Why Do I Hurt?
Solutions for Soft Tissue Spasms and More
One frequently ignored pain generator is found in the soft tissue system called 'fascia' pronounced (fash' e-a). Fascia is a different tissue than muscle. Fascia develops from the same embryonic stem cell that creates bone, and it forms a kind of interlaced web connecting and covering all internal organs, muscles, tendons and bones. There are layers and layers of fascia clear down to the cellular level.
Fascia works with muscles to give them strength and to lift and carry without shredding. But if the fascia becomes inflamed through injury or infection, it holds the muscle in a state of contraction causing painful spasms that worsen over time.
Painful muscle spasms and contracted fascia can lead to postural imbalances in your body. This natural self-correcting system has a flaw. The tissue will continue to support your body in its current out of balance state to allow you to function with your day to day activities. If not identified and treated correctly, it will lead to a cycle of more spasm, more pain and more postural imbalance.
To resolve this type of pain, our therapists perform 'myofascial release' techniques. The tight layer of fascia is stretched, then held for three to five minutes until it relaxes or is "released".
"Many of our patients have already seen neurologists or orthopedists, but were never treated for soft tissue injuries. We have found that when the underlying soft tissue problem is addressed, these patients do remarkably well."
I've had physical therapy for this before, how is this different?
You might be saying to yourself, "I've already had physical therapy on my muscles and I haven't gotten relief". How is this any different? Physical therapy addresses the muscles with the focus on relaxing the muscles and using a strengthening program to get the desired results. This can include the following modalities: electric stimulus, ultrasound and exercise.
Fascia will not respond to these forms of therapy. The muscles alone are not always the cause. Myofascial release addresses the factor that other modalities do not. We believe the restricted tissue (fascia) needs to be released before any strengthening program is implemented. Once the fascia is free from restrictions, it will allow the muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones to function without interruption and pain. At this point, more traditional forms of physical therapy and strength training will work effectively since there is no conflict with tight restricted tissue.