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My client complained of tension around his shoulder, which was causing tightness in the latissimus dorsi, neck musculature and down into his dominant arm. This client plays racquetball, which loads soft tissue differently from tennis due to the types of rackets and balls involved.

negative pressure HawkGrips IASTM shoulder range of motion treatment patient Client Physiquipe

Figure 1: This client displays significantly restricted shoulder range of motion before treatment (left) compared to after the combined application (right) of negative pressure and HawkGrips. (Photo/Courtesy Physiquipe)

His range of movement had become restricted, as depicted in Figure 1. The left arm overhead demonstrates wrist flexion, which is a compensation method to get the arm into that position on the back.

There is also fascial tension, which the client described as a “pulling and tightness” in the side of the body when trying to reach that position. With fascial tension, a movement could be restricted further up or down the fascial line, so it is always best to treat the line in order to address the restriction.


My treatment for this client combined negative pressure with the PhysioTouch device and instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) with HawkGrips, in an attempt to reduce fascial tension and increase range of motion (ROM).

The pull on soft tissue from negative pressure creates a vertical and horizontal stretching to help stimulate lymphatic flow (Figure 2). The PhysioTouch was applied across his back to create fascial movement throughout the super and deep back arm lines and the back functional line.

negative pressure PhysioTouch Physiquipe HawkGrips IASTM lymphatic flow soft tissue

Figure 2: Negative pressure created by the PhysioTouch device can stimulate lymphatic flow through the stretching of soft tissue. (Image/Courtesy Physiquipe)

HawkGrips were then applied to highlight areas of main tension in the muscle tissue, from the quick response to treatment on the adhesions and contracture. This was followed by manual soft tissue work including massage, trigger-point therapy and myofascial release for 45 minutes.


Following treatment the client performed the ROM test again with both hands, and the difference was striking (Figure 1). His left wrist flexion had become significantly reduced, due to the increased movement enabled in his shoulder joint.

At Physiquipe, we utilize a combination of treatments to benefit our clients. If you are interested in the services we offer, please contact clinic@physiquipe.com.

Jodie Comer is a sports therapist and clinic manager for the Physiquipe Physiotherapy Rehabilitation Clinic in Manchester, England. In addition to operating this full-service clinic, Physiquipe is the exclusive United Kingdom distributor for HawkGrips products.

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