Injuries to the soft tissues of the body (Muscles, ligaments, tendons) are very common. While athletes are most at risk for developing these problems, anyone can experience sprains, strains and bruises. You could even get injured at work – 43 percent of all work injuries involve the soft tissues.
In order to address these injuries in a way that gets you out of the doctor’s office, off the couch and back to your daily activities, you may benefit from a soft tissue chiropractor. Their access to a wide range of soft tissue techniques can address the root cause of your pain and help you heal more quickly.
What are soft tissue injuries?
Soft tissue injuries occur whenever there is damage to any of the soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, ligaments and tendons. These injuries fall into two categories: Acute injuries caused by sudden trauma to the body and overuse injuries caused over time, primarily in athletes who consistently over exert their bodies in pursuit of their sport. Examples of the types of injuries that can occur include the following:
- Stress injuries
- ACL injuries
The potential causes of these injuries are many. From sudden trauma during sports to a fall at work, almost anyone can develop these problems. Here are some of the most common causes of damage to the soft tissues:
- Sudden trauma, such as a blow or sudden twisting of some part of the body
These injuries can occur on the field, at home, at work, or out and about. And they can significantly inhibit your ability to engage in the daily activities that are most important to you. That makes treatment essential if you wish to stay out of the clinic and out of pain.
How does a soft tissue chiropractor help?
When you think about a chiropractor, you often think about adjustments to align your body and alleviate pain. However, a chiropractor who treats soft tissue injuries can go beyond adjustments to actually help the body heal. Usually, this provider will treat your injuries with any or all of the following goals in mind:
- Alleviating pain
- Improving range of motion
- Stimulating natural healing
Together, these goals can help you heal more quickly and help you become healthy enough to crush your physical goals.
What techniques does a soft tissue chiropractor use?
A chiropractor who treats soft tissue injuries has many techniques available which they can tailor to your specific injury. Here is a look at some of the most common approaches.
The Graston Technique
Also known as soft-tissue instrument-assisted mobilization, the Graston Technique is used primarily to break down scar tissue and adhesions that are causing pain and restricting movement.
Most often caused by trauma, these issues require a gentle but powerful approach that targets areas of restriction in ways that stretch and loosen the affected soft tissues.
During this treatment, your provider will conduct manual therapy (Therapy that directly manipulates affected areas of the body) using specially-designed metal tools to identify areas of adhesion and break them up.
This therapy approach is usually very effective. You may experience an immediate (And temporary) reduction in pain, which can become longer lasting with subsequent treatments.
While adjustments are not the only treatments a skilled chiropractor can provide, they can be a healing approach to soft tissue injuries.
During an adjustment, the chiropractor will gently align specific areas of the spine and joints. Doing so can reduce pressure on the injury in order to alleviate pain and increase your range of motion.
Spinal adjustments often occur alongside recommendations for additional treatments or exercises that will encourage long-term healing of the injured area.
Spinal Decompression Therapy
If you suffer from a soft tissue injury that leaves you with back pain, your chiropractor may recommend spinal decompression therapy. This approach uses a specialized traction table to gently align the vertebrae in the spine in order to alleviate pressure and pain.
In addition, spinal decompression therapy can remove blockages to healthy circulation. Once the flow of blood is optimized, the affected areas of the body tend to heal more quickly.
Ultrasound therapy is a non-invasive technique for speeding up the healing processes within the body. Often used to target injury deep within the musculoskeletal system, it is an effective way to target the source of your pain and get back to your daily life.
With this technique, ultrasound beams are focused on the injured areas of the body. These beams create small areas of damage within the treatment area. This damage encourages the body to build new tissues throughout the affected area and to direct its healing processes there.
Active Release Technique
Active release technique is a powerful and non-invasive method for addressing soft tissue injuries. Similar to the Graston Technique, ART targets scar tissue and adhesions, while improving circulation to the affected area.
During an ART session, your provider will apply a combination of pressure and movement to the affected area of your body. Together, this movement and pressure will break up scar tissue so blood can flow more easily and the treatment area can move more freely.
ART is a specialized technique that can be used to address many soft tissue problems, from lower back pain to plantar fasciitis. In the hands of a skilled practitioner, it can support faster healing and pain relief.
In addition to these common chiropractic approaches to soft tissue injuries, your chiropractor may use other approaches to help you heal. Here ae some of them:
- Electrical muscle stimulation
- Laser therapy
- Chiropractic massage
- Heat therapy
Do you suffer from soft tissue injuries? A skilled body mechanic like Dr. Roy Nissim can help. With a commitment to treating the cause of your pain, he personalized treatment to your injury and goals. As a result, you can spend less time in the clinic and more time doing the things you love. Contact us today to schedule an appointment so we can help you!