When we first experience pain we get an inflammatory response: pain, redness, heat, swelling and tissue contraction occurs to develop scars and thicker tissue to protect the area. This first response is good to aid the tissue repair and healing process. After about 48 hours this initial inflammation should go away and the body will go into repairing that tissue further. Usually manual therapy, movement, and a good diet should be enough to help that tissue go back to normal. However, sometimes, this inflammation stays for longer than we want.
Due to stress, not resting, dehydration and inflammatory foods this tissue becomes fibrotic, that is, harder and stiffer, which can end up becoming chronic pain. For some people the area becomes "stuck" and they lose range of motion. They then learn to live with the pain compensating for it and forgetting about it. This then leads to other pain somewhere else in the body due to those compensations - perhaps your knee pain is really a whole body pain?
My job is to work your fascia, to regain freedom of movement after years of hardened tissue build up and restricted movement. The fascia I find easiest to move is in body’s that are hydrated, rested, less stressed, fueled with good food and and moving in range of motions. The body’s that can be resistant to change (but need it the most!) will be people who generally feel stiffer doing daily tasks, get bloating, fluid retention, don’t get a good nights sleep, do the same exercise over and over again without challenging the body’s full movement, frequent alcohol consumption and poor diets. Chronic inflammation not only affects fascia and your movement but also leads to a myriad of health problems, including frequent chronic pain.
If this sounds like you and you want more freedom in your movement book in to see me for a Structural Integration session and we can work together to re-create healthy tissues.
Take away points:
1. Inflammation always leads to fibrotic fascia which is hardened fascia. Fibrotic fascia acts, feels and moves more like tangled hair rather than combed hair - it gathers and creates little knots and hard bits. This fibrotic tissue will always lead to wear and tear of joints.
2. Causes of high inflammation include dietary and lifestyle factors - poor diet, poor exercise choices or no exercise, smoking, heavy drinking, sedentary jobs, drugs, certain medications and stress both emotional or physical.