What is Spinal Manipulation?
Spinal manipulation or spinal manipulative therapy or manual therapy couples joint movement, massage, exercise and physical therapy to alleviate joint pressure, inflammation and enhance nerve function. This therapy targets pain originating from the back, neck, shoulders or a headache.
Spinal manipulation is a practice that has been refined for thousands of years across the globe (e.g., China, Indonesia, Russia, Norway) and is continuing to be utilized in both Western medicine and traditional Asian medicine.
This therapy is performed by a practitioner who uses their hands to apply sudden, controlled force to the target area. During these treatments, popping noises, similar to the crackling of knuckles, are not uncommon to hear.
Benefits of Spinal Manipulation
With so many health avenues and methods for treating health problems, you may be wondering why spinal manipulation should be considered over another form of treatment. Below, are some of the key benefits an individual can achieve from spinal manipulation therapy:
Pain Relief: Chronic pain not only reduces the physical activities you can participate in but just reduces your comfort in everyday life.
Less Drug Dependency: Another benefit stemming from pain relief is a reduced need to pursue medication. Pursuing relief from pain in medication can cause addiction, damage to internal organs and dull your mind. Spinal manipulation offers a different path towards pain relief, free of the above risks.
Surgery Prevention: Surgery should never be a first resort to resolving health issues. This avenue exposes an individual’s to further complications, longer recovery time and potentially still ongoing issues. By first employing a more natural treatment like spinal manipulation, an individual has the opportunity to find relief from their health issues, free of potentially serious side-effects that can come with surgery.
Better Mobility: If an injury has limited your physical mobility, spinal manipulation works to return your mobility to an optimal state and remove any pain associated with the injury.
Soft tissue therapy is the manipulation of the body’s soft tissues, the tissues that connect, support or surround other structures and organs of the body (e.g., muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, nerves, fibrous tissues, fat, blood vessels and synovial membranes). This treatment strives to alleviate pain by restoring the muscular composition, flexibility and function of damaged tissue. Soft tissue damage can be caused by occupational or sports-related stressors, muscular over-use and numerous chronic pain conditions.
How Does Soft Tissue Therapy Work?
To solve a problem, you must first understand it. With soft tissue damage, the main issue is that it prevents normal smooth movement of tissues, which leads to chronic inflammation, pain, joint stress, fluid accumulation, poor circulation, nerve entrapment and more. Over time, as the impacted area continues to be aggravated, these symptoms progressively get worse. Soft tissue injuries can involve muscles, nerves, tendons and fascia surrounding the muscles.
Now that we have a sense of the main problem, we can explore the solution. To resolve the issues posed above, soft tissue therapy employs a combination of osteopathic techniques and deep tissue massage. These techniques work to stretch muscles and tendons and apply pressure to breakdown scar tissue or adhesions that have developed.
These techniques promote healing of the body and improved range of motion by removing damaged cells, supplying tissues with oxygen and nutrients and decreasing stiffness and dysfunction.
Soft tissue therapy can be applied to numerous health issues such as:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Shin splints
- Repetitive strains
- Joint dysfunction
- Shoulder pain
- Tennis elbow
It’s important for patients to recognize that soft tissue therapy is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Treatment duration and the techniques employed to remedy the issue will vary depending on the injury and its severity.
At AIM we recognize that soft tissue damage comes with discomfort, pain and poor mobility that lower an individual’s quality of life. Our clinic offers various soft tissue therapy treatments to help these injuries such as massages and Active Release Therapy (ART)!