What is Strain Counterstrain?
How does Strain Counterstrain work?
How was this developed?
What can I expect after Strain Counterstrain treatment?
Are there any restrictions following treatment?
Why hasn’t my doctor heard of Strain Counterstrain?
What type of conditions does Strain Counterstrain treat?
What to do after a Counterstrain treatment:
- Despite the gentle nature of the Counterstrain technique it is normal for patients to experience soreness, especially following the first treatment. The soreness can last for 1-3 days. This is a normal response from your body as it heals and gets accustomed to the new range of motion and use of muscles.
- Always take a short walk and/or move in an easy fashion immediately following treatment so your body can experience the changes before you get into your vehicle.
- Once you are home, it is good to perform gentle stretching and movement to assist with keeping the muscles loose and circulation flowing.
- You may experience fatigue and sleepiness. Listen to your body after a treatment and take a nap or go to bed early for the next few nights. Rest helps your body heal. Get into a position of comfort using pillows and being creative, allow yourself to continue to self Counterstrain.
- Keep hydrated to assist with the removal of waste products from the release of tension, inflammation, and tissue congestion. It is recommended to drink ½ your weight in ounces, daily. For example: if you weight 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water per day.
- Avoid beverages that are caffeinated or high in sugar. They will dehydrate your system and activate your fight or flight nervous system. Consider herbal tea as a good alternative.
- You may use heat or ice for 10-20 minutes to reduce muscle soreness.
- Avoid exercise involving resistance, such as lifting heavy weights, cleaning house, or doing heavy yard work. Exercising too soon following treatment can re-injure healing tissue.
- Try to prevent quick movements, especially of the body part being treated. Move in a slow and deliberate manner for at least 2 days following treatment.
- If possible, avoid other forms of treatment such as chiropractic care (due to the quick movements of adjustments) for 3-4 days after treatment.
- You can use Kinesio Tape over the sore muscles to assist with improved lymphatic drainage, remove congestion from the tissues and to help the muscles relax.
- It is ok to use Biofreeze or another pain relieving gel or cream, as needed.
- You may use over the counter medications, as needed and if approved by your doctor.
- Consider a detox bath with Epsom salts and baking soda. Here are two simple recipes to try: Recipe #1: 3 cups of Epsom Salt (or 1 cup for every 60 pounds of body weight,) 1 cup of baking soda, 1/3 cup hydrogen peroxide. Recipe #2: 1/3 cup Epsom Salt, 1/3 cup sea salt, 1/3 cup baking soda, 2 ½ tsp ground ginger, 1 cup apple cider vinegar.
- *If you experience flu-like symptoms or a headache following treatment, this could be a Herxheimer Reaction from detoxification. Try dissolving ¼-½ teaspoon of baking soda in a small amount of water. Drink this every 3-4 hours until symptoms subside. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist first if you are taking medications or have other medical concerns.
- Do not hesitate to call your physical therapist if you have any further questions.
What is Dry Needling Technique?
Is Dry Needling similar to acupuncture?
How does Dry Needling work?
What type of problems can be treated with Dry Needling?
Is this treatment painful?
Are the needles sterile?
What side effects can I expect after the treatment?
What should I do after having this treatment?
How long does it take for the treatment to work?
Why is my doctor unfamiliar with dry needling?
Where does dry needling fit in the entire rehabilitation program?
Once I am feeling better, how often do I need to come back to maintain progress?
What to do after Trigger Point Release Therapy
It is normal to have soreness or pain for 1-3 days following trigger point release treatments. The following can be performed to reduce soreness:
* Ice or heat for 20 minutes, 3 times/day.
* Practice stretching, gentle exercise, slow, deliberate movement, or light walking to assist with keeping the muscles loose and circulation flowing.
* Stay hydrated to assist with the removal of waste products from the release of trigger points. It is recommended to drink ½ your weight in ounces. For example if you weight 150 lbs, drink 75 ounces of water per day.
