Golfer’s Elbow

May 26, 2011

Golfer’s elbow is pain caused by inflammation on the inner side of your elbow, where the tendons of your forearm muscles attach to the inside of your elbow. The pain can be constant or intermittent, and often spreads into your forearm and wrist.

Golfer’s elbow also known as “medial epicondylitis” is similar to tennis elbow, but it occurs on the inside rather than the outside of your elbow. it is important to note that this disorder is not limited to golfers. Construction workers, office employees, and others who repeatedly use their wrists or clench their fingers also can develop golfer’s elbow.

The pain of golfer’s elbow doesn’t have to keep you off the course or away from your favorite activities. With proper attention and treatment, you can get back to doing the activities you love quite quickly.

The use of Osteopathic Techniques can quickly remove a large majority of strain in the muscles of the forearm and release the tension on the joint. This will steadily decrease the amount of inflammation that is causing the pain. The combination of ultrasound therapy and laser therapy are also commonly used to increase the healing potential of the tissues in cases of Golfer’s Elbow as well.

Of course, the patient with Golfer’s Elbow will be given home exercises and stretches, but the best home solution is to ice and rest the elbow. For more information, please feel free to contact us at Ultimate Sports Therapy.

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at

Jason Brandow, BSc TR, CST
Osteopathy Current Study & Thesis Writer

The Perfect Golf Swing

May 12, 2011

Ok duffers… this one’s for you.  Many of you watch your favorite player on the PGA Tour draw their club back effortlessly into the perfect position, perfectly on plane, and perfectly in balance, and many of you think to yourselves, “Yeah…That’s what my back swing looks like!” Then they swing at around 120mph, and finish in perfect follow through position, in perfect balance, and you say to yourself , “Yeah, that’s what my follow through position looks like!” Well, let me be the first to tell you…no it doesn’t!

“Well, why not?  How do you know that without watching me?” The simple explanation is that you are not flexible enough to get into that position in perfect balance.  Ever wonder why your back hurts the next day, and your knees are sore?  Without the flexibility to reach these positions, the joints of the low back, hips, knees and ankles become over stretched and strained.

I see people working on the plane so much these days, watching their club as it goes back and forth through the hitting zone, making sure their club stays fairly level with its starting position, and this is great.  But, I rarely see people with a video camera observing themselves.  Most people have a camera that takes video, and that’s all you need for a basic analysis, but you have to know what to look for.   Here are a few signs that you need to increase your flexibility…

1.  Head Movement.  If you watch yourself, and your head is moving behind the ball more than a few inches during your back swing, that means you are not rotating far enough, and you are compensating with “sway” for added power.

2.  Weak Top Position.  If you can not get your arms high enough to be in a high arc power position at the top of your back swing, or if the club is not reaching a parallel position, you are not flexible enough to get it there!

3.  Short Follow Through.  If you make a very short follow through, its a good sign you can’t get to a full follow through position, and

4.  Can’t hold the follow through position.  Even if you can make it to a solid follow through position, but can’t stay there in balance for more than a split second, You need more flexibility.

There are a few other issues like wrist and ankle flexibility that can affect the swing as well, but mostly it is the muscles of the torso, core, and lower back that need to be both flexible and strong.  If you see any of the above issues with your swing, or if you feel pain during your round or in the day or two after, feel free to gives us a call for an analysis.

Soon you’ll be looking like this…

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at

Jason Brandow, BSc TR, CST
Osteopathy Current Study & Thesis Writer

Ultimate Sports Therapy – Tools of the Trade: Visceral/Organ Treatment

April 18, 2011

Tools of the Trade: Visceral/Organ Treatment

I’ve mentioned in earlier writings that there are areas of the body quite far away from the symptom area that could be the cause of the symptoms.  One of the most common findings is that there is an organ such as the intestines or liver that is out of proper position causing joint pain.  Let me explain.

Everyone knows that each joint in the body has a specific range of motion.  The knee joint moves forward and back, the ankle makes circles, the jaw moves up and down, etc.  Each of these joints can only move so far though.  This is the “range” of motion.

