The ATA Series Treatment Approach

The ATA System is our five-part approach to self treatment. The primary goal of this system is to bring you through the entire healing process of common sports injuries. We will do this by using five different techniques that work towards a specific part of the healing process. Here are the five and what you can expect from each:

More specifically, the goals are to:

  1. Decrease muscle spasms/tension and loosen up the injured area -> self massage
  2. Break up soft tissue and joint restrictions/adhesions –> mobilization techniques
  3. Improve and maintain mobility in the injured area to allow for healing –> stretching
  4. Provide support to the injured area while it heals –> kinesiology taping
  5. Restore muscle balance and function –> strengthening

Strengthening

What:

Muscles and joints that have been stuck in a tight/short position lose the ability to function normally over time. This is a fact. Remember, the body is phenomenal at being able to adapt when something breaks down. It will find a way to keep moving forward even if it has to call in every muscle it can to compensate. This is why need to restore strength and balance to the entire functional chain.

How:

The ATA system uses a total body strengthening approach that works from the proximal joints out. This means that we want to create stability where it is required and power/strength that can use that stability. In other words, we want to restore balance to the entire functional chain so that each muscle is working to its potential, when it should be working. We also want it to be resting when it should be resting.

What You Need To Get Started:

Equipment will vary based on the area you are working on. Examples include: hand/ankle weights, resistance band/tubing, and a stability ball. Wherever possible options will be given for both home and gym routines.

strengthrn

THE ORDER:

  1. Calf (gastroc, soleus, post tib)
  2. Posterior Thigh (hamstrings)
  3. Posterior Hip (Glutes, Piriformis, External Rotators),
  4. Lateral Hip (Glute Med, TFL, ITB)
  5. Anterior Hip (Psoas, Iliacus, Sartorious, Pectineus)
  6. Quads
  7. Adductors
  8. Anterior/Lateral lower leg (anterior tib, peroneals, top of the foot)
  9. Bottom of Foot (Plantar Fascia + big toe)
  10. Low Back
  11. Mid-Back (thoracic spine)
  12. Neck
  13. Shoulder (back of/posterior)
  14. Shoulder (anterior/front of)
  15. Upper Arm (biceps and triceps)
  16. Elbow/Forearm
  17. Hand

Kinesiology Tape

What:

Kinesiology tape is a specially made elastic tape that can be applied to your muscles or joints to decrease pain and swelling, correct faulty motion, and assist weak or injured muscles. It can also be used as a proprioceptive tool for muscle re-education for sport specific movements such as running, cycling, and swimming. In short, these $20 rolls of tape are a must have addition to your training bag and can be used in several different ways throughout the healing cycle.

How:

The ATA system uses the tape in four different ways:

  • For symptom control to decrease pain and swelling.

  • To restore normal muscle position and joint alignment (blocking faulty motion as needed; providing negative feedback to inhibit faulty motion).

  • To assist weak and injured muscles to promote recovery.

  • As a proprioceptive tool to re-educate muscles to improve form and athletic performance through sport specific movement patterns.


What Do You Need To Get Started:

A roll of tape and the sharpest scissors you can find. Seriously. Cheap scissors will fray the tape and cause it to roll up.

tape




THE ORDER:

  1. Calf (gastroc, soleus, post tib)
  2. Posterior Thigh (hamstrings)
  3. Posterior Hip (Glutes, Piriformis, External Rotators),
  4. Lateral Hip (Glute Med, TFL, ITB)
  5. Anterior Hip (Psoas, Iliacus, Sartorious, Pectineus)
  6. Quads
  7. Adductors
  8. Anterior/Lateral lower leg (anterior tib, peroneals, top of the foot)
  9. Bottom of Foot (Plantar Fascia + big toe)
  10. Low Back
  11. Mid-Back (thoracic spine)
  12. Neck
  13. Shoulder (back of/posterior)
  14. Shoulder (anterior/front of)
  15. Upper Arm (biceps and triceps)
  16. Elbow/Forearm
  17. Hand

Stretching

What:


In the ATA System, we use self massage and mobilizations to break up restrictions and restore mobility. The next step is to stretch those muscle fibers and joints out so that the body can register that a change has occurred and adapt accordingly. You see muscles have what is known as a resting length and tension. This means that at rest, a muscle has an ideal length and tension that allow it to function at full capacity in terms of the force it can generate and the velocity at which it can move the joint it supports. Changes to that resting length and tension, whether it’s loss of mobility or increased tension in the form of knots, spasms, etc, will limit the muscles performance. The bigger the change, the more significant the loss of function. Stretching is a great way to help the muscle reset and restore how the brain and nervous system utilize that muscle.