* Use Kinesio tape over the sore muscles to assist with improved lymphatic drainage, congestion removal from the tissues and to help the muscles relax.
* Use Biofreeze or another pain relieving gel or cream, as needed.
* Use over the counter medications, as needed and if approved by your doctor.
* Consider a detox bath with Epsom salts and baking soda. Here are two simple recipes to try: Recipe #1: 3 cups of Epsom Salt (or 1 cup for every 60 pounds of body weight), 1 cup of baking soda, 1/3 cup hydrogen peroxide. Recipe #2: 1/3 cup Epsom Salt, 1/3 cup sea salt, 1/3 cup baking soda, 2 ½ tsp ground ginger and 1 cup apple cider vinegar.
*If you experience flu-like symptoms or headaches, this could be a Herxheimer Reaction from detoxification. Try dissolving ¼-½ teaspoon of baking soda in a small amount of water and drink every 3-4 hours until symptoms subside. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist first if you are taking medications or have other medical concerns.
What is Kinesio Taping?
The Kinesio Taping Method has taken the Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine world by storm. Since its development by Dr. Kenzo Kase nearly 20 years ago in Japan, Kinesio Taping has become the standard therapeutic taping in the United States. This method of taping uses a uniquely designed and patented tape for treatment of muscular disorders and lymphedema reduction.
Since the introduction of Kinesio Taping into the U.S., medical practitioners from PTs, ATCs, OTs, DCs, MTs, to MDs have recognized and embraced this effective, safe, and easy-to-use modality. The tape, as well as the method in which it is applied, allow the individual to wear and receive the therapeutic benefits on a 24 hour/day basis, and can be worn for several days per application. Kinesio Taping is practiced in hospitals, clinics, universities, high schools, and by professional sports teams.
The Kinesio Taping Method involves taping over and around muscles in order to either, assist and give muscle support, or to prevent over contraction of the muscles. The first technique gives the practitioner the opportunity to actually give support with full range of motion that enables the individual to participate in physical activity with functional assistance. The second technique helps fight against overuse/contraction and helps provide 24 hour/day facilitation of lymphatic fluid. This technique is most commonly used in the acute state of rehabilitation. Lastly, there are many types of correctional techniques such as myofascial, lymph, and tracking (e.g. patella). Kinesio Tex Tape can be used in conjunction with other therapies including cryotherapy, hydrotherapy, massage therapy, and electric stim.
How Does This Stuff Work?
Over a bruise, Kinesio Tex Tape demonstrates the ability to increase circulation and facilitate lymphatic flow. These results are seen within 12 hours of application. This application was fan shaped Kinesio Tex Tape placed directly over the bruise.
1. Where did the word “Kinesio” come from?
The name comes from the science of Kinesiology, because the tape and taping method allow the body and muscles to move while it assists in rehabilitation.
2. What does Kinesio Taping and Tape do?
Kinesio Taping Method is applied over muscles to reduce pain & inflammation, relax overused tired muscles, and to support muscles in movement on a 24 hour basis. It is not a restrictive type of taping, and allows for full range of motion. Traditional sports taping is wrapped around a joint strictly for stabilization and support during a sporting event. In contrast, Kinesio Tape is used for anything from headaches to foot problems and everything in-between. Examples include: carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back strain/pain (subluxations, herniated disc), knee conditions, shoulder conditions, and sports injuries, etc.
3. Why is Kinesio Tape so much more accepted than other tapes?
It has a number of benefits that are not achievable with other tapes:
- 100% High Grade Cotton – for comfort and breathing
- 140% Elastic – same flexibility as human skin and muscles
- Heat activated adhesive – although very light, mild and hypo-allergenic
- Latex Free
- Air Circulation Waves – to channel out sweat and water and enhance skin breathing
- Durable – average usage 3-4 days per application
- More Economical – usually 8-10 applications per roll
4. Is it the tape or the technique that gives such great results?
Without a doubt, the technique is the most unique, however, the full benefits were not possible until Kinesio Tape was developed. The taping method requires a tape that is patient and skin friendly, possesses optimum elastic qualities, the same thickness as the skin, and is durable enough to stay on multiple days even through sweat and showers.
