Rehabilitation & Massage
The benefits of massage are extensive. Massage therapy treatments will have a therapeutic affect and improve health by acting directly on the muscular, nervous, circulatory, and lymphatic (immune) systems. Chiropractic and massage therapy, used in combination, is a powerful healing approach.
A joint that has suffered a dislocation, subluxation or just a sprain almost always has damage to the ligaments, tendons and muscles around the joint. This is referred to as soft tissue damage. In some instances, if this soft tissue damage is minimal, the soft tissue will automatically return to near normal on its own, after the dislocated or subluxated joint is realigned. In other cases, the soft tissue injury needs help to properly strengthen and repair.
Soft Tissue Integrity
Soft tissue, the muscles, ligament and tendons that surround the joint, hold the joint in place, and protect it. Without rehabilitation, the dislocation or subluxation that has significant soft tissue damage can reoccur frequently. In cases where there is extensive soft tissue damage, surgery is often needed.
Types of Soft Tissue Injury
There are two types of soft tissue injuries to the joint:
- Traumatic Injury
Traumatic injury to the joint occurs as a result of a sudden impact or accident. The soft tissue around the joint that holds the joint in proper position is stretched and torn. Usually this tearing is seen as microtrauma to the joint. In other words, small tears occur in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These traumatic injuries will usually heal and return to near normal with proper rehabilitation. In some cases the tearing is complete or so extensive that surgery is needed.
- Deconditioning Injury
The soft tissue that holds a joint in place can also be injured by abnormal pressure or stress over a period of time. Repeated improper joint movement or even prolonged poor posture can cause the ligaments, tendons, and muscles to become too lax – or too inelastic. In either case the effect creates a joint that does not stay aligned and move properly. This type of long-term joint stress is called joint deconditioning. A joint that is deconditioned must be rehabilitated to assure normal joint function and the prevention of reinjury to the joint. Surgery is usually not an option.
Carefully exercising the injured joint under measured amounts of stress is the best method of rehabilitating and strengthening the soft tissue around an injured joint. This strengthening takes place over time. Most rehabilitation programs work with the patient 3 to 5 times a week for 4 to 12 weeks. Your doctor will suggest the best program for your needs.
Need for Care
You are a candidate for rehabilitation if you exhibit one or more of the following:
- This is a repeat episode of the same or similar injury.
- You have not regained total health from manipulation or other treatment.
- The injured area exhibits a loss of range of motion, which may become permanent.
- The injured area exhibits a loss of strength, which may become permanent.
- You have structural anomalies, which increases the need for good soft tissue support.