Do you ever get gnawing pain that you just don’t seem able to eliminate for good? Usually constant and focused in the same spot that makes you want to massage it, or get a lacrosse ball or a foam roller and roll for hours? You may have fibrotic changes in your muscle. This leads to ischemic compression. The compression causes a lack of oxygen delivery to the tissue leading to a constant feeling of tightness and discomfort.
What is Fibrosis?
Fibrosis is a medical condition characterized by the excessive buildup of scar tissue or fibrous connective tissue in an organ or tissue in the body. It is a natural part of the healing process that occurs when the body is injured or damaged, but if the body produces too much scar tissue, it can cause problems. Fibrosis can happen in many different parts of the body, including the lungs, liver, heart, and muscles. In some cases, fibrosis can lead to the impairment of the function of the affected organ or tissue, resulting in pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.
When a muscle becomes fibrotic, it means that there is an excessive buildup of fibrous connective tissue in the muscle, which can lead to several negative outcomes.
Fibrosis occurs when the muscle is repeatedly damaged and repaired over time, leading to the accumulation of scar tissue. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as chronic inflammation, injury, or disease.
What happens if I have fibrosis in my muscles?
One of the primary effects of fibrosis in a muscle is a loss of strength and flexibility. The scar tissue can restrict movement and limit the muscle’s ability to contract and relax properly, which can lead to pain and stiffness.
In addition, fibrosis can also impair the muscle’s ability to receive proper blood flow (ischemic compression) and nutrients, which can further weaken the muscle and make it more susceptible to further injury and damage.
Fibrosis is a common and serious condition that can have significant negative impacts on muscle function, pain, athletic performance, and recovery. Treatment may involve physical therapy, medication, and/or surgery depending on the severity of the condition.
How can Physical Therapy help with fibrosis?
Physical therapy can be an effective treatment for fibrotic muscles because it can help to improve strength, flexibility, and function of the affected muscles. Here at Symmetry Physical Therapy, our physical therapists work one-on-one with you and use a variety of techniques and exercises to help break up the scar tissue and promote healing in the muscle.
How Dry Needling can help with Fibrotic Tissue?
Dry needling is a technique used by physical therapists to treat fibrotic muscles along with many other injuries/conditions. During dry needling, a thin needle is inserted into the affected muscle at trigger points, or areas of muscle tension and scar tissue buildup.
Dry needling can help with fibrotic muscles in several ways. Dry needling can help to break up the scar tissue that has accumulated in the muscle, promoting healing and reducing pain and stiffness. It can also improve blood flow and oxygen delivery to the affected area, which can help to speed up the healing process.
Dry needling can also stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural pain relievers produced by the body. This can help to reduce pain and discomfort associated with fibrotic muscles.
Please keep in mind that dry needling is not the same as acupuncture, although the needles used in dry needling are similar to those used in acupuncture. Dry needling targets specific areas of the muscle, while acupuncture aims to balance the body’s energy flow.
Overall, dry needling can be an effective treatment option for fibrotic muscles when used in combination with other therapies, such as physical therapy exercises and stretches.
Mobility exercises will also be prescribed to help improve flexibility and reduce stiffness in the muscle pertaining to your individual needs. Strengthening exercises will also help to rebuild muscle mass, remove fatty infiltrate in the tissue, reduce ischemic compression, increase capillary density and vascularization, and improve function.
Another great modality that can be used by our physical therapists here at Symmetry Physical therapy is TECAR therapy. We are the only clinic in Downtown Miami/Brickell with the WinBack machine that also helps with fibrosis in muscles.
What is TECAR Therapy?
Tecar therapy, also known as capacitive-resistive electric transfer (CRET) therapy, is a type of electrotherapy. This therapy uses high-frequency currents to stimulate healing in the body. During a Tecar therapy session, a therapist applies an electrode to the affected area. This emits an electric current that generates heat in the tissues. This heat helps to increase blood flow, oxygen delivery, and metabolic activity in the tissues. The treatment speeds up the healing process and reduce pain and inflammation.
How does the Winback TECAR help with fibrosis?
Tecar therapy can be helpful in the treatment of fibrosis in muscles. Internal heat is generated by the increase of the excitability of the cells and permeability of the ions channels for enhanced intra/extracellular exchange of nutrients. The TECAR therapy also brings more mitochondria to the area, which is the oxygen carrying cell. The internal heat created by the energy waves can make the tissue more pliable, allowing the therapist to use manual techniques to reorganize the collagen matrix that forms scar tissue in the affected muscle. By breaking down scar tissue, Tecar therapy can improve flexibility, reduce stiffness, increase vascularization, reduce ischemic compression, and increase range of motion at the cellular level in the affected muscle fibers.
In addition, Tecar therapy can improve blood flow and oxygen delivery to the affected area. This can help to speed up the healing process and promote the growth of new, healthy tissue. It may also help to reduce inflammation and pain associated with fibrosis in muscles.
Overall, physical therapy can be an important component of treatment for fibrotic muscles. It can help to reduce pain, improve mobility, and enhance overall muscle function, allowing patients to regain their strength and return to their daily activities.
Do you live in the Miami or Brickell area and are looking for a Physical Therapist? Come see us at Symmetry Physical Therapy! We provide an in-depth assessment and treatment strategies so we can help you return to a pain-free lifestyle.
Feel free to give us a call at (305) 331 2277 to schedule an appointment.
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