5. How is the tape applied?
Without getting too technical, the tape is applied over the affected area with the muscles in a stretched position. Then the tape is applied from one end of the muscle to the other with very little to no stretch of the tape. The tape is applied from the origin to insertion of the muscle for support and from insertion to origin for rehab.
6. Are there any concerns or difficulties with Kinesio Taping?
- Skin needs to be free of oil, sweat, and lotion prior to application
- After application rub down tape to activate heat sensitive glue
- Avoid extreme stretching of the tape during application to avoid skin irritation
- Apply approximately 1 hour prior to activity or shower to allow glue to adhere properly
- Skin irritation is extremely rare, but special care should be taken with hypersensitive skin patients
Kinesio Tape Information
Kinesio tape is designed to gently create forces on the surface of the skin which elevate the tissue, relieving the pressures beneath the skin surface, thereby promoting increased circulation to the tissues and structures beneath the area taped. To assess the effectiveness of the taping procedure, you will be asked to help with the following:
The tape is ok to wear in the shower, but please do not rub the tape with a towel or washcloth. Blot the affected areas taped. Rubbing will cause rolling of the edges of the tape. The cotton fabric will dry in approximately 20 minutes. Do not use a hair dryer to dry the fabric as this may harden the acrylic glue, making removal of the tape uncomfortable.
If an itching sensation develops beneath the tape, remove the tape immediately. A small percentage of the population is sensitive to a salt build up caused by perspiration being trapped in the tape’s glue. If permitted to continue, skin reddening and irritation may result.
Please remove the tape approximately 24 hours before your next therapy visit. This will allow you to assess any further changes in pain levels that may occur. Inform your therapist accordingly. This will assist both you and the therapist in determining the direction of your therapy program. To remove the tape, pull in the direction of hair growth. Use a trailing finger under the tape, separating the skin from the tape. If difficulty in removal persist, soak the tape in water or use oil between the skin and tape upon removal.
Kinesio Taping Videos
The Benefits of Total Motion Release
- Teaches Patients to Fix Themselves
- Takes less visits than traditional therapy
- Improve Patient Compliance – able to achieve results at home in sessions of 10 minutes or less.
- Is a life long skill that can be used for any ache or pain be it chronic or acute.
- Works on variety of conditions such as pre & post joint surgeries, herniated discs, arthritis or just ‘old age.’
- Helps with those who suffer from pain with prolonged standing, sitting or walking
- Improves function & performance of daily activities and athletic performances.
- Did we mentioned – the Patient learns to fix themselves faster than most therapists can. That’s pretty cool!
Total Motion Release is being used in every setting of physical therapy:
- Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
- Home Health
- Neuro – Stroke & Brain Trauma
- Sub-Acute & Skilled Nursing
- Acute Care
The Total Motion Release concept is simple:
- Find motions that are out of balance left side versus right side in the 5 largest joints of the body.
- Treat or Exercise toward the easier side to achieve fast & effective results
- Use the Rules to Wellness to determine what to do no matter what happens to the patient.
- Then learn how to progress into more and more dimensions of motion so as to unlock more and more restrictions that have built up over the years.
- Learning the Total Motion Release Process is an exact and step by step process that allows the therapist to teach everything he/she learned easily to their patient.
Total Motion Release systematically takes students and patients through each progression of the program until the desired results are achieved. The remaining 5% of patients who do not respond may need more hands-on care. The hands-on care we use still treats the patient using the same concept. Those who don’t respond to treatment we know in a few visits, not weeks, if they need to be referred out for other care.
Can 6 exercises really make that big of a difference?
