see May 5th and 19th) you have a pretty good understanding of these physiological terms. 

Today I want to touch upon some final thoughts about hypertonic structures of the body. 

Hypertonic not palpatory hypertonic remember is the inability of a bodily structure to turn off when it needs to. It is always on. This usually means some other structure/s is turned off. Which came first who knows but I do know that if this relationship is not corrected the system will continue to be stressed. 

There are specific anatomical structures that can become hypertonic. These are nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons and joint capsules. These same structures can also become hypotonic except for joint capsules.  We always want functional normotonicity in all areas of the body when treating clients. Since I work from the joint out this is the order I will present them. 

If you stretch a joint capsule apart in any vector for 3 or more seconds the muscles related to this joint should inhibit (turn off). This is normal. If the muscles related to this joint after you have muscle tested them do not inhibit (turn off) after 3 or more seconds you now have a hypertonic joint capsule. 

If you compress a joint capsule together regardless of the time the muscles related to this joint should always facilitate (stay on). If they do inhibit (turn off) this is not normal. You have what is called a switching problem (nerve signaling that is crosswired). It needs to be fixed before continuing or the rest of your session will be compromised.

If you stretch a ligament for 1 to 2 seconds the muscles related to this ligament should facilitate (turn on). If you stretch a ligament for 3 or more seconds the muscles related to this ligament should inhibit (turn off). This is normal. If the muscles related to this ligament after you have muscle tested them do not inhibit (turn off) after 3 or more seconds you now have a hypertonic ligament. 

If you push your fingers into the belly of a muscle and move the hands towards each other several times the muscle should inhibit (turn off). If you immediately spread your hands apart several times the muscle should facilitate (turn back on). This is normal. If the muscle after you have muscle tested it does not inhibit (turn off) with the spindle cell compression you now have a hypertonic nerve and muscle.

If you place your hands on the tendons on both ends of a muscle and spread them apart several times the muscle should inhibit (turn off). If you immediately push in on the tendons towards the muscle belly the muscle should facilitate (turn back on). This is normal. If the muscle after you have muscle tested it does not inhibit (turn off) with the Golgi Tendon Organ spreading you now have a hypertonic tendon and muscle. 

The good thing is that all of these dysfunctions can be corrected with bodywork, specifically Proprioceptive Deep Tendon Reflex (PDTR). After I have cleared trauma, pain, scar tissue, emotional issues, and checked for switching I make sure all of the structures in question can turn on and off like they should. This is important because muscles for example half to be able to turn on and off to allow other muscles to do their job and vice versa.

If there is palpatory hypertonicity also present massage can be used to relieve this. And don't forget to reset gate at the end of the session. All of these structures have to be able to work together in movement. If there is a hidden gate issue and it is not corrected then the original problem/s may return at some point.
Hypertonic is defined as the inability of a bodily structure (muscles, ligaments, nerves, joint capsules) to turn off when it needs to. The circuit is turned up way to high. - See more at: http://physiocorrect.blogspot.com/2013/11/hypertonic-vs-normotonic-vs-hypotonic.html#sthash.4HrqEk4z.dpuf
Hypertonic is defined as the inability of a bodily structure (muscles, ligaments, nerves, joint capsules) to turn off when it needs to. The circuit is turned up way to high. - See more at: http://physiocorrect.blogspot.com/2013/11/hypertonic-vs-normotonic-vs-hypotonic.html#sthash.4HrqEk4z.dpuf
Hypertonic is defined as the inability of a bodily structure (muscles, ligaments, nerves, joint capsules) to turn off when it needs to. The circuit is turned up way to high. - See more at: http://physiocorrect.blogspot.com/2013/11/hypertonic-vs-normotonic-vs-hypotonic.html#sthash.4HrqEk4z.dp

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