Effective Injury Recovery, Prevention & Enhanced Performance
The founder of TRUSALUS, Jeffrey Johnson, DC., has been the go-to solution for athletic injuries in the Bay Area since 1998. From major leaguers to little leaguers, he’s helped thousands of athletes recover from injury and return to the field of play through his dynamic therapeutic combination of chiropractic care, neuromuscular therapies and functional fitness training.
The Dynamic Treatment Combination: Chiropractic Care, NMR & Functional Fitness Training
While patients may experience immediate relief from a single chiropractic adjustment, most sports injuries require supportive soft tissue therapy and specific exercises to fully recover and heal. Combining chiropractic care with NMR (Neuromuscular Re-education) and functional fitness training exercises greatly reduces the frequency and duration of treatment needed to fully recover from most athletic injuries.
The term “adjustment” refers to the specific manipulation chiropractors apply to the joints of the spine and extremities that have abnormal movement patterns or fail to function normally. The objective of chiropractic treatment is to release joint restrictions, improve range of motion, decrease pain and optimize neurological function.
If left untreated, spinal and extremity joint restrictions may cause friction, inflammation and a progressive breakdown of cartilage, also known as Osteoarthritis. Joint cartilage is a very thin layer of tissue inside the joint. Thus, it becomes very important to remove stress from the joint in order to prevent complete degeneration of the cartilage.
The adjustments made by Dr. Johnson consist of high velocity, short lever arm thrusts applied to vertebra and extremity joints, which is often accompanied by an audible release. This sound is caused by the release of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide which releases joint pressure. Research shows that chiropractic care is significantly safer than comparable pharmaceutical and surgical treatments and produces far fewer (4,000 times fewer) negative side effects.
Neuromuscular Re-education (NMR)
Neuromuscular Re-education is a dynamic technique focused on soft tissue rehabilitation. It is a non-invasive treatment designed to restore proper muscle function and movement to enable the body to heal and perform at its most efficient level. NMR treatments involve the use of specific protocols that deal directly with the patient’s dysfunction. These protocols combine the use of pressure, tension, and motion to force the layers of muscle and tissue to work together properly.
There are very few Chiropractors who incorporate a focus on soft tissue injuries into their practice, however, many injuries to the spine, extremities, and nervous system should not be immediately treated with Chiropractic manipulation until the adhesions in the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, etc.) have been treated.
Chiropractors who are trained in Neuromuscular Re-education have an extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics. They are also experts in soft tissue adhesions and can treat these injuries with amazing results.
Soft tissue injuries are created when muscles and tendons become torn as a result of repeated physical movement or overuse. Your body repairs these microscopic tears through the build up of scar tissue also known as adhesions. Muscles and tendons initially heal with weak, haphazard adhesions, which not only bind the torn tissues but also the healthy tissues in the surrounding area. As these adhesions form, they may restrict the normal movement of muscles, tendons, and nerves. This creates inflammation and irritation. Other common symptoms include:
- Tingling and Numbness
- Loss of Strength
Soft tissue injuries may happen abruptly as a result of a sports injury or they may come on slowly, over a greater period of time, as with carpal tunnel or tendonitis. Too often, people only feel slight burning or stiffness and do not realize how much damage is really being done.
The Problems with Treating the Symptoms Only
Many doctors prescribe pain medication, anti-inflammatories, cortisone, bracing and surgery to address the symptoms. Although these remedies do provide some relief, they do not break up the adhesions that have formed around the muscles, tendons, and nerves.
The truth about…
- Anti-inflammatories – Inflammation is a natural part of the healing process. Anti-inflammatories may mask the injury by suppressing the signs and symptoms of inflammation, but do not address the mechanism of injury. Your injury may become more severe without the symptoms to warn you. Other side effects include gastrointestinal problems, ulcers and liver dysfunction.
- Cortisone/Steroids – Are extremely powerful anti-inflammatories. Cortisone has been found to degrade and weaken muscle tissue and tendons. Other potential side effects include: thinning of the skin and bones (Osteoporosis), easy bruising, weight gain, elevation of blood pressure and cataract formation.
- Bracing/Taping – restricting the muscles and tendons while they are trying to heal may encourage the formation of excessive scar tissue. It can also result in poor healing and a higher risk of re-injury. Proper movement is required to reshape the adhesions.
- Exercise Therapy – strengthening and conditioning exercises are also prescribed to rehabilitate injured muscles and tendons, however, the increased load of many exercises may lead to more injury and pain or cause new tearing unless the injury has been healed first. Exercise therapy should be prescribed after the injury has been treated with NMR.
- Surgery – surgery uses invasive techniques in an attempt to resolve soft-tissue dysfunction. Surgery, though sometimes necessary, often results in numerous physical complications, adverse reactions to medication, and extended time away from work.
There is only one way to permanently eliminate the pain and inflammation from an injury: Completely HEAL the injury!
Treating the Injury (and not "just" the symptoms)
The Neuromuscular Re-education technique focuses on locating and breaking up the cross-fiber adhesions in the injured areas. A chiropractor who is skilled in this technique is taught methods for:
- Feeling the location and direction of all restrictions
- Locating the restrictive adhesions and physically working the soft tissues back to their normal texture, tension, and length by using various hand positions and manipulation methods
The goal of NMR is to:
- Release soft tissue restrictions and entrapped nerves
- Restore optimal tissue texture, tension, and movement
- Restore the strength, flexibility, and function of the muscles and tendons
The Final Step: Active Rehabilitation with Functional Fitness Training
Freeing the adhesion is only part of the battle. When you have pain and limited range of motion due to an injury, you adapt your body mechanics to fit that limitation. This unconscious mental adaptation often persists long after the injury has been resolved, leading you to continue moving in an improper and limited fashion. To appropriately heal an injured area, you must fully restore mobility to that region and re-train yourself to move the injured area through its full range of motion, both consciously and unconsciously. If you do not take the time to retrain yourself to utilize appropriate movement patterns, improper movement patterns will encourage the tissues to become re-aggravated and re-injured.