Chiropractic Adjustments and Joint Mobilization
The goal of a chiropractic adjustment is to identify joint restrictions or limitations of range of motion in the spine and extremities, and restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into the joint that have become restricted in their movements. There are circumstances where an adjustment may be contraindicated due to patient's past history, injury, edema, or pain. In these cases we may choose a different approach using joint mobilization, comprising of rhythmic oscillations or gliding movements to the joint complex that are applied at varying speeds and low amplitudes, with the intent to restore optimal motion, function, and or to reduce pain.
Soft Tissue Mobilization
Soft tissues include muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, and cartilage of the body. When trauma occurs, inflammation begins to form within and around the damaged tissue structures. Inflammation is the precursor to myofascial adhesion (scar tissue) in the muscle causing a decrease in function, range of motion, and pain. Pain can lead to muscle guarding and if prolonged the muscle could lose its original length by adaptive shortening with predisposition to re-injury. Soft tissue mobilization is a specific hands-on technique that involves applying manual pressure into the myofascial connective tissue restrictions (soft tissue injury) to eliminate pain, removing scar tissue, and restore proper motion and function.
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, "Graston Technique," enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. The technique utilizes ergonomically designed stainless steel instruments to precisely detect, and effectively treat areas exhibiting fascial restrictions and chronic scar tissue. Although more aggressive techniques are not suitable for every patient, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization is successful in effectively treating densities in scar tissue found in fascia, tendons, and ligaments. This technique helps to reinitiate first-stage healing in the body, whether they are chronic, acute or post surgical.
Functional taping or "kinesio tape" / “RockTape” has become very popular around the world among athletes of all sports and skill levels. Functional taping provides additional joint, muscle, or fascial support, helping correct postural or mechanical dysfunctions, yet does not restrict range of motion. When utilized with specific rehab it allows the patient to return back to activities of daily living, work and sport at a higher level more quickly after an injury.
Rehabilitation is as important as treatment following an injury. The aim of a rehabilitation program is to regain and restore strength, flexibility, and full function following injury. It is important to introduce exercises early on in the healing phase. As inflammation decreases and range of motion increases, it is imperative to focus on movement patterns of inhibited muscles and muscular imbalances that may exist after an injury. When re-establishing strength and function with rehabilitation exercises, functional range-of-motion exercises with isometric and isotonic muscle firing patterns should be introduced followed by sports specific movements. Functional rehabilitation is not only strengthening muscles around the area of injury, but is looking at the “big picture” of how your body functions as a unit to ensure the body is ready to return to play. If these are abandoned too soon, the likelihood of injury recurrence increases significantly.