Treatment Types

Holistic Physiotherapy

Holistic physiotherapy looks at the whole body for the source of the pain.  A pain may have a totally physical component or be more complex, affected by the mental state of a person. A headache, for example, may be due to an imbalance in the skull, neck, or upper back.  Through the use of body scans the source of the imbalance can be located.  Once treated the headache resolves.  The headache may also be caused by the effects of stress from a variety of causes.  The physiotherapist may need to help the client identify the stressors and teach some stress management strategies such as learning to relax, etc.

Types of Treatment

The physiotherapy treatment used will depend on what the client needs, client preference and stage of healing. They can include:

Manual Therapy

baby2Manual Therapy can be defined as a clinical approach utilizing skilled, specific hands-on techniques, including but not limited to manipulation/mobilization, used by the physical therapist to diagnose and treat soft tissues and joint structures for the purpose of modulating pain; increasing range of motion (ROM); reducing or eliminating soft tissue inflammation; inducing relaxation; improving contractile and non-contractile tissue repair, extensibility, and/or stability; facilitating movement; and improving function. (Definition from American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (AAOMPT) and American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Connective Tissue Therapies

Fascia, also called connective tissue, is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein as well as all of our internal organs. There are a total of nine layers of fascia as it covers everything from the front of the body to the back and from the top to the bottom. The whole interconnected covering of fascia or connective tissue is called the fascial system. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one structure that exists from head to foot without interruption. If you were able to place a very small person about a millimeter high or so on a bit of the fascia, like in the movie “Inner Space”(1987), you could travel all around the body without ever getting off the fascia system.

Fascia connects and supports all other structures in the body as it surrounds and attaches to all structures. These structures would not be able to provide the stability without the constant pull of the fascial system.

In the normal healthy state, the fascia has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When there is a physical trauma, scarring, or inflammation, however, the connective tissue loses its pliability. It becomes tight, restricted and becomes a source of tension that the rest of the body has to compensate for. Trauma, such as a fall, whiplash, surgery or just habitual poor posture over time and repetitive stress injuries has a cumulative effect. The connective tissues slowly lose their ability to compensate to the amount of tension on them. The body becomes under excessive pressure producing pain or restriction of motion. They tensions affect our flexibility and stability and become a determining factor in our ability to withstand stress and strain.

Craniosacral Therapy

craniosacralCraniosacral therapy is a gentle, non-invasive technique which manipulates the bones of the skull, spine, and pelvis. This gentle technique includes light stretches and specific movements to help clear the pathways for the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

The therapy, developed by osteopaths over 50 years ago, is used to treat conditions ranging from headaches, ear infections, spinal cord injuries, and cerebral palsy. This therapy is now being used by other health professionals around the world.

Craniosacral therapy uses non-intrusive and indirect methods for treatment the majority of the time. The indirect techniques encourage movement in the direction of ease whereas the direct technique assists movement through the relaxation of an abnormal restriction barrier.

A restriction in the craniosacral system is defined as an impairment to normal physiological motion within the body. A release occurs when there is a softening of the restriction. Normal motion is able to return. A resistance barrier is a perceptible point of resistance to normal motion. The body has a hesitation or has to exert more effort to pass by the barrier. The barriers can be rigid or elastic. Rigid barriers result when bones are jammed together whereas elastic barriers result from abnormal membrane tension which prevent normal motion.

When a person’s craniosacral system is assessed, a therapist will palpate for the rhythm at several key points: the feet, thighs, pelvis, ribs, shoulders, and head. From observations based on the rate, quality, symmetry, and amplitude of the movement, areas of restriction can be identified and located. Specific treatment can then begin.

Advanced Cranial Work

cranial workAdvanced Cranial Work is a manual technique to help release specific restrictions in the structures of the skull, including its membranes, bony structure, and brain parenchyma, grey and white matter, cranial and spinal nerves and vascular structures. This also includes techniques from the Brain Curriculum – now called Brain Therapy developed by Bruno Chikly, DO.

Visceral Manipulation

The treatment used to improve the organ movement and decrease the adhesions between the connective tissue layer is visceral manipulation.

When the adhesions and organ movement is restored, proper function is available with the diaphragm. Lateral costal expansion increases and CO2 levels rise to normal levels.

Visceral Manipulation consists of light, gentle, specifically placed manual forces that encourage normal mobility, tone, and inherent tissue motion of the viscera and their connective tissues. These gentle forces can potentially assist the body into a better state of harmony. The body is freer to move with less effort to do activities due to the reduction of the restrictions in the connective tissues. The body is then able to achieve better state of health.

Trained practitioners use the rhythmic motions of the visceral system to evaluate how abnormal forces interplay, overlap and affect the normal body forces at work. These gentle manipulations can potentially improve the functioning of individual organs, the systems the organs function within, and the structural integrity of the entire body.

Mechanical Link

meniscal checkMechanical Link is a gentle manual therapy that locates and releases the tensions in the fascial system. The fascial system is that complex web of tissue that interconnects and affects all other body systems. It spreads throughout the body uninterrupted, providing physical stability while also allowing flexibility and mobility.

