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Advanced Soft Tissue Therapies
Scar tissue and adhesions can build up in soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves, through direct injury, or indirectly through compensation patterns that our bodies have become accustomed to using. These adhesions cause fibers of the tissue to bind together, causing irritation that can lead to motion restriction, weakened muscles, and irritation of surrounding tissues. These altered soft tissues then cause abnormal stress on joints, which can wear down joint structures and cause global movement dysfunctions. At Lake Marion Chiropractic Center, we have a large knowledge base of different treatment techniques to treat conditions in the most effective and efficient manner. The following are a list of some of the techniques that are commonly part of our treatment plans at Lake Marion Chiropractic Center.
A therapeutic form of massage that combines different myofascial, neuromuscular, and lymphatic techniques. It involves the scientific and intuitive application of massage, stretching, and active movements, for the purpose of improving muscular flexibility, pliability, activation, and recovery. The practitioner determines the exact application of techniques depending on the specific athletic event, the stage the athlete is in their training, and the goal of the treatment. Although sports massages are most commonly used with athletes, they can benefit any active individual.
Manual Soft Tissue Mobilization
This technique involves the detection and treatment of affected tissues by the use of the doctor’s hands. It is a movement based massage technique, that involves taking a contact over the affected tissue and causing movement in that tissue by moving the affected joint in a specific and controlled range of motion. The purpose of this technique is to help elongate the fibers of the soft tissue and mobilize adhesions within the tissue. When these adhesions are removed, muscles are able to move properly, less stress is placed on joints, and global motion is improved.
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
This technique utilizes specially designed stainless-steel instruments to detect and treat scar tissue and fascial restrictions. The clinician glides the instrument across the surface of the skin over the specific anatomy of the affected area. When the instrument scans over an area of fibrosis it vibrates differently than it does over healthy tissue. Once the abnormal tissue is detected the clinician continues to glide the instrument over the affected area to break up adhesions, increase blood flow and promote healing or remodeling of the abnormal tissue. The next step to this technique requires the patient to perform active range of motion to treat the tissues while they are performing their function, which maximizes clinical benefit.
At Lake Marion Chiropractic Center one of the instrument assisted soft tissue technique we use is Graston Technique. Graston Technique is an evidence-based protocol that can be used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal complaints and is clinically proven to achieve quicker and better outcomes for acute and chronic injuries and conditions. The various shapes of the Graston instruments allow the clinician to get a deeper and more precise contact on specific anatomical structures. Chiropractors, physical and occupational therapists, hand therapists, and athletic trainers around the world utilize this technique to improve patient outcomes.
Transverse Friction Massage
This is a deep massage technique that is used to break down scar tissue and transform the affected soft tissue into a more pliable and flexible material. In addition, it can be used in acute situations to help maintain mobility in muscles, ligaments and tendons, and prevent adhesions from forming. Another goal of TFM is to increase blood flow to the affected area, which increases healing by increasing the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the area and aiding in the removal of substances that cause pain and damage.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
This is a manual resistance technique that utilizes the neurophysiological principles of post-contraction inhibition and reciprocal inhibition. Post-contraction inhibition essentially states that there is about a ten second period after a muscle contracts that it is automatically in a more relaxed or inhibited state. It is during that short period of time that the practitioner will be able to lengthen the muscle beyond the current restricted state. Reciprocal inhibition is a principle that states that when an agonist muscle is contracting, the antagonist of the muscle will be inhibited. This is helpful when trying to stretch the antagonist. These two principles are used alone or in combination to achieve the therapeutic results, such as increased flexibility, which leads to better biomechanics and helps prevent overuse injuries.
There are many purposes of taping, including providing support for unstable tissues, increasing fluid movement, increasing facilitation of a tissue, or inhibiting activation of over facilitated tissues. Theses varied purposes are achieved by using a combination of different taping patterns, different types of tape, and using varied directions of tape. At Lake Marion Chiropractic, the doctors are trained in evaluating the affected tissues to determine which treatment protocol of taping is best for your specific case.