Arthritis or Scar Tissue?
Have you wondered why after you pull a muscle or strain your back it seems like an uphill battle to regain the flexibility you once had? Does it seem as though the more you stretch, the tighter you get?
Or how about your range of motion? Is it limited or not what it used to be? Is there still a bit of lingering annoying pain?
Have you been told (maybe by your doctor) that you have arthritis? Well not so fast!
If you are doing everything right, such as getting chiropractic adjustments, stretching, moving your body (exercising), eating right, drinking plenty of water, and getting lots of rest, the answer may be that you have a scar tissue problem.
So What Is a Scar Tissue Problem?
It’s simple. After an injury, your body immediately starts to protect itself by contracting the muscles around the injury (you know this as muscle spasms) and rushing blood to the area, which in turn causes the swelling. But once the injured area begins to heal, the soft tissue that was damaged, as well as the soft tissue in the surrounding area, regrow by intertwining together creating cross fibers that are stronger than those before the injury had occurred (much like winding rubber bands together). Though the area is now stronger, it is also less flexible, resulting in a reduced range of motion and added tension to the joints where the muscle and/or tendon is attached.
And the sum total equals pain!
Cross fiber (or cross friction) massage is extremely effective! Either by hand or sometimes with the aid of an instrument, this type of massage can break up the scar tissue so that the body can then re-absorb it. It is common to experience some minor discomfort during the massage and even minor bruising afterwards.
There are some chiropractors who use a technique called Graston, which I have personally found to be extremely effective. Most of my patients recovered from both acute and chronic injuries in half the time than if receiving adjustments alone.
Traditional medicine usually offers pain killers and muscle relaxants, and although you may “feel” better temporarily, this route does nothing more than mask the symptoms of the injury. Sometimes the scar tissue is removed via surgery, but clearly, this invasive approach is not as healthy for the body or your wallet!
Is There Anything Else You Can Do To Help The Healing Process?
Ensuring that you are getting optimal nutrition is vital! Eating whole, organic, non-processed foods and taking anti-inflammatory supplements such as fish oil and turmeric are key to helping your body recover from injury, whether acute, chronic, or simply from overuse (common with sports or just living life).
Another amazing supplement used for healing is the enzyme serrapeptase. Patients in Japan are often told to take this enzyme in order to help prevent the build up of scar tissue.
“Serrapeptase breaks up excess fibrin eliminating the need for the body’s defense mechanism known as inflammation. The body is then able to clean out the burdensome dead tissues and fibrin growths, allowing for the healing process to begin more effectively.”
Water, water, water! Staying hydrated is too often overlooked. I also often recommend adding some Trace Minerals to filtered water to help your body better absorb the water. Long ago we drank mineral rich water, but today our water is what I consider “dead water”. Gone are the vital trace minerals we need for health, as they have been replaced with dangerous chemicals such as disinfectants, inorganic and organic chemicals, and pharmaceutical drugs. This list of course goes on and on.
Be aware that there are many tropical oils and ointments that help with pain, but do little to help with the healing process. Luckily there are some that do both. Personally, I am a big fan of Po Sum On Oil and DMSO. In fact, I swear by them!
As you begin to heal it’s important to stretch and perform strengthening exercises. It is also comforting to use moist heat (clay, rice, or bean filled packs). Dry heat, such as from an electrical heating pad, may ease the pain while the heat is on the affected area, but the dry heat can actually draw moisture out of the muscle tissue causing you to feel stiffer later on. Ice is usually only recommended immediately after an injury or re-injury.
If you can handle the heat, Bikram Yoga is amazing for internal healing. It is an efficient and safe means of loosening up your body as you regain flexibility.
Living with pain is not an option! With a little work, you can feel better than ever…and more!
- Graston Technique
- Prescription Tap Water: What Drugs Are We Taking With Our Drugs?
- DMSO: Many Uses, Much Controversy
- Trace Minerals: Overlooked Nutrients
- Serrapeptase: An Enzyme You Should Not Be Without!
- What is Chiropractic, Really?