The idea that 6 exercises can have an effect on a large percentage of aches & pains and the entire skill of fixing pain can be turned over to the patient can seem very unfathomable. I tell students, you should be skeptical. In order for this to ‘become part of you’ you have to see success using it again and again. It isn’t just 6 exercises, however 6 exercises builds a foundation that you and your patients can build off of. After the 6 you will learn to take each of them into 6 directions of motion, different body positions and alternates for when things aren’t working.
The Total Motion Release Program gives the patient the ability to fix themselves in a short period of time. It uses simple motions that a toddler can understand and provides a medically designed progression so the patient can improve to the level they desire. It not only is effective one on one, but can be applied to large groups.
- Migraine headache sufferers – the eye in which they experience the throbbing headache in is often times the side they have shoulder restriction.
- People who grind their teeth at night and are unable to open their mouth very wide are relieved both in tightness and in their ability to open their mouth simply by them gently compressing their teeth for two minutes.
- Plantar fasciitis may not resolve until the upper rib cage or upper thoracic is released.
- A person who is “unable” to stand up straight or backward bend can usually extend on one side easier than they can on the other side. Same goes for bending forward. A person who cannot bend forward, can bend forward if the bending is more one-sided.
- A person who is balanced in their tissues can spin around like a child and have very little, if any, dizziness. The more dizziness a person experiences with this activity the more restrictions that will be found throughout the body (if you are going to try this – do it on yourself and not your patients.)
- Tail bone and pelvic pain is not completely eliminated (long term) if the thoracic area and rib cage is not made more flexible.
- Testing an individual for which eye they can see better out of is also the side of the shoulder/arm that is more flexible.
- An acute back pain sufferer never (except on a few occasions) comes in stuck in extension. They are always slouched forward or to the side, and almost always the traditional form of therapy will try to get them standing up straighter rather than slouching over further. Have you ever tried to exaggerate what the body is doing – it is wonderful to see what effect this has on a person’s pain. Try it!
- Tightness of lets say the hand also shows up in similar movements of the shoulder. For example, a restricted motion at the wrist – cocking the hand out to the side can present as a restriction at the shoulder of not being able to raise it up and back, as if being a driver and reaching behind the passenger side car seat.
- If one finds rotation restrictions at the shoulders most likely the patient will also have rotation restrictions at the hips.
- When a person goes to squat down to pick something up, they invariably weight bear and squat down more on one side than the other.
- If a person is asked to move their jaw to side to side, the side they can move to further (8 times out of 10) has a tighter shoulder and arm of that side.
- Foot pain or issues of numbness and tingling also correspond to hand numbness or tightness on some occasions. Many people with plantar fasciitis also sufferer from tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, etc in one or both of their upper extremities
- Restriction of the trunk can show up as a variety of ailments from musculoskeletal to visceral. Free up trunk range of motion and patients will tell you that all sorts of things have changed for them.
- Every person has a good side and a bad side for every movement. Next time you get out of a chair focus on which side you place more weight on. Chances are you do this every time you go to stand and sit down. I have found this asymmetry to be one of the root causes to many pain complaints.
- A pelvic shift and tailbone rotation causes a three dimensional issue in the entire spine and the patient usually has a variety of complaints they are seeing you for.
- People even have a good and bad side for which ear they can hear out of better and which eye they can see out of better.
Myofascial release therapy does more than relieve your myofascial pain and discomfort. There are a lot of people suffering from myofascial pain syndrome. Some say the pain is so bad they want to die. Certainly, the unbearable pain that is felt can be devastating.
Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic type of pain that target the muscles, tendons and ligaments. This problem is so hard to identify because it doesn’t show up on x-rays and MRIs. This syndrome is usually diagnosed through physical assessment performed by a physician.
If you are one of these people who are diagnosed as having the syndrome, you may wish try an innovative mode of treatment known as myofascial release therapy. A certified therapist will be the one to perform this type of procedure.
It can sometimes be somewhat painful to undergo but it is considered safe and quite effective. And the outcome is well worth it.
