After a serious injury, illness, or after a major surgery, a patient’s recovery may be slow and laborious. The patient, typically bedridden or otherwise immobilized by his or her malady, needs to regain strength, relearn skills, and/or find new ways to accomplish once-simple tasks. This process is called Rehabilitation.
We focus on three types of rehabilitation. They are: physical therapy, to help with strength, mobility, and fitness; speech-language therapy, to help speaking, understanding, reading, writing, and swallowing; and the treatment of pain. Each patient is unique, requiring different therapies and with different goals for the end of treatment. For these particular services, the focus will be on rehabilitation from sports injuries, and rehabilitation using strain-counterstrain techniques.
Sports require specialized, repeated motions, which can often wear on the joints and ligaments of a participant. From tennis elbow to an ACL tear, the injuries due to these repetitive motions can prevent a patient not only from playing the sport, but also from accomplishing other, everyday activities.
Sports injuries can be difficult to rehabilitate. Often times, not only does the patient wish to recover from the injury, but also to return to playing the sport. This means the rehabilitation process must focus on regaining basic movement as well as the various sport-specific movements required. The focus, then, for sports rehabilitation includes methods that will involve recovering basic fundamental movements. This might include postural awareness, balance and coordination drills, and strength recovery. Only then should the patient move on to the specialized movements required by his or her sport. The process should be slow and deliberate. The patient should apply his or her regained strength and coordination to simple athletic movements, such as running or jumping rope, before attempting the more complicated movements the sport requires.
Strain-counterstrain is a manual therapy technique, designed to relieve muscle spasms and associated pain. Created in the 1960s by Lawrence Jones, strain-counterstrain is a type of passive positional release, which alleviates muscle and tissue tightness by using specific treatment positions. The therapist massages muscle and tissue into the special positions, holding them for at least 90 seconds, purposefully shortening the affected muscle, during which time the connective tissue slackens, spasms are relaxed, and inflammation, trapped within the tissue, dissipates. This process relieves pain and tension, and aims to restore normal joint mobility. Strain-counterstrain is a gentle, effective therapy.