By Dr. Michael Cerami
Soft tissues are defined as the tissues that connect, support and surround other structures and organs of the body, not being bone. Soft tissues include ligaments, tendons, muscles, fascia and more (abbreviated from Wikipedia).
We treat soft tissue problems non-invasively (without medication, injections, surgery) using 5 primary methods:
- AMIT: Muscle Activation
- Rapid Release Technology: Manually releasing the tissue tension and adhesions
- FSM: Specific frequencies for specific conditions
- Cold Laser: 2 types of lasers to improve motion and cell communication
- Basic rehab exercises to recondition the joint and restore optimum movement
Soft tissue treatment is imperative in helping the patient recover from an injury albeit an acute injury or from chronic pain. In my experience all injuries have a soft tissue component. Lets look at 2 examples related to the foot:
Acute ankle sprain: Most of these are inversion sprains meaning that the ligaments on the outside or lateral part of the joint get stretched or pulled as the foot rolls to the inside. This type of injury will usually cause the muscles that stabilize the foot to shut down and become inactive which leads to more instability. Depending on the severity of the injury (rule out fractures) we can immediately treat the injury with FSM Microcurrent to reduce pain and treat the aberrant muscles with AMIT to get the foot to move properly ASAP. Then we would laser the area and give the patient home rehab to start immediately. Traditional treatment of ankle sprains uses R.I.C.E as the primary approach for treatment (rest, ice, compression, elevation). I have disagreed with using RICE as I feel we need to get motion back into the joint quickly and now we are seeing more and more information challenging the icing approach. Old habits die-hard and I expect this one to be especially difficult to change. Please see my upcoming May 2015 post on Salt Lake Running Company’s website for more information on the RICE controversy.
The best thing I can recommend in deciding on a treatment protocol is to do your homework and decide what’s best for you. Don’t just say yes because everyone else is doing the same thing. I recently had a shoulder injury that came out of the blue. It was significant enough to severely limit my ability to raise my arm and hand anywhere above my shoulder. Long story short; it took about 8 weeks of AMIT work (I had about 20 muscles shut down), adjustments and self-directed soft tissue work to get me back to normal. It was very frustrating but the approach held true to my understanding of the body and the results validated my professional approach to treating patients.
Chronic or long-term pain treatment related to soft tissue problems:
If you search the Internet, chronic is currently being defined as “overuse, related to aging, a once acute injury that is only partially healed,” and a chronic injury can change by what part of the body it is related to. Lets simplify by stating that chronic is something that has been effecting you for more than 8 weeks.
We treat a lot of chronic soft tissue problems in the office and usually get very good results. Earlier this year we had a number of patients with foot problems referred to us from other physicians. Two specifically had foot pain that affected their ability to walk for over 10 years from injuries and multiple surgeries. These patients assumed because the injuries were so long ago that little could be done. Using AMIT, RRT and FSM on these patients gave them pain relief, restored motion so they could move normally, and they began the journey back to the life they wanted because they were active again all in less then 10 weeks.
I can’t make promises of success, but I can evaluate and see if there are reasons for the pain and problem. If we find soft tissue problems and fix them we can return the body to better “function” (in other words, gets the tissues working and moving again) which removes a major limiter to healing. This approach supports the chiropractic professions philosophy whose goal has always been to remove barriers to healing and let the body do its job.