Facts About Myofascial Release Therapy
Myofascial release therapy is a highly specialized fascia stretching technique intended for myofascial pain syndrome. This is done by a qualified therapist to relieve you from all the tension, pain and discomfort.
To better understand what myofascial release therapy is and why it works so well, you must first know something about myofascial pain syndrome. This condition typically affects the fascia which is a thin layer of connective tissue that covers all the muscles in the body. Myofascial syndrome occurs when pain and inflammation is present in the muscle fascia.
When you perform stretching exercises on your muscles, your fascia are also stretched. Every time you overstretch or strain yourself, your fascia shortens and tightens resulting in muscle spasm which is really painful.
This stressful event results in symptoms that revolve around the injured fascia and muscle tightness. Muscle tension can also put pressure on the nerves and muscles that can lead to agonizing pain and discomfort.
Details About Myofascial Release Therapy
The point of myofascial release is to stretch and relax the fascia. The stretching technique is performed by the therapist. He is being guided by your body’s feedback towards the firm compression on the muscles.
The therapist estimates how much pressure is used, what direction the pressure will be placed and the duration of the pressure. Portions of the muscles are stretched one at a time.
Most of the time, people with myofascial syndrome are unable to verbalize where the sore spots are located. The trained and licensed therapist will be the one to locate the trigger points through the use of gentle palpation. After locating the hardened muscles, the therapist will loosen them one by one.
With the use of his fingers, palms or knuckles, the therapist will gently stretch the first muscle that is chosen from the area of tightness. The muscle is stretched in different patterns depending on the extent of the pain that is felt on the trigger point.
When the tissue starts to relax, the therapist will increase the pressure and force that is applied. This method is repeated until the whole muscle is fully relaxed. After that, the therapist will proceed to the next muscle. Trigger points may easily disappear with the use of myofascial release therapy.
A lot of myofascial pain syndrome sufferers have been relieved from pain and discomfort following this therapy. Intended to release the muscle tension that is found all over the body, myofascial release therapy is not an ordinary massage treatment.
Craini Sacral Technique (CST) was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger following extensive scientific studies from 1975 to 1983 at Michigan State University, where he served as a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics.
CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system – comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.
By complementing the body’s natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction, including:
- Migraine Headaches
- Chronic Neck and Back Pain
- Motor-Coordination Impairments
- Central Nervous System Disorders
- Orthopedic Problems
- Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
- Infantile Disorders
- Learning Disabilities
- Chronic Fatigue
- Emotional Difficulties
- Stress and Tension-Related Problems
- Fibromyalgia and other Connective-Tissue Disorders
- Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
- Neurovascular or Immune Disorders
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Post-Surgical Dysfunction
Muscle Energy Therapy, or MET, consists of osteopathic techniques used by therapists to help relax the muscles and stretch the joints. In their book “Trigger Points and Muscle Chains in Osteopathy,” Philipp Richter and Eric Hebge write that these techniques are popular because they are not dangerous and often successful, even if not performed correctly.
Muscle Energy Therapy may have been first developed to help treat muscle spasms and shortenings. However, the osteopath community often credits Fred Mitchell, Sr., who was influenced by osteopaths T. J. Ruddy and Carl Kettler with the development of the techniques in the late 1940s for treating joint dysfunction. Through the years, the techniques have been refined as studies come out on the neurophysiological properties of myofascial structures.
Defining Muscle Energy Therapy
Muscle Energy Therapy is when a osteopath or other related therapist asks a patient to tense a muscle from a controlled position against the accurate resistance of a therapist. The purpose of MET is to treat limited mobility in joints as well as stretch hypertonic muscles and fasciae. MET may also help to stimulate blood circulation in the area and change muscle tone with neuromuscular mechanisms. This can help to tone and strengthen muscles and joints, as well as help to alleviate pain.
