Strains, Sprains and Niggling Pains!
Do you experience one or a combination of the following?
a tight ache or burning sensation
a restriction in the full movement of a joint or muscle on stretching
a specific muscular weakness
or what seems to be an area that is overly sensitive to touch
Furthermore, do you fit into one of the following categories?
sustained a previous muscle, ligament or tendon injury
involved in either a physical or emotional trauma
or received surgery (thus, like myself, the proud owner of a scar!)
My feeling is that there are many of us wondering the streets whom will have experienced a soft tissue strain at some point that keeps rearing is annoyingly persistent head. From the work driven masses that may have never put on a pair of trainers through to the endorphin driven fitness guru’s that perhaps sleep in theirs.
Whether it is the result of a daily postural strain that gradually over stresses our soft tissue or from a direct trauma, tension will most likely develop and change the way the injured tissue functions and perversely increase strain on its surrounding tissues too.
It could have been from a stumble on rough ground or off the edge of a curb that left its imprint on your body through an ankle ligament injury. Alternatively, you may have been the subject of the surgeon’s scalpel that too has left its permanent signature in your skin and underlying soft soft tissue or fascia.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is an incredibly tough membrane that envelops and separates everything within the body from whole muscle groups and bones down to each individual cell, thus providing protection and communication throughout the body. Perhaps think of it as a three dimensional net, or body stocking, that reaches to all elements of the body, surrounding muscle fibres, ligaments, tendons, organs, blood vessels through to our nervous tissues.
In a normal state the body’s fascia has the ability to stretch and glide without much restriction allowing other structures to move freely and receive the body’s nutrients to help keep them healthy. However, through physical (or emotional) stress certain tissues become restricted and effectively ‘stuck down’ causing surrounding fascia to begin to tighten and dehydrate. This restriction may lead to local friction in tissue further squeezing surrounding structures affecting general movement, circulation and possibly what we become most aware of ourselves……PAIN!
Not that I have a weekend fetish for dressing up as a lady, but a good analogy of fascial tension is looking at what happens to a pair of tights if you manage to spill your nail varnish on them. If you pull the tights in any position either side of the stain they will stretch freely near your hands and gradually become more taut towards the hard centre of the varnish. Anyway…enough of tights related predicaments…..
We focus on an active injury approach to restoring function and return to work. Whether your workplace injury has occurred from an accident or from overuse, you will find us programs helpful to:
What can be done to improve our damaged tissues and help prevent recurring problems?
If assessed and treated properly by a trained individual in specific soft tissue therapy an array of physiological changes can be achieved to help greatly improve or restore your health. This could be achieved through the effect of specific techniques on the cellular mobility to effects on the body’s receptors that can help reduce pain.
The main objective would be to improve a restricted tissue’s flexibility and ability to absorb and diffuse stress/ strain in order to cope with your individual daily activities.
If involved at an early stage we could assist the damaged tissue through its natural stages of healing to guide a more efficient recovery and sustained outcome. However, as can often be the case within physiotherapy, we can also help break down any long term term restrictions of past injuries that keep putting up their barriers to your progress and again focus on long term self care to prevent re-injury.
Most physiotherapists will be trained in treating muscle, ligament and tendon injuries and some of us will also have gained training in assessing and treating the surrounding fascial restrictions too.