Myofascial Release is a passive stretching technique that uses feedback from the patient’s tissues to determine the direction, fullness and length of the stretch. The therapist relies on this feedback to achieve maximum relaxation of the tight or restricted tissues without the discomfort often associated with intense stretching. The purpose is to “unstick” the fibers of the muscles and fascia, releasing deeply held patterns of tension. This relaxes and re-educates the muscle, freeing it to operate within its full capacity.
Fascia is a thin, tough, elastic type of connective tissue that wraps most structures within the human body, including muscle. Fascia supports and protects these structures. Osteopathic theory proposes that this soft tissue can become restricted due to overuse, trauma, infectious agents, or inactivity, often resulting in pain, muscle tension, and corresponding diminished blood flow. Although fascia and its corresponding muscle are the main targets of myofascial release, other tissue may be addressed as well, including other connective tissue.
Fascia is a contractile organ of the skin. This ability is expressed on the on hand in chronic tissue contractures which include tissue remodeling; and on the other hand in smooth muscle-like cellular contractions over a time frame of minutes to hours, which can be strong enough to influence low back stability and other aspects of human biomechanics. The new understanding of fascia offers future implications for the understanding and clinical management of pathologies which go along with increased or decreased myofascial stiffness (such as as low back pain, tension headache, spinal instability, or fibromyalgia).
Strain Counterstrain is an Osteopathic manual medicine technique. It emphasizes correction of abnormal neuromuscular reflexes through the treatment of tender points. Tender Points are discrete, pea-sized areas of tenderness that are manifestations of specific neuromuscular dysfunctions. The tender point is found in the shortened muscle group, which is not necessarily in the muscle groups that have pain.
Counterstrain technique is a passive manipulation of the body’s deep fascia. The clinical effects include decreased inflammation, improved flexibility, normalization of muscle tone and improved functional performance.
Craniosacral therapy is a technique that is not aggressive. Eight cranial bones and 14 facial bones articulate together in harmony. Connective tissue, known as “sutures”, bind the cranial bones together and have specific movement patterns. These movement patterns are evaluated by the clinician who “listens” with their hands. The treatment is then focused on relieving the restriction in movement of the sutures and increasing cerebrospinal fluid, blood, and lymphatic flow.
Visceral (Organ) Manipulation
Physicians and folk healers have manipulated organs since antiquity, but it was not until the last quarter of the 20th century that this art evolved into a science.
Visceral Manipulation is a gentle technique that frees up the fascia and allows the organs to glide against each other more easily. As a result of injury, repetitive stress, surgery, or postural compensations, the fascia around the organs can become restricted and contribute to overall fascial tension and pain patterns. The therapist feels for any patterns of tension. Using a gentle technique with the hands, the therapist can release this tension, often at a very deep level. This can have a profound effect on how easily the body moves, decreasing muscle tension and pain and improving alignment throughout the body.
The organs have significant influence on the functioning of all body systems. With most illnesses, the viscera is often involved and can present with problems with lethargy, overall pain and discomfort and your ability to focus and maintain your attention on your daily responsibilities.
Lymphatic Drainage Therapy
Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Using light, rhythmic strokes, the therapist facilitates improved and increased lymph circulation that in turn can have a myriad of beneficial effects. These include: increased range of motion, decreased scar tissue, decreased localized pain and improved healing. It has also been shown to increase speed and quality of healing post minor surgery and/or injury.
Note: At this time, no clinicians at Spokane Rehab & Pain Clinic are trained to treat patients with severe lymphedema.