What needs to be understood is that each organ, just like each joint, has a range of motion.  For example, the pancreas rolls forward and back, the lungs rotate outwards like cylinders, and the small intestines rotate left and right like the face of a clock.   Every single organ has a very specific movement because of the way it is attached to the body.  The ligaments that hold the organ in place also create the axis at which the organ can move.  Picture the handle of a pail.  Because of the way the handle attaches at both sides of the pail, it allows a swinging motion of the pail forward and back, similar to the knee joint.  Using that example, the liver has two ligament attachments on either side of it connecting it to the diaphragm called the “triangular ligaments”, so guess how the liver moves?  Exactly, just like the pail.  But, because there are also attachments from the liver to the stomach beside it, it also does a little side bending motion at the same time.  You can picture that, can’t you.

Now imagine if someone were playing a sport like hockey and were checked into the boards on their right side.  That liver would be taking a huge impact since it sits just inside the lower right rib cage.  The ligaments that hold the liver in place can be sprained and strained, just like any other ligaments.  The ligaments get very tight, and begin to hold the liver in the wrong position.  You can see where this is going.  This is where visceral/organ techniques come into play, and are literally life changing.  Correcting the position and movement of the organs dramatically effects how well the person is living.

Picture a car accident.  You don’t feel it at first, but the next few days are very painful, and sometimes you just never feel quite the same.  Picture the seat belt.  Picture the way it crosses your chest and across your abdomen.  Now, imagine the force on the lungs, heart, stomach, liver, intestines when you are in an accident.  Literally every organ receives some impact in a car accident.  Now, this is much better than no seat belt at all obviously.  But the seat belt can cause organs to be shifted out of place and visceral ligament to be sprained and strained.

Another example is a case of “hiatus hernia”.  This is when a piece of the upper stomach is caught in the diaphragm.  I can’t tell you how many successful cases of hiatus hernia I have treated using visceral techniques.  No more heart burn, no more indigestion, and best of all, no surgery!

The last example I will leave you with is one that still astounds even me.  You see, through my studies professors would tell us that by correcting the position of the organs, you will help the body to balance itself hormonally.  Many of the organs produce or synthesize hormones, so sure, this made sense, but I didn’t understand the amount of influence I could make until I stated using these techniques in my practice.  I have helped women with menopause by dramatically cutting down their hot flashes from 8-10 a day to 1-2 a day, I have helped extreme migraine cases where hormonal imbalance was the cause, and I have even helped women become pregnant who never thought they could by correcting the position and motion of the uterus and reproductive system.  This is by far the greatest gift Osteopathy has given me, and it has turned into a passion.

Simply put, Visceral Techniques are extremely safe and gentle, yet yield powerful results in every patient.  It is often the cause of joint pain, internal dis-ease, and hormonal imbalance.

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at

Jason Brandow, BSc TR, CST
Osteopathy Current Study & Thesis Writer

Ultimate Sports Therapy – Osteopathy (thesis writer) Jason Brandow discusses Osteoarticular Adjustment

March 24, 2011

Tools of the Trade: Osteoarticular Adjustment

One of the most commonly used techniques used by Osteopaths around the world is the Osteoarticular Adjustment  technique.  This might seem similar to a chiropractic adjustment in theory, but is very different in the application and experience.  This technique is used when a joint has either sheered its axis (is extremely out of place) or when it cannot move in a certain direction where it should easily be able to.

Let’s take the ankle joint for example.  Basically, the long bone of the foot, the tibia, sits on top of a smaller bone in the ankle called the talus.  Tibia long shin bone, talus little ankle bone.  Got it J  ok. Sometimes with an ankle injury, the talus can “slide” out of place.  It should sit directly below the tibia to bear the weight of the body when in proper alignment.  Sometimes, a therapist will feel that the talus has “sheered” anteriorly, or forward towards the toes.  The only way to get the talus back into proper place is to use an Osteoarticular Adjustment.

A short, fast “impulse” movement is given at a specific angle to help the talus back into place.  The lightest possible amount of force is used to do this.  It is fast, absolutely painless, and is indeed one of the most powerful tools of the trade.

Sometimes a “pop” sound can be heard.  Some patients look forward to this, and others do not.  It is a sign of a change, but I’ve always believed that it is not always the sign of a correction in alignment.  The “pop” sound does not mean that the bone is reset in the right position, and sometimes there is no sound, and the correction is successful.  It is not our goal to hear a “pop”, it is out goal to gently realign the body.

