In these sessions, expect a combination of wide variety of manual therapies, including cupping, IASTM (instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy), myofascial release, and rehabilitative exercises To learn more about these therapies, click below.
Most people with chronic pain may not be aware that they generally have certain biomechanical issues, muscle balances, or mobility issues that are often huge contributors to the pain that they are having. Often, without addressing these movement issues or balances, they will never feel 100%. So on the first visit, we spend our first hour together acting like detectives trying to decipher the clues your body is giving us to determine the best course of action. For example, oftentimes, people with chronic low back pain will have shortened quads, tight hip flexors, weak glutes, and a tight lower back. We may have to release the quads and hip flexors for that particular individual while simultaneously strengthening glutes and stabilizing the core. Some of this requires hands-on release techniques or some of this requires movement-based therapies.
We also do this thing called “cupping.” We primarily use cupping for the purpose of decompression. In between the skin and the muscle, there is a thin layer connective tissue called fascia. Despite how thin (picture cling wrap) and seemingly insignificant it is, researchers are beginning to discover that it could be a major source of musculoskeletal pain for many people. In fact, one study found that fascia actually might be six times more sensitive than muscle tissue. Fascia can create adhesions that will sort of “glue” itself to the muscle or the skin, which can (and usually will) eventually cause pain. We use cups to “pull” and decompress certain areas where this may be occurring, which can result in significant and sometimes instantaneous pain relief.
Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization is conducted utilizing a stainless steel tool. It’s primary purpose is to break down scar tissue, release knots, etc. It allows us to do certain manual therapies that are impossible to do with our hands alone. Scar tissue is what your body creates in order to heal the affected area. However, after the dust settles, the resultant scar tissue can cause pain and restrict some movement. We use the tool to essentially break down the local capillary beds and get the scar tissue to “re-organize.” All this, in turn, initiates a healing response and can assist in returning the tissue at, or close to its pre-injury state..