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Spinal Cord


Lumbar Spine - Special Tests

The neurological examination is a vital determining step in the evaluation of the lumbar spine. In many cases the spinal cord and the nerve roots can be the cause of lumbar (low back) pain or a key contributory factor.

The neurological examination consists of 3 elements: motor, sensory, and reflex and the examination is typically performed with the patient seated in a neutral position.

In the video below, NAT examiner and lead physiotherapist provides an overview of the upper quadrant neural exam for a client with low back pain.

This tutorial is created for trained and certified massage and manual therapists or students. Do no not attempt to use any of the techniques demonstrated unless you are trained and licensed to do so where you practice. 






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Scraping, a manual, ancient practice where pain points are worked with a gua sha (smooth-edged tool), reportedly increases blood flow by up to 400 per cent more than foam rolling and massage guns. By breaking up old, damaged blood vessels to promote new growth and healing, these tools are useful for getting into the nooks and crannies of a pain point, especially in delicate areas like along the shin muscles and under the foot.

Tim Tian has taken the scraper idea and supercharged it, creating a manual, triangular tool that blends heat and vibration therapy. “Cold blades stiffen muscles, blocking a deep release,” he says.

The heated scraper device takes just three seconds to reach 50ºC. This helps muscles soften, making it easier to massage away tension, increase blood flow and promote healing. The scraper is specially great for alleviating delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in the quads, and provides a relaxing switch-up from the foam roller slog.