by: Peter Fuller (October 2013)
Neuromuscular therapy and Bowen therapy may resolve your Foot Pain?
How do muscle adhesions, fibrosis scar tissue and calcification come into play?
Let us define the terms:
Adhesions: an abnormal union of membranous surfaces due to inflammation or injury.
Fibrosis: the thickening and scarring of connective tissue, usually as a result of injury.
Scar Tissue: the connective tissue forming a scar and composed chiefly of fibroblasts in recent scars and largely of dense collagenous fibers in old scars
Muscle Calcification: the accumulation of calcium salts in a body tissue. It normally occurs in the formation of bone, but calcium can be deposited abnormally in soft tissue causing it to harden. Calcifications may be classified on whether there is mineral balance or not, and the location of the calcification.
What causes adhesions, fibrosis, scar tissue and calcification?
Muscle tissue is comprised of small bundles, or fascicles, of cells that are bound together in increasingly larger bundles that form a single muscle, such as the bicep muscle on your arm. The tissue that wraps around the bundles of cells is known as fascia. When a muscle is injured, overused or underused, these fasciae begin to stick together. These are what we refer to as adhesions. You may refer to them as knots.
There are many ways in which you might injure your muscles, thus creating scar tissue. For the sake of brevity, we will discuss only one. Let’s say you are running and you trip, causing your legs to move farther away from each other than they normally would. This can cause the muscles to pull too tight and tear apart. When this happens to your muscle tissue, your body sends out repair cells known as fibroblasts to bind the torn edges together in order to prevent further separation.
Myofascial Adhesion and Fibrosis (Scar Tissue)
One of the most common human conditions is adhesions. Adhesions are tufts or piles of substances or tissue that accumulate all over the body when conditions are correct. They are a type of scar tissue. They can occur at every level of the body such as inside the cells themselves, and even at the atomic level. They can also occur at the cell membranes, the intercellular substance and matrix, as it is called, and at more gross levels such as in the muscles, skin, organs and entire architecture or structural level of the body.
Nerves are fibers or cords that transmit electrical signals to various parts of the body i.e., brain, eyes, fascia, heart, lungs, muscles, organs, spinal cord, etc. It’s like an extremely complex highway or fiber optic system or matrix that’s alive and works 24/7 to keep us alive and functioning. The signals can originate from the brain or central nervous system or other sensory receptors.
Now adhesions, knots, and scar-tissue (AKS) are caused by the excessive formation of fibrin, a protein that helps form blood clots and repairs muscle, lung, and other tissue as a result of stress or trauma. The normal formation of fibrin contributes to and aids these natural processes but problems arise when excessive amounts are produced to form AKS. A thickening of the tissue will start to occur which initially is designed to strengthen and protect the area but too much will interfere with the normal function of the fascia, muscles, and nerves.
How Adhesions Cause Illness
Adhesions may not directly cause illness. However, they indirectly cause every type of ailment known to mankind. This occurs because they:
1. Restrict circulation of the blood and lymph fluids. This impairs cellular nutrition. It also restricts hormones from reaching the cells, along with other important chemical substances such as insulin, glucose, fatty acids and hundreds of others.
2. Restrict drainage of the tissues, causing toxin retention. This interferes with the elimination of all waste products from the cells and even the body. Not only are the tissues squeezed and restricted so that toxins build up there, but one can even become constipated, for example, if the colon has adhesions. Urine may not flow out of the kidneys adequately, or the bladder may not empty properly. The liver stops working correctly as well, as the liver cells are less able to eliminate many thousands of toxins that instead begin to accumulate in the liver, kidneys, and everywhere in the body.
3. Restrict the flow of meridian energy in the acupuncture meridians. This is very important and the reason why some doctors like to remove large scars in certain locations. The acupuncture meridians feed energy to the body organs. It is a very deep system of energy of the body.
4. Restrict the flow of other subtle energies throughout the body. Our bodies require a number of subtle energies for their health. All of these can become restricted by different kinds of tissue adhesions.
5. Alter and restrict the physical movement of the body in hundreds of ways. That is, they cause chiropractic (bone alignment issues) and all other structural imbalances such as kyphosis, scoliosis (twisting of the spine), osteoclastic and bone deformities, ligamentous attachments and deformities, and every other type of structural problems imaginable. When people say they have a “bad back”, for example, it often just means they have restrictions or adhesions in the neck, back, hips, knees, legs or elsewhere that alters posture, tires the body, restricts nerve flow, and ends up causing pain or other discomfort.
What are the signs and symptoms of Foot problems?
The symptoms of Foot pain may be short-term or long-term:
- Pain in the feet
- Numbness or tingling
- Muscle weakness, difficulty moving or controlling your foot
- Foot pain that increases with standing, sitting, or squatting
How can I help manage Foot pain?
Manual therapy: A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain. An occupational therapist teaches you skills to help with your daily activities. A skilled massage therapist will help loosen the muscles, improve blood flow, take pressure off of the nerve allowing the body to rest, heal and restore the function and structure of the body.With focused, applied massage techniques, however, the scar tissue can be broken down. Massage will also increase blood flow to the area, thus providing more nutrients and allowing faster restoration of healthy, mobile muscle tissue. This is why an ever increasing number of athletes at all levels are employing the services of massage therapists.
How can Foot pain be prevented?
Our muscles are both powerful and delicate. As such, we should treat them with utmost care and respect by hydrating, feeding, stretching and exercising them properly. Even if we treat them properly, they may still suffer from adhesions or scar tissue. If they do, we should extend that care and respect by massaging them until they are restored to health.
More modern methods include stretching, exercises, massage, and many methods of manipulation of the tissues. These include: Active Isolated Stretching (AIS), Active Release Technique (ART), Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), structural integration, visceral manipulation, and other types of deep tissue work and so-called bodywork. These therapies, in general, are excellent and complement nutrition balancing science as they seek to balance the body in a physical and structural way.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Ask your caregiver how much you should weigh. Ask him to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.
- Exercise: Ask your caregiver about the best stretching, warm-up, and exercise plan for you.
We are here to help you be your BEST! Thank you for your time.
MASSAGE Magazine, by Vicki Mechner
Issue # 106 (Nov/Dec 2003) pp. 102-107
49er Great Roger Craig Still on the Run
Mercury News, by Mark Emmons
No Pain No Gain Kid
Sports Illustrated, by Jill Lieber
November 28, 1988
NFL Notebook Craig Sets the Pace for Running Backs
New York Times, by Thomas George
October 11, 1988