The Importance of Soft Tissue Therapy
While the neurological connection from the body to the brain and brain to the body is vital for normal function and healing via the spine and nerves, so is the myofascial component that comprises approximately 40% of our body weight. “Myo” means the actual muscle and “fascia” is the connective tissue that holds muscle in place. When working correctly, the myofascial componets allows for normal movement of joints and body, but equally important, also delivers key sensory input into the brain from nerve cells called “Mechanoreceptors” to coordinate and respond to new physical demands placed on the body mechanics. Technically, this is referred to as normal “Proprioceptive” input to the brain.
When the myofascial is compromised or injured, it can be a key source of not just pain and tightness, but actual adverse neurological input into the brain that can perpetuate what I call an adaptive, reactive muscle guarding pattern that doesn’t allow for normal locomotion/movement to return even with the best chiropractic adjustment program and exercise. Muscles can remain painful or just tight and not allow for normal spinal correction and proprioception input into the brain. In addition, tight or spastic muscles do not allow for normal blood circulation to be delivered to the soft tissue, which leads to cell and tissue pathology on it’s own.
Soft tissue therapy is, therefore, a key role in helping our patients reach their optimum results. We utilize four approaches to effectively achieve this outcome:
Each of these approaches will have a unique mechanism to release tight, restricted or painful muscles and fascia. Each one of these modalities will actually improve function of the myofascial component, not just feel good while they are being used. This, by the way, is the difference between a massage and a therapeutic modality. You can click on the “WOW-FAKTR” , Laser Therapy and Whole Body Vibration for a explanation on how those approaches work to restore the myofascial components, here I will briefly describe the Percussion Instrument we use on almost all of our patients each visit.
The Percussion Instrument
First, let me say that our patients love this device. It actually feels rather nice, but that is not why we use it. The Percussor will actually break myofascial adhesions. This is where the myofascial filaments has actually “glued” themselves together because they have been tight and restricted on a chronic basis for some time. It is not just a electrical massager. It is designed to rapidly pulse straight down (unlike most lay massage units sold that have a circular vibration pattern) that reaches several inches deep. This deep (but also relaxing) impulses not only break up adhesions that are restricting motion, it improves blood flow to starving tissue and begins to restore the normal and necessary elastic motion of the myofascial elements. As mentioned, this is essential if optimum and longterm results are to be achieved.
The percussor is used on virtually any body part in multiple directions for a dynamic release. Most patients experience a pleasant and immediate improvement in movement on the region the Percussor is used. This instrument is use on almost every visit and allows the chiropractic and neurological changes to be even more effective.