July 27, 2006
By Dr. Andrew S. Bonci
Research Director for the Sport Biomechanics Laboratory
The biomechanics of muscle nutrition expands our present understanding of high performance sports nutrition and muscle biomechanics. The research currently being done in nutritional biomechanics centers around biomechanical lesions in muscle called barrier trigger points.
It is well established that barrier trigger points impose an artificial ceiling on muscle performance. They limit their host muscle’s strength, flexibility and endurance. Studies reveal that barrier trigger points can restrict the delivery of nutrients to muscle through a simple biomechanical mechanism. Thus, muscle growth, repair and recovery are compromised.
Scientific advances in sport nutrition have insured nutrient absorption. Sport nutrition products on the market today are engineered for high performance when delivered to working and recovering muscle. For the most part, these nutrients are efficiently delivered to muscle.
The problem of nutrient delivery becomes apparent in muscles harboring barrier trigger points. And, barrier trigger points are extremely prevalent in athletes.
Barrier trigger points usually affect only a few of the individual bundles that form muscle. These renegade bundles are shorter and tighter than their neighboring bundles. To prevent painful stretching of these barrier trigger points, the nervous system will reset tension of the surrounding normal bundles; making them shorter and tighter. This results in restricted blood flow due to abnormally high internal muscle pressure.
Research has demonstrated that removing barrier trigger points promotes strength, flexibility and endurance gains. This is due, in large part, to enhanced blood flow to muscles during exercise. The key to muscle performance appears to be directly related to an unrestricted blood supply.
Athletes who regularly engage in deep muscle massage tend to have fewer injuries and a larger capacity for performance. A regular program of deep muscle massage, coupled with high performance sport nutrition, has a very promising future.
Deep massage, to priority muscle before and after training sessions, provides a mechanical breakup of barrier trigger points, thus, establishing an unimpeded thoroughfare for nutrient delivery to muscle. The only stumbling block has been the availability of impromptu massage services, because timing is a critical factor.
Intracell Technology has solved this dilemma with the advent of a biomechanical device trademarked the Intracell Stick®. The Intracell Stick® is a hand-held, non-motorized instrument that is composed of a semi-rigid core which features several freely revolving 1 inch spindles. This ergonomic design allows the user to self-administer deep or superficial manipulation to all major muscle groups, either directly on the skin or through light clothing.