Saturday, February 20, 2016

More On The Floss Bands

Floss band and fascia
I have been trying out the Floss bands on my patients when there is an indication for it's use since attending the Flossing course.

Here are a few suggestions on how the Floss bands work. A common hypothesis is that it works through our fascial system.We have more fascia (or connective tissue) than anything else in our body. Fascia is a spider web like structure that wraps our muscles, blood vessels and nerves. Tom Myers say that fascia is the biological fabric we have inside our bodies.

I often tell my patients that fascia is similar to the glad wrap (or cling wrap) that wraps the meat or fruit tightly that we see in supermarkets.

When our fascia is adhered to itself, dehydrated or has unhealthy tension, movement can be restricted and blood may not be able to flow freely. For example, those knots you feel in your upper back, they may not be muscle tightness but probably fascia that has adhered to itself.

When you release tight fascia and allow for space in the connective tissue, blood can flow freely, movement becomes fluid and pain stops as a result.

Flossing helps create motion between the fascial layers which then releases the unhealthy adhesions.

Those of you who've attended the Kinesio taping courses must be thinking that this sounds similar. Yes, similar to the fascia taping techniques covered in the Day 2 of the Kinesio Taping course.

There is also the occlusion effect, The compression from the Floss band will prevent blood flow to the area the band is wrapped around. When the band is released, a rush of blood hydrates that area and can have a healing effect.

No Floss band, not enough range ....
With the Floss band
This is probably how joint mechanics improved too since joints that are painful and/ or have decreased range of motion after flossing often change remarkably.

Joints that are swollen benefit as compression (from the Floss bands) moves the swelling or drain the swollen area to other parts just like how our own lymphatic (or drainage) system works.

My patient in the picture above (no prizes for guessing who) ruptured his patella tendon last month and after surgery to attach it back didn't have enough range to ride the stationary bike. After flossing, kaboom! He's got enough range to pedal a full revolution. He yelled really loudly though!

Personally, I feel the Floss bands seem to work best in aiding recovery. Flossing the thigh muscles after a hard run  makes the legs feel a lot lighter and looser in two minutes. Yes you read correctly, two minutes or less.

 I've had a Team Singapore swimmer, cyclist and a netball player come in to our clinic today with acute muscle soreness and responded favourably to flossing and all three were impressed with how quickly the results came. You've got to try it to believe it.

My CrossFit patients tell me after a heavy squatting session when the legs feel really "dead" and heavy, the Floss bands definitely help with muscle recovery.

So, I'm not saying you have to run out and grab one straight away. I'm still trying to understand how it works and how to get consistent results with the Floss band, But like I wrote earlier, you've got to try it to believe it.

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