It’s really encouraging that this research has come out of the Monash University in Australia bringing attention to the brain in regards to rehabilitation into the mainstream. What they are effectively describing is a concept called Spatial Summation. This is something that has been around in Functional Neurological circles for a couple of decades.
It’s essentially describing a process by which you utilise two or more pathways in the brain that are complimentary to each other to gain an increased facilitation of a particular outcome such as improved strength, decreased pain or improvement in balance.
They have described loaded isometric work whilst the athlete put’s their focused attention, which fires the prefrontal cortex quite strongly, onto the sound of a metronome which in turn fires the temporal lobes which creates a much higher activation of the brain while the person in contracting and it gets this great analgesic effect because your increasing brain activation globally and improving, via cortico-spinal tracts, facilitation to the muscles at work.
Anyone that has done our Neuro-Skeletal Course or Cerebellum Certification will be very familiar with the concept of spatial summation already, but what about using it to increase tendon strength as part of training?
What we’re going to do is show you two movements
1. An isometric position with flexor dominance and we’ll show you a particular visiomotor drill to use during the exercise that will do exactly the same thing as the research has shown from Monash University
2. A position that has more of an extensor dominance and a visiomotor drill for that one as well.