The Osteoarticular Adjustment can be safely used on any joint of the body where a joint is “stuck” out of alignment.  There are always preparation techniques used to make the adjustment easier, and there are also integration techniques used to make sure that the adjustment holds for as long as possible, and quite often, they do not come back.

Call or email for an appointment or consultation. All of your questions can be answered.


For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at

Jason Brandow, BSc TR, CST
Osteopathy Current Study & Thesis Writer

Osteopathy (thesis writer) – Jason Brandow discusses Tools of the Trade: Indirect/Functional

March 4, 2011

One of the secret tools of an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner is the Indirect or Functional Release technique.  This is done almost exclusively in our profession, and is rarely seen in the world of Physio,Massage Therapy, or Chiropractic.

Picture a really tight knot in a rope.  Now, imagine trying to loosen the knot while two other people are each pulling an end of the rope.  It’s impossible, right?  The only way to loosen the knot is to bring the two ends of the rope closer together to relax the knot a bit, then work it out with your hands.

Indirect/Functional technique works on that same idea.  When we find a muscle or fascia that is

extremely tight, sometimes stretching it just seems to make it tighter and more painful.  Sometimes the person is so acute, that we can barely move them without pain.  This is where the Indirect/Functional technique shines.

The therapist takes the joint in his hands, and gently moves the bones to a position of most ease. Each direction and rotation is taken into consideration, and when the joint is in the perfect balanced point, there is absolutely no tension or pain.  The therapist will hold this position, often for several minutes.

So, what is taking care of the “knot” you ask?  Well, it’s actually the patient’s own blood flow that does all the work here.  In this balanced and relaxed position there is an extreme increase in circulation to the area.  The arteries are freed from tension, the muscles are filled with blood, the extracellular matrix is more fluidic, and nature can once again work its wonders.  The body in this position can optimally heal itself.  This is the power of the Indirect/Functional technique.

**please note that we do not offer direct insurance payments at this time****

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at

Jason Brandow, BSc TR, CST
Osteopathy Current Study & Thesis Writer

Myofascial Release

February 10, 2011

Myofascial Release has gained enormous popularity among osteopathic and manual therapy practitioners in recent years. There has been an enormous amount of research and information of the effectiveness of these techniques, and they all point to breakthroughs in therapy for patients.   Let’s break down what Myofascial release is and explore why it is so effective.

Myofascial release can be broken down into two words.  “Myo” meaning muscle, and “fascial” which is  relating to the fascia.  Since most of you know what muscle is, I will spend the next few minutes discussing what fascia is and its importance in the body.

So, basically, every little piece of connective tissue in the body is called fascia.  All of the extra “stuff” between the muscles and between the organs is of incredible importance to the body.  There is so much fascia in the body that if you were to take strip everything else away, you would still see a perfect silhouette of the human body.  Muscles glide along fascia, fascia holds organs together, and connect them to the body wall, fascia separates the sections of the brain and covers the spinal cord literally from head to tailbone.

What therapists have discovered is that a restriction in the movement of the fascia significantly reduces the efficiency of anything that is attached to it…which is everything!  For example, if the fascia between the stomach and the liver (called the lesser omentum) is extremely tight, the functions of the liver and the stomach are both directly affected.  If the fascia between the bones of the leg, the tibia and fibula, is extremely tight, then the knee, hip, ankle, and foot are all directly affected.  And, since there are arteries and veins that pierce this fascia, even the blood supply and nervous flow are compromised.

And that’s not all…years of research on fascia have confirmed that there are what are commonly called “Myofascial Chains”.  There are direct lines of fascia, single long pieces of connective tissue that literally run from head to toe.  This means that tension of the fascia in one area of the body can cause debilitating dysfunction in other areas of the body.

