At Barefoot Physiotherapy we utilise techniques from multiple learnings all combined into our unique Barefoot Physiotherapy Plan. These techniques include; LJ Lee’s training in The Thoracic Ring Approach™all of our Bachelor/Masters degrees, Mulligan, Maitland and Ridgway Methods, Western Acupuncture, Dry Needling, and Pain Science/Graded Motor Imagery. We are continually learning and evolving our Framework and an essential part of it is the Thoracic Ring training we have had.
The Thoracic Ring Approach™ is an innovative assessment and treatment technique for the body (treating through the thorax – which is the middle of the back and ribs) based on a broader understanding of how these areas are designed to function optimally. It fits well within our framework of seeing the body as a whole and in the context of whole body movement and optimal health of the whole person.
What is a Thoracic Ring?
A Thoracic ring is the 2 vertebrae and the ribs attached. For example the T4-5 vertebral segment (including disc) and ribs 5 on left and right.
How do you know if the Thoracic Rings are ‘The Driver’?
With the assessment of multiple rings and treatment techniques for them we can facilitate optimal biomechanics and replicate ideal motor control for the Thorax while hands on. If this facilitation/correction improves movements/meaningful tasks we can know that this is a significant area of the body (and potentially a Driver further through the body). We combine this information with the rest of our Clinical Reasoning in our Barefoot Physiotherapy Plan to determine whether the Rings are a true underlying factor of the clients problem (ie the reason they are seeing a physio!). As the LJ Institute states: “The reason this is essential is that it is common for the thorax to be relatively pain-free but dysfunctional; the dysfunctional thorax creates adverse stresses, loads and forces that can cause pain in any other area of the body.”
Treatment of The Thoracic Rings
When we move well we feel good and we move more. But the catch 22 is that we need to have the body feel good enough to move. Our treatment framework is based on getting the body moving through hands on treatment initially and teaching people how to move well – whatever that is for them! This dynamic view of the body means that an essential component of treatment is training optimal muscle activation patterns and muscle balance around the thoracic rings if they are a Driver. Manual techniques, taping, needling and self-release techniques such as “self stack and breathe” are used to treat Thoracic Rings if we have found them to be Drivers or significant in the clients body. What this does is release non-optimal muscle patterns to create a window of opportunity to train new muscle patterns.