Muscle Energy Therapy requires patients to tense muscles while breathing in and out, as well as moving a joint in a certain direction. This therapy cannot be used on comatose or uncooperative patients. The book “Stretching Therapy: For Sport and Manual Therapies,” states that therapists must also be much stronger than a patient for it work, or ask a patient to exert only partial effort. One and a half minutes is considered standard for each exercise. Pain can be experienced if it goes on any longer. Joints need to return to a neutral position very slowly so that muscle spindles are not reactivated.
Patients need to be accurately diagnosed in order for MET to be effective. Therapists need to understand what triggers the pain, limits joint movement along with the cause of imbalance or incorrect motion pattern. Communication and coordination should be clear and concise between patient and therapist. Bones and muscles that are not healed should never undergo METon
Joint mobilization is a treatment technique used to manage musculoskeletal dysfunction. Most manipulative and mobilization techniques are performed by physical therapists, and fall under the category of manual therapy.
In most cases, at the end of a long bone there is a joint or articulation. The long bone is attached or joined to another bone by a joint. For example, the femur is attached to the tibia at the knee joint. The knee joint is made up of the surface of the tibia, femur, ligaments, and capsule. Thus, the knee joint is stable and yet mobile. When an individual is sitting in a chair and freely kicks his leg out (knee extension), the tibia moves, while the femur is stationary. However, at the surface of the articulating bones (tibia and femur), there is other movement. This movement is known as slide or glide; some have termed it “joint play.” When an individual kicks his leg out, the lower leg or tibia is not only moving forward, but also gliding across the end of the femur. Mobilization is the treatment technique that involves the clinician applying a force to mimic the gliding that occurs between bones. It is a passive movement, the goal of which is to produce a slide or glide. Mobilizations are usually completed at slow speed, sometimes with oscillations, and even with a “hold” or stretch. Manipulations are more aggressive, high velocity techniques, or thrusts. They occur very fast, and at the end of available joint play.
Mobilizations are used to restore joint play that has been lost due to injury or disease. In order for an individual to kick his leg out, there must be sufficient joint play, or freedom for the tibia to move on the femur. Thus, mobilizations are used when range of motion or mobility is lacking. Furthermore, gentle oscillations within the available joint play range is a technique used to decrease pain. Manipulations are quick movements that occur beyond the available joint play range. The purpose of manipulations, or joint thrusts, is to increase the available range if it is not full. Secondly, manipulations are done to break adhesions that disrupt joint movement.
If done appropriately, mobilizations can help reduce pain and restore joint play, which is critical for normal mobility, range of motion, and function.
All massages are $65 per hour; $100.00 per 90 minutes; & $130.00 per 2-hours
- Promotes relaxation
- Decreases stress and anxiety
- Soothes strains and pains throughout the body
- Reduces muscle tension throughout the body
- Reduces intensity and frequency of headaches, neck, and back pain
- Increases circulation throughout the body which can lower blood pressure
- Improves lymphatic drainage which removes toxins, waste products, and bacteria from the tissue
- Improves energy level
- Improves sleep and reduces insomnia
- Improves self-esteem and feeling of self-worth
Gift Certificates Are Available
Swedish massage is the basic relaxation massage that is the most well known in the Western culture. It is based on the concepts of anatomy and physiology, which is the study of the form and function of the human body. Swedish massage is performed by a licensed massage therapist. During a Swedish massage the therapist performs various massage techniques (including effluerage, pettrisage, kneading, friction, and stretching) to loosen and warm up the muscle tissue thereby relieving tissue adhesions or “muscle knots”. The therapist will alter the amount of pressure applied to the tissues depending on the preference of the client. It is called Swedish massage therapy as it was introduced by a Swedish physiologist, Per Henrik Ling.Deep Tissue Massage ($65.00/hr)
Deep tissue massage is very similar to Swedish massage but focuses more on the deeper layers of the tissue and fascia. A deep tissue massage here at Burkhardt Physical Therapy Center generally focuses more on the common areas of the body that have a tendency to develop increased muscle tension and dysfunction. A deep tissue massage also encompasses additional massage techniques including active range of motion by the client to achieve maximum results.Pre-natal Massage ($65.00/hr)
Massage therapy is a wonderful addition to pre-natal care. It is a relaxing way to relieve some of the normal discomforts experienced during pregnancy such as headaches, backaches, neck stiffness, swelling, and leg cramps. The therapist positions the client comfortably in side-lying with soft supportive cushions to decrease back strain and positions her on her back with her back slightly elevated for maximal comfort.
