Inflammation and Motion

inflammationInflammation is a natural consequence following injury. The inflammatory response, which is the body’s initial attempt at healing, can become the culprit in perpetuating future pain and disability if left unchecked, as this leads to random scar tissue formation and fibrosis.

I was recently asked a question : “Why would we want to adjust an area that was inflamed and painful, as this might be the body’s way of protecting itself?” Based on that question I realized that an understanding of the purpose, process, and results of the inflammatory response, which can then guide us as to our rationale for treatment, is essential.

It has been proposed that in the course of man’s evolution the major enemy has been infection. As there were not any available effective treatments for infection, the body’s response was inflammation. The body would try to wall off the infection by laying down fibrotic tissue around the area. This would prevent the infection from spreading throughout the body; often it worked very well. This process is fine for infectious processes, however it creates additional problems with soft tissue injuries.

Although there are some similarities with respect to inflammation, secondary to soft tissue injuries, it is when the inflammation is left unchecked or treated improperly that chronic problems will develop. In the acute stage, inflammation is mediated by several chemical substances with the goal being to control initial damage and remove local irritants in preparation for tissue repair. During this period, temporary immobilization, random scar formation, and continued nociceptive input become counter productive to sustained healing. In the absence of motion, soft tissues will heal with an inferior grade of tissue. The harmful effects we have come to see with treatments consisting of prolonged immobilization can be at least partially avoided. Movement helps to allow the cells to line up along the normal directions of stress as the tissue heals. Because connective tissue heals by proliferation of neighboring fibroblasts, scar tissue is the normal result. This tissue is usually less elastic, weaker, and more prone toward exacerbations with use or stress resulting in future chronic pain and disability. Immobilization prevents the formation of strong scar tissue in the important direction by avoiding the strains leading to proper orientation of the fibrous tissue.

Poor healing can lead to altered biomechanics that result in aberrant neural reflexes, scleratomal, or myofascial pain syndromes forming the vicious cycle. Additionally, areas adjacent to the restricted segment may become hypermobile due to a compensatory reaction which can result in additional degenerative changes of the disc and facets. Scar tissues in muscle can result in a phenomena of super sensitivity (allodynia), a result of the excess proliferation of nerve fibers around the region of the scar.

By carefully adjusting the joints identified using Spine Scan instrumentation and Trigenics, several beneficial results occur. Adhesions and scar tissue formation will be minimized, and if it does form it will be along the normal lines of stress. Nociceptive ( pain ) input will be reduced and the mechanoreceptors( nerves to brain ) are stimulated. A relaxation of hypertonic (tight) muscles will occur due to both the elimination of pain signals and the resultant reflex to muscles. Excessive sympathetic (nerve) tone will be minimized leading to improved muscular circulation and a beneficial effect on myofascial syndromes.

There are those patients who have had the unfortunate experience of an inadequate examination, where the doctor says that the injured tissues are healed. This may be true in the medical sense of the word, however, this tissue is often maladapted from a functional standpoint and continued aggravation occurs and chronic pain follows.

Thus for all muscle strains, shoulder pain, lower back pain etc. call (08) 61508783 in Mount Pleasant or (08) 61508785 in Scarborough to arrange for an appointment today.

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Spine Scan - North

2nd Floor, 166 Brighton Road
Scarborough
Perth
6019
Western Australia
Phone: (08) 6150 8785
Email: info@spinescan.com.au

Spine Scan - South

1st Floor, 1 The Esplanade
Mount Pleasant
Perth
6153
Western Australia
Phone: (08) 6150 8783
Email: info@spinescan.com.au

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(Both practices)
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