I just got a hug the other day from a very appreciative patient. She told me that she was so very thankful for a speedy recovery from her back pain. I told
her that we try to make sure that we help her, and all of our patients that we see, get better as fast as we can. One of the secrets that we have is muscle work.
We often see patients that have underlying subluxations (joint complexes that have altered mechanics), but these are often compounded by muscle alterations around the subluxations. Taking care of the primary concern is very important, but what tends to happen is that the muscles around the subluxations have fibrotic alterations that re-affect the subluxations after the adjustments have been rendered. We try to keep this from happening by using various methods to break up the fibrotic tissue, therefore making sure that the adjustments hold longer and the body heals faster. This also has a preventative affect for future injuries.
Active Release Technique (ART) is a soft tissue technique that we use quite often in our clinic. This is a procedure that uses pressure and knowledge of how the fibers and fascia of each muscle work to help get better function out of the injured or altered muscles.
What to expect:
This can be a bit painful when used. However, most patients state that it is a “good pain”, or they state that they can tell that they need this procedure. Pressure is placed on the bad muscle and the patient will then have to go through that muscle’s regular range of motion. It may take up to 2-10 mins for this procedure based on the extent of the injury. Soreness is very common after this procedure that can last until the next day. Often the patient will feel much better range of motion, and a “different kind of pain.” This is a very common technique that is used in most pro athletes and NHL great Teemu Selane is a huge proponent. His use is discussed in this article. However, pro athletes are not the only ones that benefit from ART.
Instrument Assisted Tech
This is a procedure that is used for muscles that have been injured really badly, or this is a chronic condition that has not been treated. This technique uses stainless steel instruments to dig into the muscle much deeper than the use of hands.
What to expect:
This can also be a bit painful, but most of the time people say that it feels like an eraser on the muscle. This can also take 2-10 mins depending of the severity. This procedure can also cause a bit of a bruise-type feeling, but most people feel like they have better range of motion and feel much better after the treatment. The treatment can also cause the skin become red. This is because the fibrotic tissue has microvasculature that gets broken and it bleeds under the skin. This skin change can last up to 2 days unless the patient has taken aspirin. This can cause the skin change to last a bit longer, because of the thinning of the blood.
Post Isometric Relaxation (PIR) technique is a stretching technique that we use after each of these procedures. PIR uses mechanoreceptors in the muscle to help the muscle get to a new length more efficiently than a regular stretch. We use this after the muscle work, because this allows the muscle to have the correct length. This will allow better range of motion and to stabilize the muscle work previously done.
What to Expect:
Basically this is a very deep stretch that allows for a longer muscle. This procedure can take 1-5 mins to perform. It will feel like a regular stretch, but most people wonder how they got more range of motion than they are used to.
For more information about these techniques please give us call at our clinic 507-645-8000. There are also several other blogs that we have covered. Check them out and learn some great information ranging from nutrition to pain relief.