Myofascial release is a manual technique used to release barriers or restrictions in the deeper layers of the connective tissue (fascia). This is accomplished by stretching the deep fascial layers using various techniques including the cross hand technique. Deep fascial releases can be performed in all directions and all over the body depending where the restriction is located.
Hot stone massage is a form of massage in which the therapist uses smooth warmed stones to perform massage on the body. The therapist also positions the stones on the body to maximize relaxation and decrease muscle tension. Hot stone massage is especially beneficial to those with extremely tense muscles as the heat of the stones allows the therapist to manipulate the muscle tissue more effectively releasing tension and promoting relaxation. The heat also allows for improved circulation which delivers increased oxygen to the tissues, thereby decreasing pain symptoms.
Reflexology is a type of massage that applies pressure to various points on the hands and feet with the goal of benefiting other parts of the body, and for overall improved health and wellness.
Craniosacral therapy is a very gentle hands on technique used to decrease pain and dysfunction through releasing restrictions in the tissues surrounding the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Craniosacral therapy was originally developed by John E. Upledger, Osteopathic Physician.
Symptoms of vestibular dysfunction may be mild, lasting perhaps only seconds or minutes, or they may be severe, resulting in total disability.
Not all symptoms will be experienced by every person, and other symptoms are possible. Common symptoms of
vestibular disorders are:
• Imbalance or unsteadiness
• Blurred or bouncing vision
• Hearing changes
• Problems with coordination, thinking and memory
• Whiplash, concussions and other head trauma or injuries
• Sudden or significant pressure changes
• Degenerative changes to the vestibular system and brain
• Chronic or recurrent ear or sinus infections
• High doses or long term use of certain antibiotics
What is BPPV?
One of the most commonly diagnosed vestibular disorder is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). This is an inner ear problem that causes short periods of dizziness when your head is moved in certain positions. It occurs most commonly when lying down, turning over in bed and looking up. This dizzy sensation called vertigo usually only lasts a few seconds up to a minute, but often makes you feel like the room is spinning around you. It may also make you feel lightheaded, off balance and nauseous. The underlying cause of BPPV is crystals that are displaced in the inner ear canals.
What is Vestibular Neuritis?
Another commonly diagnosed vestibular disorder is Vestibular Neuritis, also known as Labyrinthitis. This affects the part of the inner ear that helps to control our body’s balance. It can be caused by a bacteria or a virus that damages the vestibular nerve, which sends messages about movement and balance between the inner ear and the brain. The source of the virus can be an infection of the respiratory system or the gastrointestinal system. Initially you may feel sick but it is possible that you may be unaware that you even had an infection. Vestibular Neuritis may be caused by decreased blood flow in the inner ear, exposure to toxic agents, or allergic substances, all of which can damage the vestibular nerve.
The diagnosis of a vestibular disorder relies on a combination of tests and careful inspection of the history of the problem. A complete physical examination by an experienced, certified provider is essential to rule out other causes of dizziness, such as cardiovascular or central nervous system disorders. If a person is then referred to a specialist, tests may be performed to measure hearing, eye movement and balance.
Treatment can provide a complete cure for some, but in persistent cases, the symptoms can only be controlled, not eliminated entirely. Treatment varies according to the diagnosis, and may consist of head maneuvers, diet changes, a special form of physical therapy called vestibular rehabilitation therapy, prescribed drugs or equipment or in some cases surgery.
Seeing a therapist who has experience with vestibular disorders is critical. If left untreated, the result could be permanent vestibular damage.