Think of the fascial network as a spider web. It covers all structures in the body. If an area of the web is pinched or tightened then everything else becomes distorted. The distortions are called lesions. They produced by the body as it compensates for physiological or traumatic stress. These patterns are intended to relieve pain and disability and protect the body from further stresses. Yet the long-term effects of such compensation can prove debilitating.

Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release is a very effective hands-on technique that provides sustained pressure into myofascial restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. Myofascia is the connective tissue that surrounds and enfolds the muscletissue.

Scar Mobilization

scar mobilizationScars form as layers of fascia become adhered to each other. This is a normal process for healing wounds. If the scar tissue is a result of surgery, the scars are called adhesions as they are found inside the body. The body will also form adhesions as a result of trauma, infection, or surgery. The adhesions are formed due to inflammation. This is a normal process to injury. The adhesions and scars do not allow for full freedom of movement. Scar tissue mobilization is a method of re-establishing proper movement of the tissues around the scar.

Vascular Therapy

Vascular Therapy is an assessment and manual treatment technique for clearing the vascular system of blockages. It was first developed by Colin Lambert of New Zealand (Magnetic Therapy).
Janice has added her information on the connective tissue system of the body to assist in clearing the extremities of the connective tissue restrictions around the vascular system.
This therapy works on an energetic and physical level.

Fibrous Tissue Release

As fascia becomes less and less pliable, it thickens. The thickened tissue loses its elastic ability to stretch and adapt to tensions on it and has fibrosed. This is a compensatory mechanism for the body but the area that has the fibrosed tissue cannot move as freely. Through her years of studying the connective tissue and how it releases, Janice has developed a means of releasing the fibrous tissues. The tissues become less thickened over time and more movement is available.

Acupuncture

acupuncture Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical system over 5000 years old, recently revived in China and becoming increasing popular in the West since the 1970’s.

It deals with subtle energy flows (chi) in the body related to the cosmic principles of Yin and Yang. The balance of these energies in the human body affects health and disease. Acupuncture therapy alters these energy flows by inserting fine needles at key pressure points, for varying periods of time.

Stimulation of acupuncture points is believed to stimulate the brain and spinal cord to release chemicals that change the experience of pain or cause biochemical changes that may stimulate healing and promote general well-being.

Janice is certified by the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute (CAFCI).

oa

Intramuscular Stimulation

ims

IMS – intramuscular stimulation – is a total system for the diagnosis and treatment of myofascial pain syndromes. It uses a type of acupuncture needle for the treatment.

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain condition that occurs in the musculoskeletal system where there is no obvious injury or inflammation. The chronic pain that occurs is often due to disturbed function in the nerves which leads to supersensitivity. This is called neuropathic pain.

IMS was developed by Dr. C. Chan Gunn from Vancouver, Canada.

Click here for more information about Gunn IMS

Spinal Care Education

There are a number of different things that clients can learn to help them take care of their back and neck. They may need education on pillows, mattresses, or exercise. This is something that Janice can assist you with so that you can keep your spine healthier.

spine 1spine 2

Muscle Balancing and Postural Reeducation Exercises

Sometimes clients have been doing activities that over use some muscles and under use others. This leads to a problem of muscle imbalance. It can occur with over use and after injuries such broken bones when they have been in a cast. If muscles get over used, there can be pain and altered postures developed to compensate for the weaker area. If the area has been immobilized in a cast, the client needs to learn how to strengthen the weakened area.

Clients can learn how to strengthen the muscles that are weaker and learn how to improve their postures. This is often the case when Janice sees clients with repetitive strain injuries in their wrists or forearms with computer use. The client has head forward posture like they are “launching their head into the computer” and have a slumped upper body. They may have developed pain in their wrists or forearms as well.

Stretch and Strengthening Exercises

Janice is well versed in the exercises that a client can use to either help improve range with stretching or to strengthen the muscles to support the joint or spine. She can assist you with developing an individual or group exercise program so that you have full rehabilitation recovery from your injury or accident.

Client Specific Exercise Programs

All clients coming for physiotherapy treatments will be assessed and set up on an exercise program that will assist in the recovery of function and strength of injured area. The client may do this with an individualized program or if there is a generalized need for overall conditioning, the client may join a class that can address the issues. This choice is made by the client with the physiotherapist doing an assessment to determine how to best achieve recovery.

Breathing Retraining

When a person has been in an accident, the body goes into “flight or fight”mode. This is a stress response that happens automatically. The breathing pattern alters and overtime a person can be left in the stress response mode of breathing. This is called hyperventilation syndrome. Hyperventilation is a complex breathing pattern which involves upper chest breathing, irregular breathing cycles, sighing, interrupted breathing, spasmodic gasps, and others. I have found that many clients with chronic pain present with hyperventilation syndrome.

Permanent link to this article: http://physiotherapyworks.ca/treatment-types/