As a therapist who knows and understands these Myofascial chains assesses the body in a global manner, meaning they do not just look at the area that is sore or injured, I quickly see strain patterns that are causing misalignments and postural problems.  A prime example of this is commonly known as “forward head posture”.  The patients chin is more forward than it should be, they are rounded in the upper back and shoulders, and have a lot of neck pain and stiffness.  They commonly feel they need to “stretch it out” but never can.  The reason they feel this way is because they are stretching the symptom area, not the problem area.  It is very common to find low back, stomach, and intestinal/digestive problems with these same patients.  The fascia around organs in the mid or low back are causing the entire head to be pulled forward out of alignment.  Place your hand just under your ribs on your stomach, and press in and down…do you feel what happens to your head and neck.  The chin instantly moves forward out of alignment…you can just picture the rest…tension in the back of the neck and shoulders, knots in the upper back between the shoulder blades that are trying to compensate, and on , and on.  All this from a Myofascial pull from lower in the abdomen.   I literally see this every day.  Every day.

Now you can begin to see why utilizing Myofascial techniques is so incredibly powerful.  More often than not, it is the most effective tools to effectively treat our patients.  Used in conjunction with all of the other Osteopathic assessment and treatment tools, you can begin to see why Osteopathy is the fastest growing manual therapy in Canada.

Jason Brandow, BSc TR, CST
Osteopathy Current Study & Thesis Writer

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at

Tools of the Trade Part3 G.O.T/Oscillatory Techniques and Pumping

December 2, 2010

G.O.T stands for General Osteopathic Technique, and is the very first technique taught in Osteopathy here in Ontario.  It is a technique that can be applied to any joint in the body from the feet to the neck and shoulders.  G.O.T is very good for tight sore muscles and is quite often the go to technique for aches, strains, and trigger points.  G.O.T is non invasive, very safe and extremely effective.  I use this technique on every patient, every day.

Sometimes when a muscle or joint is assessed by a clinician, if feels very boggy or congested. The muscle has been damaged for so long that the natural fluidic nature of the tissues has been replaced with adhesions and feels full of knots. This is where Pumping techniques are applied.  Pumping techniques are also taught very early on and are used to help with fluid movement in, out, and around the affected muscle or joint.  Again, this technique is very gentle, non-invasive, and only a very light stretch is needed to make it work.

G.O.T and pumping techniques are not only used as treatment of a tight muscle or fascia, but also used to improve the efficacy of the Extra Cellular Matrix (ECM).

The ECM is “everything in between” the cells of the body.  It is from this gel like substance that most of the nutrition for cellular activity is stored and transported.  All of the working materials that cells need to function float around in this endless nutritional pool.  Within the ECM the building blocks of life are waiting to be put together and used to support cell function and repair.  Think of it like a natural floating pharmacy, open 24/7.  Everything the cells need to thrive and survive is in the ECM.   It is literally the lifeline to all cells of the body.

When a joint is damaged, or a muscle is sore and tight, there is a change in the state of the ECM.  The ECM gets more gel like, and you often feel inflammation and boggyness around the joint/muscle.  When this occurs, all of the cells that require the nutritional components from the ECM suffer, and cannot repair themselves properly.  G.0.T and pumping techniques are used to directly change the state of the ECM from that gel state into a more naturally fluidic state.  When this change occurs, the inflammation goes down and the boggy feel disappears. The muscle/joint has a greatly increased capacity to heal because the nutritional components are fully available for supportive repair.  We have increased the vitality to the affected area to its normal state of health.

I can’t tell you how many times I have come across a patient who has seen multiple doctors and therapists with little to know results.  What we look for, the vitality of the tissues, is very unique to craniosacral therapists and osteopaths.  The vitality to the area, the fluid movements between tissues, the quality of the ECM, these are the overlooked parameters that we look for FIRST!  Before range of motion techniques, before exercises, before anything else, it is our job to make sure the patient has the vitality in their body to heal from the inside out.  Our whole philosophy of practice is to re-align the patient on the path towards health, and watch them flourish.  G.O.T and Pumping techniques are two of the tools used to do just that.

Jason Brandow, BSc TR, CST
Osteopathy Current Study & Thesis Writer

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at


Ultimate Sports Therapy Annual Pot Luck Holiday Party

November 24, 2010

Tools of the Trade! Jason Brandow Osteopathy (thesis writer) Explains Muscle Energy Technique:

November 18, 2010

Tools of the Trade: Muscle Energy Technique


Muscle Energy Techniques were discovered by Dr. Fred Mitchell D.O.  Dr. Mitchell invented the series of techniques to help his son, Fred Mitchell Jr., learn basic biomechanics as he was also studying to become an Osteopath.  What it evolved into from there is a powerful series of techniques that can be utilized on any muscle of the body to restore normal range of motion and mechanical function.  Fred Mitchell Jr. is the instructor of Muscle Energy at the Canadian College of Osteopathy, which is the college I attended.  Therefore, the muscle energy techniques I learned are straight from the horse’s mouth, with no “lost in translation” effect or dilution of experience.


