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Motivation Monday: Everyone needs a pick-me-up, and this day we need it most. Check in for motivational quotes and tips to keep you inspired and reaching your personal goals.
Wellness Wednesday:Read about the latest research and information on how to advocate for and reach your optimal well-being.
Fascia Friday:Read and/or view the latest research, stories, and information about this fascinating protective structure that is all over our body!
Shoutout Saturday: This day goes out to all the mentors, educators, leaders, and local businesses helping to pave the way for new ways to progress our health and well-being.
Learn about your “Selfie” Sunday:The title says it all, this day is dedicated to educating you about your own anatomy and physiology, teaching you how the complexity of systems can work (or not work) together to make you a fascinating human being (see above video to learn about “Dead Butt Syndrome” in the first Sunday video post.)
Understanding the alternative approaches that a PT can offer to pain management may prevent the next victim of the pharmaceutical industry.
With the opioid epidemic in full force, it’s a shame that the media is missing the opportunity–like the medical field has–to discuss pain management alternatives other than more pharmaceuticals. Physical therapy (PT) is often overlooked and yet readily available to reduce, manage, and even resolve pain. Since 2015, all entry level physical therapists (PTs) must complete a doctorate level PT program. This sets PTs up with the knowledge and the ability to address the root cause and management of your pain, without drugs, better than any other healthcare professional out there.
Also, according to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), since 2015 all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands allow patients to go directly to a PT without a referral or a prescription from a physician. PTs are highly trained in the analysis of the body’s systems and can determine if the particular symptoms can be treated with therapy. In other words, a PT is highly qualified to recognize a patient’s need for more medical attention and refer accordingly. Saving you an unnecessary trip to your physician.
Take control over your pain and go directly to a PT first. This is what to expect when seeking the care of a PT:
A PT will:
spend an average of 60 minutes during the first visit to thoroughly examine your painful condition and determine if therapy is right for you.
continuously assess and make alterations as needed based on your response to the treatment to maximize the benefits.
engage you in taking responsibility for managing your long-term recovery by prescribing a set of exercises called a “Home Exercise Program” or HEP.
listen and communicate openly and honestly with you to ensure you understand your condition and the treatment plan.
will refer you to a wide spectrum of highly specialized clinicians who have alternate approaches if symptoms aren’t improving.
advise you to seek a specialist if your symptoms present as a more serious medical condition.
It is clear that the way physicians have been treating pain in the US is a dismal failure. Physicians know about the benefits of physical therapy and know about the risks of prescribing highly addictive opioids to their patients. They are highly educated professionals, and yet they have lead us straight into this tragic epidemic. According to the CDC opioids killed more than 42,000 people in 2016, more than any year on record and as many as 1 in 4 people who receive prescribed opioids long term for pain struggle with addiction. Who do you want treating your pain? PTs are well equipped to take on the challenges of pain and the long term management of pain. PT is one profession that you-that all Americans-can’t afford not to know.
For a clear way to understand this gentle and effective technique, let’s break it down…
First, What is Fascia?
It is connective tissue that covers all the structures inside the body. Similar to the skin, it is highly protective and has millions of nerve endings that are reflexive in nature. That means when fascia is strained, irritated, or injured, it becomes inflamed and can create pain and dysfunction in any structure in the body – not just muscles and joints – but arteries, veins, nerves, dura, and organs too
Ok, What is Counterstrain?
It is an indirect hands-on technique where the practitioner glides a specific structure of the body into a position of ease, so it is gentle on the body, in order to cause relaxation of that structure, thus returning it to its neutral, unstrained state.
So, What is Fascial Counterstrain?
It is a highly specific indirect hands-on technique that focuses on the connective tissue in every system in the body. This is why Fascial Counterstrain treatment is so impactful. It accounts for every structure that can cause dysfunction, spasm, and inflammation. The practitioner treats these structures (arteries, nerves, veins, dura, organs, etc…) in a very gentle and specific way, which gets to the root cause of almost every painful condition, and allows for the tissue to “reset” and completely heal. In turn, this allows the body to return to its unstrained state.
Your body is smart. It has the innate capability to heal itself. So, why are you still in pain?
Here are five reasons the natural healing process in your body may be halted:
Repetitive motion–or lack of motion. This will continue to aggravate and restrict joints, muscles, and fascia.
Weakness. For example, weak abdominal muscles can inhibit back pain from improving.
Systemic inflammation. Things like auto-immune disease or eating foods that spike inflammation in the body (e.g. sugar, bleached flour, processed foods) can cause pain to be amplified and linger.
Unmanaged emotional pain or stress. This is because emotional and physical pain activate similar pain regions of the brain, and continued emotional distress can provoke and maintain pain in any region of the body.
Anatomical structure failure. This means actual damage of the musculoskeletal system such as arthritis, a broken bone, or a muscle tear.
Fortunately, there’s physical therapy. If you have pain that is not going away, a physical therapist will guide you through the best next steps to help your body do what it naturally does so well.
“Most people think their pain is their problem, and we in our experience (as counterstrain practitioners) find that this is just not the case. Treating the pain is really kind of a dead end.” – Tim Hodges LMT, JSCCI, CPT and founder of Counterstrain Academy LLC