Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy

Here are some common conditions I treat, and some specialty areas of my practice:

Athletic Injury & Injury Prevention

The athletes I treat typically need me to find the root cause of their pain and to see where things have gone wrong mechanically. Body posture offers many clues into why athletes are in pain. Posture and mechanics have greater impact on athletes because of the amount of repetition their body is subjected to. A good example is hip dysfunction.  It can go relatively unnoticed in the average person. But the average person does not put as much stress on the pelvic area as an endurance athlete or a power lifter/boxer etc.

Preventive work makes up an important part of what I do for the athletes in my office. A monthly massage can increase endurance, strength and flexibility for anyone training hard. Keeping the fascia (connective tissue that encapsulates the muscle) supple allows the tissue to expand without increasing tension. I help prevent repetitive stress injuries from occurring while keeping a trained eye on posture and mechanics.

I also love working with your PT and/or coach so that nothing goes overlooked and we can all stay on the same page.

Jaw Pain /TMJD (Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction)

TMJD, often referred to as TMJ jaw pain, is a debilitating and persistent problem. It can seem next to impossible to find effective therapy.  In a survey of 1,511 patients, 91 percent of respondents reported that the most effective relief for affected individuals was the use of thermal therapies (hot and cold therapy). Having suffered from some TMJD problems myself, I know that relief via thermal therapy was minimal at best. The same survey reports that surgical procedures helped only 6 percent of people. That’s right! Only 6 percent experienced significant relief, and 46 percent considered themselves worse off!* Those are some depressing statistics TMJD sufferers are up against.

Fortunately, there is another option. While typically overlooked, massage therapy specifically, NMT — has proved an excellent resource for TMJD patients. I have found that in most cases, relief is only a few sessions away and noticeably better after one treatment.

My knowledge and training of the anatomy and mechanical function of the jaw allow me to develop a plan specifically for you. I perform a basic assessment of the jaw function by assessing lateral deviation (movement right or left) and interincisal opening (how far you can open), as well as asking about your observations regarding clicking and pain.  Once I find the muscles that are injured or holding tension in your jaw based on my assessment, I treat those muscles using the NMT technique. The method that I use is effective immediately in most cases, and can provide you with the relief that you seek often in just three visits.

*Doug Nelson PNMT TMJ training manual, p. 3

Postural Analysis: Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

In my 17 years of treating clients, I have encountered two conditions over and over:  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

In my opinion, these two diagnoses often have similar causes and are both easily treatable. Postural issues are often the cause of the dysfunction.

Have you ever heard someone’s mother say, “If you keep making that face, it will stay that way”? Davis’s Law similarly describes how muscles heal according to how they are mechanically stressed. It turns out that Mom and Davis were both correct: If we hold the same posture for an extended period and on a regular basis, the body will adapt and make that posture the new normal. So if you sit at a desk with your shoulders rounded forward and your head sticking out several hours a day, 5 days a week, it could cause serious dysfunction and pain. If you then go out and ride your bike hard or perform other strenuous exercise, problems are even more likely.

For example, at work, a patient’s shoulders are habitually too far forward or depressed, or the neck is projecting forward. Holding these postures tires the muscles that are used to keep the head from hitting the keyboard. When those primary muscles tire and start to fail, the “B Team” takes over. Those “B Team” muscles were never intended to do the job of their friends. They lack the strength and durability, and tire and spasm easily. Unfortunately, those “B Team” muscles — more often than not — sit on top of major nerve and blood vessel bundles. When they are put under too much stress, they tend to pinch off both blood supply and neurological activity to the extremities, causing loss of circulation and/or innervation (pinched nerve), fatigue, aching muscles and numbness.

Performing postural analysis is at the heart of how I treat patients. I can identify the root cause of the issue and, using NMT techniques, determine the safest, most effective way to get you back in the game again.

Sports Injuries

Treating sports Injuries often takes a lot of detective work. Speaking with coaches, doctors and physical therapists is often helpful in keeping the serious athlete active. Collaborating about what I see or what we are working on often provides clues to why the injury happened and what postural issues could have affected the injury.

Surgical Recovery

I have years of experience helping people recover from surgical procedures. Massage is very effective at restoring circulation and stimulating the healing process, both speeding recovery and reducing scar tissue formation.

Low Back Problems and Hip/Pelvic Dysfunction

Low back pain is by far the most common ailment I am presented with in my practice. The lumbar spine and the pelvis/hips are inherently connected. Having a pelvis that is no longer balanced on the trochanter will change the wear pattern and therefore the internal architecture of the bone.

Wolf’s Law of Physiology states that every change in the function of a bone is followed by certain definite changes in its internal architecture and its external confirmation. When we put our structure under stress in a way it was never designed to handle, definite changes occur.  Or, as my mechanic said, “Your tires wear best when they wear evenly.”

In the event of pelvic and low back issues, I will first determine if it is safe for us to work in the area and that there are not any more serious problems. Then we will test to determine what tissue is causing the dysfunction. I will then treat the suspected muscles and retest to see if the injury has been affected. After determining and treating the issue you presented, we’ll also discuss whether your current posture relates to your specific injury. If the posture correlates with the injury, treating the postural issues will affect the long-term outcome of what you’re dealing with.

Start your journey to wellness today by scheduling an appointment or finding out how massage therapy can help you live a healthier, pain-free life.


Located inside Core Health & Fitness

2248 Deming Way, Suite 100

Middleton, WI 53562

Sam Riddle Massage (Inside CORE Health & Fitness)