Fold & Hold: A 90-Second Guide to
Relieve Muscle Aches and Pains
By Dr. Dale L. Anderson
He was a
strong, energetic, active young man. But now, suddenly, he was
suffering from agonizing pain! So much right lower back pain that
he stood bent forward and stooped to the right. He was unable to
stand or walk erect. His friends said he looked like a “little old
man.” Also, he was sleeping poorly at night. He awoke often in
search of a comfortable position. Usually, by bringing the right
knee to his chest, the pain improved and he could doze off again.
endured the discomfort for several months. Heat, ice, liniment,
shoe-inserts, pain-medication and health care practitioner
adjustments brought only temporary relief. After sleepless nights
and painful days, his energy was down at work and so was his
productivity. Life was a pain!
then, suddenly, the pain was gone! The young man announced this
“miracle” to his friends. He celebrated, saying, “One night, I
curled up, slept like a baby through the night and my pain was gone
when I woke up!”
familiar? For many, comparable pain is an everyday occurrence due to
poor conditioning, stress, weak muscles and a sedentary life style
coupled with bursts of over-use and repetitive or sudden movements.
When such “slip ups” happen, muscle spasm and pain often occur.
Multiple treatment methods are tried, often to no avail. But, there
is a simple yet highly effective solution without drugs, surgery or
even a trip to the doctor’s office – it’s called the Fold and Hold
people believe that pain happens when a bone pinches tissues or a
nerve, or when it rubs up against another bone; however, muscle
spasm – which keeps a muscle from stretching or contracting properly
– is often the chief culprit. A structural, mechanical dysfunction
of the body occurs.
the Fold and Hold method, pain caused by a muscle spasm can
significantly improve and often completely erase by gently relaxing
the “angry” muscle. This allows the body to re-align
identify the spastic muscle by finding a tender spot – a palpable,
painful, firm knot often referred to as a zinger, an “oucher” or an
“ooohhh, that really hurts.”
and Hold method involves reducing the palpable pain in the tender
spot. This is done by shortening and thus, relaxing the involved
muscle by folding the body over the tender spot. In this
folded position, the tight muscle sleeps. Holding this comfortable
position for a minimum of 90 seconds permits the muscle to get a
good long rejuvenating sleep. And it will awaken in comfort,
provided the return to the normal position is done so slowly. A
slow, return is critical because moving too quickly can re-provoke
the offending muscle.
suffer from back pain, tennis or golfer’s elbow, head or neck pain,
wrist pain, shin splints, carpal tunnel syndrome, heel spurs, or
other common muscle aches, the Fold and Hold method can often help,
and provide benefits such as:
can do it yourself – no need for tests or “fixes” from
physicians, physical therapists or chiropractors.
comfortable – remove your tender spots by finding a non-painful
convenient – can be done anywhere, anytime.
provides extended pain relief by treating the cause of the pain,
not the symptom.
requires no drugs, dietary supplements, special instruments or
this technique will work for a variety of different muscle aches and
pains, three of the most common areas are lower back pain (as in the
office worker above), tennis elbow and heel spurs.
Lower back pain – occurs in those who sit, crouch or kneel with the
knee toward the chest for an extended period of time.
Symptoms: In this position, the large Iliopsoas muscles that
function to lift the thigh and/or bend the back forward is
shortened and profoundly relaxed. With sudden standing, the
abruptly startled muscle goes into spasm. The pain is
aggravated additionally by lifting or straightening the leg and
also by straightening the back. A tender spot, if found, is in
the front of the abdomen above the public bone. However, it’s
often not felt because of the muscles’ depth or abdominal girth.
and Hold: Fold by bringing the knee to the chest. This can be
done by lying on the back and holding the knee to the chest, by
sitting in a chair with the knee held to the chest or while
sitting with the chest resting on the knees. Adjust the knee to
find the ultimate position of ease. This position may appear
awkward, but it should feel comfortable. Hold this position for
90 seconds. The spastic muscle is napping! Release slowly, stand
up straight and gently arch the back and stretch the leg
backwards causing a slight pull in the groin. If you feel
better, repeat three times a day for three days … if it’s not
feeling better or if feeling worse, do not continue. A muscle
may not be a cause of the pain and other professional help
should be sought.
Tennis Elbow Right – Pain on the thumb side of the arm, or the
Symptoms: Pain occurs on the outer back or outer front of the
elbow region. The pain is often aggravated when you straighten
or twist the arm outward or when you flex the wrist, forearm and
elbow. Grasping objects is weak and pain occurs with turning
doorknobs or screwdrivers. Any activity that loads by working
or stretches the extensor muscles of the forearm causes pain.
Fold and Hold: Find the tender spot, which is usually just
behind the outer back side or outer bony prominence of the
elbow. Feel along the backside of the elbow first. If you don’t
find tenderness there, keep moving toward the front, and then to
the forearm and wrist.
Sit in a chair. Fully extend the arm and twist it outward.
Place your thumb and palm on the inside of your right knee. The
thumb pointing down, the palm facing out. The knob of the elbow
should point toward the center of the body. Using your left
hand, cup the elbow on the backside and push up and outward to
the right, extending the elbow. You might feel an uncomfortable
stretch sensation in the front of the arm. If comfortable, hold
for 90 seconds, release slowly. And finally stretch by fully
flexing the elbow and the wrist.
Heel pain/heel spur: Plantar Fasciitis – common, crippling,
frustrating problem for many that develops from no apparent injury.
Symptoms: Pain on the bottom of the foot at the front edge of
the heel bone. Pain is usually present and severe at first
weight bearing in the morning, and gets worse with prolonged
standing and walking as the day progresses. The problem is often
a tight muscle that flexes the toes. The flexor digitorum
brevis attaches at the spur area of the heel bone. But the spur
is not the problem—it is the result of the tight muscle pull.
tender spot is easy to find!
the bottom of the foot by pushing the heel toward the toes and
the toes toward the heel. Hold for 90 seconds. Slowly return and
stretch the bottom of the foot. Wear good arch support, soft
you have it …three of the most common muscle aches and pains, and
the simple, 90-second Fold and Hold method to solve them. To keep
muscle spasms from returning, and to keep muscles strong and
healthy, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise and
stretch on a routine basis.
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