In Part 1 of this 3 part series, we looked at the role of patient interaction in the multimodal Trigenics treatment. According to Dr. Frederick Carrick, DC, PhD, and distinguished Post-Graduate Professor of Clinical Neurology at Logan College of Chiropractic, “It is likely that attenuation of pain from Trigenics treatment is due to combined activation of mechanoreceptors with segmental inhibition of nociception as well as activation of the higher level brain-based, descending, inhibitory control mechanism. This article will briefly describe the stimulation of afferent receptors that are a critical element of Trigenics.
PART 2: Mechanoreceptor Stimulation
In his book, Functional Neurology for the Practitioners of Manual Therapy, Beck states that the muscle spindle provides the nervous system with afferent information regarding the static length and rate of change of length for a muscle at any given moment. The intrafusal fibers, containing the specialized receptors of the muscle spindle, respond to stretch and cause a loading response. The loading response of the intrafusal fibers is controlled by the gamma motor system. The gamma motor neurons keep an appropriate tension on the intrafusal fiber so that the length of the muscle fiber is constantly being monitored. Beck states “Loading of the intrafusal fibres may occur by increasing the stretch on the extrafusal fibres or by increasing the activity of the contractile elements of the intrafugal fibres by increasing the gamma motor activity.” Furthermore, nearly 30% of all descending motor efferent control is associated with gamma motor modulation of muscle
spindles. This is the basis of a Trigenics Strengthening (TS) procedure. During the procedure, a transverse distortion of the agonist is applied during activation of the antagonistic muscle. This stretch of the intrafusal fiber initiates a loading response to the muscle spindle, instantly ampligying the neural activation to the agonist muscle.
The golgi tendon organ is a specialized receptor found in the muscular tendon that causes a reflex inhibition of the homonymous muscle. This is the target of a Trigenics Lengthening (TL) procedure. The target muscle is stretched to its maximal resting length. The doctor resists a submaximal contraction of the agonist muscle while applying a transverse distortion to the musculotendinous junction, thereby amplifying the reflex inhibition to the homonymous muscle, causing decreased tone and increased muscle length.
While the detailed neurological concepts of Trigenics are beyond the scope of this article, it is clear that Trigenics addresses the neural component of muscle dysfunction found in most injuries and painful conditions. For more information, please visit http://www.Trigenics.com. Also watch for new research connecting Trigenics to the treatment of Fascia!
All the best, Dr. A
Beck RW. Functional Neurology for Practitioners of Manual Therapy. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingston Elselvier; 2008.