Bone immobilization how it is affected by the surrounding muscles and how it affects those muscles should be a consideration in any massage work. Bones are an integral part of what we do as massage therapists. Muscle mass and bone health are interconnected, according to research. As the old anatomy equation indicates, muscles move bones at joints.

If one part of this equation is immobile, misaligned, hypertonic, hypotonic or inflamed, all parts of the equation are affected.

Bone Immobilization

While any of these descriptors can cause imbalance and pain, immobilization of a bone is a multilayered accomplishment. Generally, a hypertonic muscle that moves a bone out of alignment and into an unnatural position will not cause the bone to become immobile; however, a few hypertonic muscles that move the distal end of the bone one direction and the proximal end of the bone a different direction can create immobilization of a bone.

Right Leg

The right leg was unable to compensate for this. At first, Mary’s pain was in her left hip, then in both sacroiliac joints. Finally, a month before the fusion surgery, the pain landed in her right femur.

Femur Bone

The proximal femur attempted to follow the hip bone, but the distal femur needed to move into a lateral position. The femur became stuck between the warring muscle factions. As the femur immobilized, other muscles became involved. Namely, the deep-six lateral hip rotators tightened and then became motionless.

Symptoms included intense burning along the femur, an inability to move in any direction without extreme pain, and severe pain that moved based on Mary’s activity.

Without understanding the relationship of the talus to the tibia and the tibia to the femur, the immobilization of the femur and, therefore, the pain created by said immobilization would have been impossible to alleviate. Further, without an understanding of how the calf muscles impact the tibia and femur, it would have been difficult to help with Mary’s complaint.

Temporal Bone

Temporal bone immobilization is common and can cause a variety of symptoms, including tension in one side of the jaw, which can lead to clenching of the teeth on that side; an imbalance of both anterior and posterior neck muscles; temporal headaches, occipital headaches; and misalignment of the sphenoid bone.

With further assessment, I began to understand her maxillae and palatine bones were also shifted to the left. Both the maxillae and the palatine bones articulate with the sphenoid. This imbalance coupled with the maxillae and palatine bones moving left would have shifted the position of the temporal bones and affected all musculature attaching to the temporal bones.

Understanding relationship Tennessee, the law states any issue to do with bones has to be referred to a chiropractor. As massage therapists, we are not trained to manipulate bones but by understanding the relationship between muscle and bone, and which muscles and ligaments to release, we can help alleviate bone immobilization.