What is the Myofascial System?
The Myofascial System is made up of the body’s muscles, fascia, ligaments and tendons. It is sometimes described as a single web-like structure that attaches muscles to the bones creating a body suit that runs from our toes to the top of our head.
What is the function of our Myofascial System?
The Myofascial System integrates the muscles and soft tissues with strong bonds as mentioned above so that our bodies can move multiple muscle groups as a unit.
How does a Myofascial condition develop?
In the normal state, the Myofascia is soft and flexible with a nice tone and can stretch and move without restriction. However, when injured due to trauma such as a car accident or long-term repetitive movement, the fascia and muscle shortens causing dysfunction and pain in movement. If predisposed conditions exist such as Fibromyalgia or a connective tissue disease, this could result in incapacitating pain.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition commonly characterized by widespread body pain. People who suffer from this condition experience a heightened sensation to pressure. The cause of Fibromyalgia is unknown and under considerable investigation in the environmental, neurologic, genetic and psychological arenas. The most commonly accepted areas of study are neurologic and environmental since most people seem to develop the condition much later in life. Other symptoms correlate with Fibromyalgia such as fatigue, joint stiffness, trouble sleeping, difficulty swallowing, numbness, tingling, and cognitive dysfunction. These are actual neurologic changes in both the brain and the stem leading some to call it a ‘central sensitization syndrome.’
What is Connective Tissue Disease?
Connective tissue is an extensive extracellular matrix that binds together and supports all tissues of the body including organs. Connective tissues diseases can be hereditary (Ehlers-Danlos, Marfan Syndrome and Osteogenesis Imperfecta) or autoimmune (Sjogren’s Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematous). Many of these diseases can actually overlap or mimic each other making treatment and diagnosis very difficult. Symptoms often include joint pain, fatigue, weakness, organ changes and sometimes hypermobility.
How do you choose a manual medicine specialist?
It is extremely important to choose a Chiropractor, Physical Therapist or even a Massage Therapist, skilled in multiple techniques. If you have an injury, a connective tissue condition, or are a Fibromyalgia sufferer, you need to select one that not only looks at the joints but will treat soft-tissue as well. They also need experience with non-force technique options since flare-ups in patients are common due to weather, changes in stress and body illness. The following are things to consider when choosing care:
- Does the Doctor use non-force techniques (Activator, Cranio-sacral, Quantum Neurology, Sacral Occiputal Technique)
- Does the Doctor use a specific technique on soft tissue (Graston, Nimmo, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Stretch, Active Release Technique)
- Does the Doctor have other patients with this same condition (what are the Doctor’s areas of specialization)?
- Read reviews! A Doctor described as “firm” or “rough” is not for you.
- Optional: Does the Doctor have knowledge of Botanical medicine or Homeopathy for soft tissue disorders?
How does a doctor decide how to treat?
Most doctors will take a detailed history of the patient’s condition to determine the most appropriate treatment. Please make sure and tell the Doctor your entire history including any of the following:
- Hereditary connective tissue disease
- Sensitivity to massage or aggressive pressure (firm hugs)
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Previous negative chiropractic experience
- Frequent pain after exercise
- Tendency to be overly tired
- Weakness when doing daily activities.
- All major accidents (car accidents, broken bones, surgeries, recent falls, etc.)
The above information will assist the doctor in determining the correct treatment technique for your needs. Remember, it is possible to cause a flare-up without complete information. The doctor will then select a technique that will accomplish the following health goals:
- Decreased pain
- Increased quality of life
- Re-Injury prevention
- Decreased flare-ups of condition or old injury
- Improved body performance in exercise and activities of daily living
What can a patient with any of the above conditions do?
It is important to take action to help your body heal and be healthy. Here is a partial list of things you can do. If you have questions, please ask your Doctor to assist you.
- Fish oil
- Exercise daily: The rule of thumb is walk or bike at least 15-20 minutes daily as this removes excess inflammation that builds up with injury or disease.
- Botanical medicine: Malic acid, magnesium and B-vitamins (make sure to ask your Doctor to help with proper dosage and type)
- Stretching (must be mild to avoid aggravation)
- Hormone testing if stress is a factor
- Thyroid testing if hot and cold is a factor
- Vitamin deficiency testing if fatigue is a factor
What makes our Doctors unique when treating the above conditions?
Drs. Ho and Walker are both certified in techniques used to address slow healing soft tissue injuries including:
- Quantum neurology
- Sacral Occiput Technique
- Procipetive Neuromuscular Facilitation Stretch
- Active Release Technique
At In-Health Clinic, we provide Chiropractic care as well as botanical medicine and laboratory testing case management. We welcome your questions. If you are not local, we would be happy to assist you in finding a practitioner in your area.