What to expect at your appointment
• Thorough history and review of your individual case
• Balance assessment
• Ocular motor exam
• Comprehensive inner ear evaluation utilizing infrared goggles
What is vestibular rehabilitation?
Vestibular rehabilitation focuses on improving the function of the inner ear organs – your center for balance control and equilibrium.
Who would benefit from vestibular rehabilitation?
People with a variety of different diagnoses are recommended for vestibular rehabilitation. It can be recommended after a person suffers a stroke, has brain trauma or a concussion, has poor balance and/or experiences many falls, has debilitated walking, or has had a specific inner ear disorder such as Meniere’s disease, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), or some sort of virus or infection affecting the inner ear.
What if I have had these symptoms in the past, and already had treatment, or was told there is nothing that can be done?
Well, that may or may not be true. It is always best to talk with your doctor regarding your specific ailment. With advances in research and new techniques to help people, you may want to revisit the prospect of attending vestibular rehabilitation.
What can be done for tinnitus (ringing in the ears)?
There are some new medications that have shown promising results. Talk with your doctor. Generally, vestibular rehabilitation does not specifically help tinnitus.
How often would I have to attend vestibular rehabilitation?
This varies depending on the reason for your vestibular condition. In cases of persons with uncomplicated BPPV, usually 2 visits is sufficient. In more complex cases where one side of your system is not working properly, 1-2 sessions a week, gradually every other week for up to 8 weeks is likely. After one sustains a concussion, the therapist may want to initially see you more often, and get a solid exercise base for home, and wean down to every other week for up to 3-6 months depending on the severity.
Who provides vestibular rehabilitation?
A physical therapist can usually take care of many disease processes related to this. However, for specific or complicated conditions, it is best to see a physical therapist with advanced training and certification in vestibular rehabilitation.
What can I expect when I come for evaluation for Vestibular Rehabilitation?
Again, this depending on your specific diagnosis. For those with BPPV, you can expect some sort of balance testing, eye and head movement tests, and finally evaluation with infrared goggles. The goggles block your vision, but allow the therapist to evaluate your eye movements for nystagmus when you are placed in various positions. This helps the therapist learn which canal to treat.
In cases of falls or imbalance, you can expect strength and balance tests, and coordination testing.
In cases of brain injury (concussion), your therapist may do all the previous mentioned testing, along with some memory and cognitive testing.
In all cases, your therapist should listen to you and your symptoms, and proceed carefully so as not to unduly worsen your symptoms.
You therapist will work with you and your schedule to meet your needs.
What can I expect in subsequent sessions of vestibular rehabilitation?
Your therapist will take the information gathered from testing you, and formulate a specific vestibular program with your goal in mind – whether to decrease dizziness, reduce falls, improve walking and community balance, or improve reaction times. Your therapist will progress coordination, eye, strength and balance exercises until your abilities and scores fall within accepted norms, and you feel confident again.
Energy Medicine is an approach that involves balancing and restoring your body’s natural energies for the purposes of increasing your vitality, strengthening your mental capacities, and optimizing your health. The techniques you will be experiencing and learning trace back to traditions such as yoga, tai chi, and acupuncture. The variety used here is thoroughly modern and does not require adherence to any particular set of beliefs or practices. The core concept is that your personal well-being and effectiveness are directly related to the state of your body’s energies.
The techniques used and taught to you are based on the premise that by promoting balance and flow in the body’s electromagnetic and subtle energies, health and well-being are enhanced. The techniques may involve the use of certain postures or movements or touching /holding, pressing on, tracing, or circling over the specific areas of the skin. These motions move, balance, and restore the body’s energy flow. A technique called “energy testing” may be used to assess how your energies are flowing through specific areas of your body and may help us identify the techniques that will be most beneficial for you.
Energy Medicine can help to: relieve pain, reduce stress and anxiety, strengthen the immune system, improve digestion, manage weight, alleviate insomnia, sharpen your mind and thought processes, boost vitality and stamina, and teach you to keep yourself healthy and balanced.