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Back to Basics

Effect of pain on function

Most of the time when we hear of pain we think of an injury or something bad happening. It may sound odd to hear this, but pain can actually be a good thing to experience. Our nervous system is hardwired with nerve fibers and when working properly, it detects pain or potential hazard that could lead to injury. There are many protective mechanisms in our body that work on a daily basis to prevent major injury or minimize stress on the neuromusculoskeletal system. Two common findings with pain and protective mechanisms include increased muscle tone and muscle inhibition including altered activation patterns. When someone is experiencing pain, their sensory input coming into the brain is significantly increased, therefore leading to less motor response which means less muscle activation. There has to be a balance with sensory input coming in and motor input going to the muscles.

There are numerous tissues in the body that can be affected when it comes to tissue pain/dysfunction. Some pain producing structures include bones, tendons, ligaments, joints and even scar tissue.  Muscle fibers, fascia and skin are also common structures of pain. All of the above mentioned structures share a common thread in that they function better, and feel better if they are moving well. Bones are moved by muscles, therefore leading to healthy joints. Ligaments connect adjacent bones to one another and require movement for stability. I think we can all agree that we feel much better when we are moving better.

There are many ways to feel well and move better this day in age. Exercising daily, stretching, eating well, drinking plenty of water, having fun, the list goes on and on. When this is not enough to overcome pain or movement issues, one must address the issue professionally.

A few ways pain and movement dysfunction can be corrected is through soft tissue care followed by kinesiotaping of the affected structures. There are many different soft tissue techniques available and it is always best to educate yourself before deciding on one specific treatment method. Once you have decided on the type of soft tissue treatment, the next question is, how long is the recovery process and what can be done in between visits to speed up the recovery? This is always a great question because getting someone involved in their care from the beginning is very important.  A successful way to enhance the effects of the soft tissue treatment is with the use of kinesiotape following the treatment. Taping to these structures will enhance the sensory stimulation leading to a decrease in the perception of pain. The taping application will also lead to restoration of normal muscle function and activation. Kinesiotaping applications can also be used for prevention and performance enhancement.

Consider soft tissue treatments used in conjunction with kinesiotaping applications for enhanced tissue recovery and virtually zero side effects.



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About the Author

Dr. Nimchuk is one of a few full body certified Active Release Technique practitioners in the Okanagan Valley.  It has become known as the gold standard treatment for soft tissue injuries in athletics with almost every professional sports team in North America retaining the services of an ART certified Chiropractor.  Dr. Nimchuk has had the opportunity to work with many professional, Olympic and Ironman athletes.  ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART.  Dr. Nimchuk employs many different chiropractic techniques including manual and instrument adjusting along with ART.

In addition to private practice, Dr. Nimchuk is a frequent speaker and consultant to business organizations on topics such as ergonomics and workplace health.  Dr. Nimchuk is also registered as a Certified Exercise Physiologist with the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology and has worked in many high performance and rehabilitation settings.

As part of his ongoing commitment to health and fitness, Dr. Nimchuk is a clinic instructor for marathon and 1/2 marathon clinics at the Kelowna Running Room and is also the Okanagan evaluator for the RCMP Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation (PARE test).

To learn more about Dr. Nimchuk's treatments or to schedule a consultation, visit his website at chiropractorkelowna.ca or call 250-860-2212.




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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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