Step 1 is the starting point of the process at Precision Sports Therapy (PST).
Goal 1: Get you out of pain as quickly as possible. This process begins with a thorough history, examination, orthopedic testing, physical findings and basic movement assessment. In short, we talk for about 30 minutes so that I can better understand, not only your symptoms, but also the underlying mechanism(s) that have led you to PST.
Once we have completely understood your pain and the causes, we begin the treatment portion of the initial visit. At PST we utilize Active Release Technique (ART) for our soft tissue treatment and diagnosis (see below). ART is uniquely designed and applied as a diagnostic tool and treatment plan by locating and addressing adhesions that have formed within muscles, ligaments, and joints which are painful and alter the way you move due to that pain. By treating these adhesions and releasing them, we can restore normal movement to these soft tissues and facilitate the healing process within your body.
As long as you have pain and painful movements, we apply the treatment plan until you are no longer having pain. This process can take between 2-4 weeks, depending on how severe your injury or pain is and for how long you have had these symptoms.
Here are a few causes of a prolonged healing process:
- Severity of injury or pain
- How chronic your symptoms are (every 2 month or 4 months ‘these’ symptoms pop up)
- How soon after the initial injury or pain you seek treatment
- Compliance of the treatment plan
- Consistency of treatment visits (not missing appointments)
The path from injury → healing → healed is very dependent on the above factors. The better you take care of your body, the better your body will treat you.
Goals of your first visit
Obviously, goal 1 is to get you out of pain as soon as possible. This is determined from visit to visit. Meaning, when you arrive on your second visit, we determine how well the treatment worked by how long your relief lasted, how your pains intensity has decreased or even by how frequent you experience your pain. Once you are able to go from one visit to the next with little or NO pain at all and basic range of motion (the joints natural range of motion – NOT exercise driven) then we begin Step 2 while maintaining Step 1 with treatments. This integration is very delicate and can not begin to quickly since pain is a limiting factor in your progress. The more pain you have, the less able to move through a full range of motion. This portion of the treatment plan is important as it sets up the rest of the plan. To much to soon, we lose ground and you digress. Not enough soon enough and you plateau.
Once we have accomplished that, we begin to assess where your bodies movement patterns have broken down and begun the process of restoring. For example, if you injured your hand and have to wear a cast for a period of time, you will have to learn how to use the hand again, maybe even learn to write your name again depending on how badly it was injured, that is movement re-patterning. Step 2 of the Precisions Sports Therapy process is to re-pattern proper ‘functional’ movement into your body again. The reason we have to move past pain before we assess is simple. Pain alters normal movement patterns. For example, if you sprain your ankle and it is painful, then you will walk with a limp for a few days or even weeks, that pain in your ankle has altered your movement pattern and you will have to re-learn how to walk normally. The body will not just fall back into ‘normal’ for you, you have to learn it and earn it.
This is classified, most commonly, as an overuse syndrome or Cumulative Injury Cycle, see below.
HOW DO OVERUSE CONDITIONS OCCUR?
Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) change in three important ways:
- acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc)
- accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
- not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia)