Myofascial Release Technique
Fascia is a continuous layer of connective tissue that exists throughout the whole body. Imagine a densely woven web that covers or touches every muscle, bone, and organ from head to toe. This incredible structure, like other body parts, responds to trauma and can tighten as a result. Myofascial release technique is used to restore flexibility to an affected area by manipulating this connective tissue.
Why is Myofascial Release Technique Practiced?
In its natural, healthy state, the fascia layer is supple and flexible. After a trauma like an injury or surgery, it solidifies and can create pressure up to 2,000 pounds per square inch! Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder caused by sensitivity and tightness in these myofascial tissues. The pain usually originates from specific points within your myofascial tissues called trigger points. The goal of myofascial therapy is to stretch and loosen any tightened fascia so that it and other contiguous structures can move more freely.
How is this therapy done?
Myofascial release is a hands-on technique that relies on sustained pressure to an affected area. It feels like a massage but should be performed without any oils so the practitioner can feel every variation in the tissue. The sustained pressure focuses on reducing pain by easing the tension and tightness in the trigger points but is often used over a broad area of muscle and tissue. These areas the therapist is working may not be near where the pain originates because fascia is a strong, connected web. An injury in one spot on it can have an effect throughout the body, like having a pain in our knee that actually has nothing to do with a knee injury, but everything to do with an injury to our lower back. This is why myofascial release focuses on trigger points, but is most effective practice in a broader area.
Who can benefit from Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release therapy is practiced by chiropractors and massage therapists for its benefits in treating soft tissue injuries and has even been recommended by dentists to treat TMJ syndrome and help loosen the jaw. A practitioner may assign patients techniques with foam rollers and massage balls to practice this therapy on themselves in certain areas. This no-risk massage treatment can help ease pain originating from any soft tissue injury, and restore flexibility to the area.
Hip Pain Causes and Treatments
The hips are some of the most common locations for people to feel pain. There are a number of ailments which could be responsible, but fortunately, most of them are treatable with minimally invasive chiropractic methods. Many of them also involve the soft tissues surrounding the hip socket and can be treated with stretching, electric muscle stimulation, cold laser therapy, and other treatments commonly available in chiropractic offices in addition to adjustments. However, patients should not minimalize their hip pain or think that it will not have consequences for the rest of the body. A problem in the hip can throw off the whole spine, and a problem in the spine may be felt in the hip.
Sciatica: Burning, Sharp Pain
When a patient complains of hip pain, a chiropractor will need to determine whether the problem is in the hip structure or the result of a pinched nerve in the spine. Pinched nerves in the lower back can result in sciatica, the compression of the nerve which runs from the spine to the foot. The patient may feel tingling or numbness in the hip and thigh as well as pain. It is often caused by a herniated disc and is treated with adjustments.
Wear and Tear
If sciatica can be ruled out, there may be something wrong with the hip’s soft tissues. Often, the problem is osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition in which the cartilage in joints wears away. This causes the bones to rub uncomfortably against each other or other tissues, which become inflamed. While degenerative diseases cannot be reversed, they can be slowed through lifestyle and nutritional changes. Chiropractors commonly recommend that patients with wear-and-tear injuries switch to a low impact form of exercise, such as aquatics. However, it is also possible for the hips to simply be overused, which is more commonly the case with young athletes in high-impact sports. Athletes are advised to replace old shoes that are no longer properly cushioned and to do exercises which will strengthen other muscles, relieving some of the pressure on their joints.
Sometimes, there is an issue with the bones of the hips. In rare cases, children get Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, in which the femur head breaks from lack of blood supply and needs to be held in the socket until it heals. Older people are prone to breaking their hips more often due to their poorer sense of balance and high rates of osteoporosis. Chiropractors can assist these patients’ rehabilitation by stretching their soft tissues to keep them strong and limber, determining individual exercise regimens, and coordinating plans for therapeutic massages with other health practitioners.
Chiropractic Treatment for Migraine Headaches
What are migraine headaches?
Everyone has had a headache at some point and we are all familiar with the throbbing feeling that can linger and really slow down your day. But there is more than one type of a headache, and chronic migraine sufferers will tell you they experience many other symptoms that can put a screeching halt to all activity for hours and even days. Migraines come with the throbbing sensation but also cause sensitivity to light and noise, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, and stomach pain.
Certain people with migraines may be able to predict the onset of an episode due to a trigger or early warning symptom, but the exact cause of migraine is unknown. Most theories acknowledge an interruption in either never activity, blood flow to the brain, or both. Because the precise origin of migraine headaches is unknown there is no known cure for a chronic migraine condition. Migraine sufferers are typically advised to avoid known triggers and get enough exercise and sleep. Over-the-counter meidacations help some find relief, but others report instant relief of symptoms followed by a "rebound migraine" the next day.
How can chiropractic help manage migraines?
Chiropractic treatment will not cure migraines, but it is one of the few ways to be proactive against migraines and help prevent them. In someone prone to migraine episodes a trigger can often be a misalignment, or subluxation of the spine. Migraines can begin with tension in the neck, but even patients without migraines find keeping their neck free of kninks helps improve frequent headaches. Dysfunctional vertebrae in the neck can caused increased muscle tension and interrupt the nerves that control blood flow to the brain. Chiropractic adjustments relieve the pressure and tension that results in headaches and keep the spine aligned to help it function at ist best.
Regular chiropractic care may help reduce migraine frequency, intensity, or both. Chiropractic focuses on improving the movement and alignment of the joints in the neck and spine which can result in less pain and better function.