The body moves and functions as a dynamic integrated system. Dysfunction or injury in one area of the body can result in compensation and altered movement patterns in another area. The resulting change in load to the tissues (due to excessive strain, tension or compression) can then result in secondary areas of pain and dysfunction in the body. All too often people seek to eradicate the symptom of an imbalance without addressing the underlying core issue. This may temporarily suppress the physical manifestation of the imbalance, however sooner or later symptoms may arise again in the same area or in a secondary area. Treatment targeting symptom eradication alone is akin to turning off the fire alarm without putting out the fire.
Our habitual postures and compensatory patterns also become ‘locked’ into our connective tissue over time, thus creating imbalance and stress in the tissues. In certain areas the connective tissue is shortened, while in other areas it become over-lengthened. The muscles in these areas struggle to function in an over-lengthened position. Soft tissue imbalance eventually leads to a variety of conditions such as repetitive strain injuries and joint problems due to excessive compression. Muscle recruitment patterns and strength imbalances need to be assessed and corrected through various muscle activation techniques and movement.
Even though pain and injury often occur in tissues such as muscle, cartilage, ligament and tendon, it is important to take into consideration the neurological system. The neurological system coordinates movement, determines resting tension in muscles, alters our perception of pain, influences circulation and modulates inflammatory responses. Once we learn a certain movement pattern the brain then stores this pattern as a ‘program’. Whenever we need to perform that movement, the brain simply retrieves that ‘program’ instead of ‘re-inventing the wheel’ all over again, hence we never forget how to ride a bicycle. This is very beneficial when the ‘program’ is appropriate and allows us to drive a car without having to concentrate too hard on how to do it. Unfortunately if the movement pattern is not optimal (such as a habit we developed to compensate for an injury) that pattern tends to be repeated. Fortunately the neurological system is highly adaptable and capable of change when provided with the opportunity and impetus.
The body is magnificently complex and innately intelligent. Our capacity to heal and recuperate is astounding. Treatment which addresses many aspects of this integrated system, and which is designed to support the body’s natural regenerative capacity, is vital for long term health.
These sessions may include a variety of treatment options such as:
- spinal and peripheral joint mobilization/manipulation
- myofascial release and trigger point release
- neural mobilization
- dry needling
- postural balancing
- Techniques to optimize muscle recruitment patterns
- techniques to optimize gait efficiency
- wedging (rebalancing the body through customized temporary wedges in the shoes)
- exercise rehabilitation