You will most often hear the word “normalize” used by osteopaths and craniosacral therapists instead of the word “improve”.  For example, it is the goal of Muscle Energy techniques to normalize the range of motion of a muscle.  It is not useful to say “improve” since it is impossible to get a muscle moving better than perfectly…and normal = perfect.


How does it work?


First, a basic understanding of what is called the “stretch reflex” is necessary.  When a muscle is stretched, it should easily move through its full range of motion until there is an endpoint felt in the joint, but, when a muscle is stretched very quickly or abruptly near the end range, there is a natural protective action that occurs to protect the muscle from being overstretched and damaged.  This is called the stretch reflex.  At a specific point of the muscle stretch, the muscle contracts to protect itself from damage.  All of this happens in a neural loop from muscle to spinal cord, and back to muscle.  It happens even before your brain is told it is doing it…even before you feel it.  It is innate, it is powerful, and very effective.


When a muscle is in dysfunction due to injury or repetitive strain, there is an alteration in the function of the stretch reflex.  The muscle is in a protective state, and the stretch reflex forces the muscle to contract much sooner than normal to hold the joint in an altered position.   This altered joint position will take pressure off of a nerve to decrease pain sensation.  Over time, the joint will usually normalize itself, and the pressure on the nerve will be released.  Unfortunately, the body is extremely cautious and the stretch reflex of the muscle is held in a more sensitive position for longer than needed.  This is what muscle tension is.  This is what causes a tight, sore, achy muscle.  The muscle is always contracted.  It is always in a protective state.


Muscle Energy to the rescue!


What a Muscle Energy technique does is normalize the stretch reflex to its proper place.  It normalizes the output of the motor neuron so that the muscle can instinctively relax to a normal state.  No amount of massage or heat or stretching can do this.  Muscle Energy techniques are the most effective form of treatment for normalizing a tight restricted muscle, and that is why the techniques have stood the test of time and are used by therapists around the world as the go to technique.


Of course, life is never quite that simple, is itJ.  As mentioned earlier, the joint that the muscle is protecting must be healed first, or the muscle will continue to protect it.  Therefore, Muscle Energy techniques are what we call “integrative” techniques.  This means that after we spend most of the treatment correcting misaligned joints, compacted vertebra, and sheered viscera, Muscle Energy techniques are used to integrate these changes in the body and help them stay.  Muscle Energy techniques are an integral part of Osteopathy and Craniosacral Therapy.  Alone, Muscle Energy is a good treatment.  Together with the rest of the Osteopathic Tools, they are astoundingly effective.


Jason Brandow, BSc TR, CST
Osteopathy Current Study & Thesis Writer

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at


Tools of the Trade: Introduction

November 11, 2010

Over the next few weeks, I will be discussing the various tools or techniques that Osteopaths and Craniosacral Therapists use in their treatments.  One of the advantages we have over other therapeutic disciplines is the number of treatment techniques we use.  The following list of hands on therapeutic acts is what we use every day.

1)      Muscle Energy Techniques

2)      Pumping, GOT, and Oscillatory Techniques

3)      Myofascial Release

4)      Indirect/Functional Release

5)      Osteoarticular Adjustment

6)      Visceral Techniques

7)      Craniosacral Techniques

Many of the other therapeutic disciplines use 2 or 3 of these techniques in their treatment protocols, but only we have the whole tool box.  We use a specific methodology to know what technique is to be used, and understand the deepest physiological implications of each technique, right down to the cellular level.  If you follow my blog over the next few weeks, I will introduce each technique with a full description of indications and when I would use it.  At the end of it all, you will have a much better understanding of what I do, how I see the body as a whole, as a functional unit, and what to expect when you see me for treatment.

Jason Brandow, BSc TR, CST

Osteopathy Current Study & Thesis Writer

For more information contact Ultimate Sports Therapy at or visit us at

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