How:

The key to success with stretching is frequency, frequency, frequency. In sports, we literally perform the same actions millions of times whether its steps, pedal rpms, or swim strokes. It's going to take more than a few massage sessions to get things back to normal on the mobility front.

What you need to get started:

In most cases, nothing at all. Nice to haves include a long strap or belt that you can hold onto.

stretching




THE ORDER:

  1. Calf (gastroc, soleus, post tib)
  2. Posterior Thigh (hamstrings)
  3. Posterior Hip (Glutes, Piriformis, External Rotators),
  4. Lateral Hip (Glute Med, TFL, ITB)
  5. Anterior Hip (Psoas, Iliacus, Sartorious, Pectineus)
  6. Quads
  7. Adductors
  8. Anterior/Lateral lower leg (anterior tib, peroneals, top of the foot)
  9. Bottom of Foot (Plantar Fascia + big toe)
  10. Low Back
  11. Mid-Back (thoracic spine)
  12. Neck
  13. Shoulder (back of/posterior)
  14. Shoulder (anterior/front of)
  15. Upper Arm (biceps and triceps)
  16. Elbow/Forearm
  17. Hand

Self Muscle Massage

What: 

The first priority of any self treatment plan should be to restore mobility to the injured area and surrounding muscles. An injured muscle wants to protect itself by staying in a tight, protectected position. This keeps it from being over stretched into further damage and from having to contract through it’s full ROM. The problem with this is that it’s not always painful, especially not in the case of common overuse injuries. If there is one thing the body is good at it’s compensating. When one part doesn’t work, others are called in to pick up the slack. This is bad! We want to stop this from happening and work to get those muscles out of that closed up, tight position. The first way to do that is through self muscle massage using one of the tools below.

How:

An easy way to look at self massage is to break it down into the three different ways or directions that you can loosen up a muscle.
  1. You can elongate or stretch out the muscles ( in other words, work parallel or in the same direction the muscle runs ).

  2. You can work perpendicular to the muscle (known as cross friction and used to break up specific adhesions).

  3. You can apply sustained pressure to the muscle (known as trigger point release and used to relieve muscle spasms).


What you need to get started:

A foam roller and a tennis/massage ball.

temp-product-image

THE ORDER:

  1. Calf (gastroc, soleus, post tib)
  2. Posterior Thigh (hamstrings)
  3. Posterior Hip (Glutes, Piriformis, External Rotators),
  4. Lateral Hip (Glute Med, TFL, ITB)
  5. Anterior Hip (Psoas, Iliacus, Sartorious, Pectineus)
  6. Quads
  7. Adductors
  8. Anterior/Lateral lower leg (anterior tib, peroneals, top of the foot)
  9. Bottom of Foot (Plantar Fascia + big toe)
  10. Low Back
  11. Mid-Back (thoracic spine)
  12. Neck
  13. Shoulder (back of/posterior)
  14. Shoulder (anterior/front of)
  15. Upper Arm (biceps and triceps)
  16. Elbow/Forearm
  17. Hand

Mobilization Techniques

What: 

The self massage techniques listed above are a great way to get some slack into the muscles and start the process of restoring that lost mobility, but sometimes a more aggressive technique is needed to shake things loose. That’s where mobilization techniques come into the picture. The ATA Series utilizes two types of mobilizations.

How:

  • Muscle Mobilizations: These are used for actively breaking up adhesions/ restrictions within the muscle itself. This is accomplished by anchoring down one end of the muscle and then actively stretching out the other end.

  • Joint Mobilizations: Joints are composed of two bones held together by a joint capsule and ligaments. To mobilize them a resistance band is used to hold one bone in place while we move the other.


What you need to get started: 

A tennis ball, resistance band, and a foam roller.

THE ORDER:

  1. Calf (gastroc, soleus, post tib)
  2. Posterior Thigh (hamstrings)
  3. Posterior Hip (Glutes, Piriformis, External Rotators),
  4. Lateral Hip (Glute Med, TFL, ITB)
  5. Anterior Hip (Psoas, Iliacus, Sartorious, Pectineus)
  6. Quads
  7. Adductors
  8. Anterior/Lateral lower leg (anterior tib, peroneals, top of the foot)
  9. Bottom of Foot (Plantar Fascia + big toe)
  10. Low Back
  11. Mid-Back (thoracic spine)
  12. Neck
  13. Shoulder (back of/posterior)
  14. Shoulder (anterior/front of)
  15. Upper Arm (biceps and triceps)
  16. Elbow/Forearm
  17. Hand