The athlete puts quite a toll on their bodies throughout the year. This means that they are susceptible to injury. As a chiropractor I look at the bone structure in a biomechanical fashion to give the best chance to deal with the beating that an athlete takes throughout the season. However, there are other methods that can lead to quicker healing and more efficient use of muscles. This can lead to injury prevention and better performance.
The first technique that I use is called active release technique (ART). This is used in a variety of situations, but its main use is to give the muscle proper function. The chiropractor for the MN Vikings states that uses this technique quite frequently for the players.
What I look for is an abnormal amount of adhesions in the muscle (scar tissue). Sometimes they can be felt by the patient as a “pressure point”. After a longer period of time this adhesion can cut off a peripheral nerve causing peripheral neuropathy. This can manifest in many ways such as numbness, weakness, pain and can refer to other parts of the body. In fact a lot of patients who are suffering from what they think it are carpel tunnel may be suffering from a nerve impingement in the muscle belly of the pronator teres muscle. This also cuts off the median nerve just like carpel tunnel syndrome, but there is not a wasting of the thumb muscles.
What ART involves is a mostly painless process of breaking up of adhesions using the function of the very muscle. Using a lubricant I would find the adhesion and have the patient actively utilize the muscle while I would put pressure in the exact spot that needs the rehabilitation. If there is nerve damage it should be known that the process of rebuilding the nerve takes about an inch per month with good nutrition but comfort can be regained much sooner!
Sometimes the muscle can be in a really bad state, and ART is not going to be enough to get the function back to normal. This is when I would use instrument assisted technique. One of the instruments that many practitioners use is called Graston Technique. When using this technique it is very important to find the area of dysfunction. Once the dysfunctional area is found, then stainless steel finely crafted instruments are used to treat the area with a naturally based lubricant. This digs much more deeply into the muscle breaking up any adhesions or scar tissue that may have been laid down by the body. This process is mostly painless, but can leave a mark that looks very much like a hickey.
Why does the body put down scar tissue in the first place? That is because there may have been a sub-acute tear in the muscle caused by an injury or perhaps caused by a repetitive stress. This may also be from improper usage caused by problems in the spine and extremities. That is why it is important to find the root of the problem, so the problem does not come back. It is important to see a chiropractor to assess these instabilities. The body senses that there is a weak point in the muscle, so it uses the scar tissue to stabilize the area much like a scar on the skin. Both of these techniques are used to break up the scar tissue and rehabilitate the muscle to get back the proper function.
I have found that the most effective and speedy treatment is a combination of chiropractic adjustments, ART, instrument assisted muscle technique, stretching, and kinesiology tape. If you are an athlete trying to get an edge, or you are just dealing with a pain that doesn’t go away please call 507-645-8000. You don’t have to live with the pain that you are in. Call Cannon Pointe Chiropractic “We Deal in Organic Health”.