Osteopathy, Acupressure & Soft Tissue Injuries
(Article by Zesheng Wang) Many healing methods, such as osteopathy and acupressure have been recognized for their excellent healing power, which are gaining respect in Western countries and have been used for centuries in Eastern countries. Osteopathy and acupressure can treat variety of problems, such as disease of the nerve system, disorder of certain internal organs, and soft tissue related problem. This article focuses on the relationship between osteopathy, acupressure and soft tissue injuries. 1.Pathology of soft tissue injuries>> The following is a list of common pathology of soft tissue injuries. Note that soft tissue include muscle, tendon, tendinous sheath, ligament, articular capsule, cartilage, synovial membrance, inter-vertebral disc, etc. 1) Swelling: Swelling is usually caused by: -Tissue fluid accumulation -Bleeding due to a blood vessel rupture 2) Spasm: A spasm is an involuntary, often painful contraction of the muscle. It usually results from an acute injury of muscle, ligament or tendon. 3) Tear of Rupture: In some case, a muscle, ligament or tendon can tear or completely rupture due to an acute injury. The symptoms are acute pain and local bleeding. Later, scar tissue will form where the rupture occurred. 4) Adhesion: Following absorption of tissue fluid and blood as well as fiber proliferation, if it didn’t get correct treatment, part of soft tissue may be adhesion. The severity will induce pain and limitation of movement. It then becomes a chronic problem. 5) Dislocation or semi-dislocation: Tendon, ligament, joint, including small joint like joint of articular process between vertebrae, may dislocate or semi-dislocate. 6) Stenosis: Tendinous sheath possesses the osseous and fiber structure. Local spur and acute injury , chronic strain, suffering from cold, wind and humidity, cause tendious sheath to become stenosis and induces click and pain. The stenosis of inter-vertebral foramin is induced by degenerative diseases, slipped disk or spur. The above six pathobiologic changes are very common with soft tissue injuries. 2.The treating mechanism of osteopathy and acupressure on soft tissue injuries>> Pressure of certain points and manipulation can help body recovery from soft tissue injury by the following mechanism. 1) Improve Circulation: Except general improving body circulation by therapy, certain manual performance improve artery function strangely. Good blood flow helps to reduce inflammation, swelling, improve metabolism and remove waste products (toxins) as well as increasing capacity of self-healing. 2) Relief of Muscle Spasm: Acupressure and manipulation definitely relieves muscle spasms around injured area caused by soft tissue injury. 3) Loose Adhesion: Adhesion is common pathology in chronic soft tissue problems. Special acupressure and manipulation possess unique and effective capacity to relieve adhesion. This is very important in treating chronic soft tissue problems. 4) Correct Dislocation or Semi-dislocation, realign soft tissues: It may occur in joints, tendons and ligaments as a result of injury. 5) Open Stenosis: Stenosis is a common pathology of many chronic problems in tendinous sheath, inter-vertebral foramen, spinal and carpal tunnel etc. 6) Increase Capacity for Self-healing: Acupressure and manipulation will evidently increase the ability of self healing by treating locally and feedback mechanism. 3. Indications>> Osteopathy and acupressure can treat many diseases and soft tissue related problems. This article focuses on the problems of soft tissue of musculoskeletal system. For acute soft Tissue injury like muscle tendon and ligament sprain, osteopathy and acupressure are very effective ways to relieve pain, swelling, spasm, and to correct dislocation as well as to avoid adhesion, to prevent acute injuries from becoming chronic injuries. For chronic soft tissue injuries, like muscle, tendons, ligaments strains, after effect of acute soft tissue injuries, carpel tunnuel syndrome, and sacroiliac joint dysfunction, etc are very common problems. They can cause pain, tension and limitation of movement in different part of body like neck, back, legs, ankles, and shoulders, as well as loss of energy. Osteopathy and acupressure possess true ability to treat such problems.