It’s that time of the year when you think about switching on the central heating, and remember that you need to get a service, to make sure that your heating doesn’t break down in the middle of the coldest spell, when you’re expecting it to work hardest.
Now think of the soft tissues in your body (muscles, connective tissue/fascia, tendons, and ligaments) in the same way. If you work your body harder and put it under greater strain through exercise or your job, then eventually it could break down as a result of overuse and muscle imbalances. A regular ‘service’ could help prevent that happening!
Overuse injuries can occur from any repetitive activity which could be exercise or occupational actions. During exercise micro-tearing occurs in the muscle fibres and regeneration and remodelling takes place in response, which along with other physical adaptations in the blood vessels and connective tissues allows the body to get stronger. However as the microscopic wounds heal the scar tissue may not completely reabsorb and the tissue may be weaker and stiffer than previously. Subsequent training loads these muscles before they are fully healed and overuse injuries can develop slowly from repeated micro-trauma from overloading in a specific area of muscle.
Overuse can also occur in daily life in repetitive occupational activities such as driving, sitting behind a desk or using a mouse. It can be caused by poor postural habits where muscle imbalances cause overload of muscles.
Because the body is remarkable at adaptation it will lead to imbalances, with other muscles compensating and you can often remain blissfully unaware that there is ‘trouble brewing’ until you feel pain or sustain an injury at another site (which could be remote from the problem). The weakest link in the kinetic chain breaks down!
The cycle can look something like below, with repeated overload and overuse:
- Overload (activity/ exercise): Leading to tissue micro-trauma, inflammation, adhesions in soft tissue fibres and scar tissue. If there is no intervention when there are early signs of micro trauma (with either rest and / or soft tissue therapy) then –
- Repeated overload – leading to build up of micro-trauma, fibrotic scar tissue build up and lack of oxygen to the tissue, which in turn leads to weak, restricted and dysfunctional muscle, pain and strain injury. If continued activity / overload –
- Muscle imbalance leading to overcompensation by other muscles. Pain in other muscles as they become overused.
Soft tissue therapy helps alleviate the discomfort associated with every day or occupational stresses, muscular over-use and many chronic pain conditions. It is targeted towards improving range of movement and reducing pain. It is provides early detection of weakness, strain or imbalances before injuries occur! If appropriate, a rehabilitation programme of exercises and stretches with help you address muscle weakness and maintain range of movement.
So don’t wait for the injury to happen – make an appointment using the form below and give your body a service to keep your soft tissues healthy and well tuned this year.
- Relieve muscle pain and correct muscle imbalance
- Deactivate trigger points (and relieve muscle spasm)
- Early detection of possible injury
- Improve range of movement
- Breakdown scar tissue & adhesions
- Improve postural awareness
- Speed up recovery from training & aid rehabilitation
- Correct dysfunctional movement patterns