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How We Treat

Voodoo Flossing


Voodoo or Rock Floss is manual technique that has been shown to improve range of motion, fluid dynamics, decrease pain, and improve recovery in sports performance. It uses compression, shear, fluid pumping to "unstick" tight muscles through the use of heavy duty latex bands.  Bands can vary in width from small to large

The band is typically wrapped around the joint or muscle like an ACE wrap might be. When you "floss" muscles, you constrict blood flow to the compressed area; the blood flow returns when you take the band off.  Blood flow delivers oxygen and nutrients to the area which can assist with healing and recovery. By encorporating active movement while flossing, range of motion can restored.

Voodoo flossing can be used before or sporting events or post work-outs. Common areas that benefit from flossing are the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, biceps, triceps and the forearms. 

The best way to get started with voodoo flossing is to work with a physical therapist or an athletic trainer who can show you how to do it.  They can help to identify the correct area to be treated and how to apply to the appropriate technique.  To start, the band will be applied with no more than 50% tension and about a 50% overlap. The band should be wrapped both above and below the area of concern. The band will be tucked into the wrapped band. Next you will be instructed in one or several range of motion exercises to compliment your treatment goals. The band will be kept on from 30 seconds to a maximum of 2 minutes.  It is normal to feel a little uncomfortable, especially during your first use.  The band will then be removed; patients typically will feel a rush of blood to the area afterwards and the area can become quite red as blood flow returns to the area. 

Before using this treatment, its important to consult with your health care provider to make sure its appropriate to use with your condition or injury. While voodoo flossing might feel uncomfortable, it should not hurt or cause numbness and tinlging. Voodoo flossing is not recommended for chronic helath conditions, deep vein thrombosis, pregnancy, or those with skin issues (like a latex allergy) or neurological conditions. 

The research on voodoo flossing is emerging; one study showed flossing helped to reduce exercise induced delayed onset muscle soreness. While more research is needed; voodoo flossing a great compliment to both physical therapy treatment and recovery techniques in athletes and those suffering with musculoskeletal conditions.  

By creating compressing and shearing in the underlying tissues, this can improve soft tissue mobility. Further effect may be added by the addition of active range of motion, weightbearing activities, and sports specific movements. 

Use of compression and movement (or flossing) can work on many different levels. It incorporates all the mobility systems simultaneously, having the potential to effect multiple surrounding structures including muscles, fascia, tendons, joint capsules, and nerves.

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