Difficult training regimes that include repetitive motions (swimming, running, cycling), heavy sets of weight training, and balancing work and life all place a great deal of stress on an athlete’s body. With improper recovery from each workout an excess of inflammation can result. The body responds to this by haphazardly laying down collagen cross-fibres to try and temporarily support the area. These collagen fibres laid down like a cobweb turn into scar tissue if not dealt with conscientiously. This creates a shortened and weak structure that has a higher probability of tearing or becoming injured.
This scar tissue:
· Restricts motion.
· Reduces circulation.
· Inhibits nerve function.
· Causes ongoing friction and pressure.
· Results in the production of yet more cross fibres and adhesions
To have the highest performance possible it is very important to reduce these unwanted problems. The best possible way is to keep constant adherence to a stretching and active recovery regime to prevent any build-up of excess tension. Setting up a routine of foam rolling, yoga and massage therapy is a good way keep tissues relaxed, not to mention seeing your soft-tissue specialized chiropractor! In addition, nutrition is a factor to consider using selective eating choices to reduce inflammation with the Anti-Inflammatory Diet.
When minor irritations do occur it is important to keep on top of the problems and deal with the area right away. If the injury is nagging long than a few days, then seeking a physical medicine professional is strongly suggested. The gold standard in soft tissue injury management is utilizing Active Release Technique (A.R.T.®). It is a systematic approach to decrease scar tissue adhesions and can help improve performance in any sport.
How can A.R.T. improve my sports performance?
Even though physical training factors can be modified the bio-mechanical restrictions that have been created with an injury are seldom addressed. These lead to future injuries and inhibits the athlete from reaching his or her full performance potential.
Equally important, different athletes may present with identical pain patterns, but each athlete may have completely different structures that are impaired or injured.
Before treatment takes place, an extremely specific physical examination must be conducted, which results in a diagnosis. It is important to look past the initial point of pain to identify other structures that are involved in the kinetic chain.
Effective treatment of any soft tissue injury (ligaments, muscles, blood vessels, fascia and nerves), requires an alteration in tissue structure to break up the restrictive cross-fiber adhesions and to restore normal function to the affected soft tissue areas.
When executed properly, this process:
· Substantially decreases healing time.
· Treats the root cause of the injury.
· Improves athletic performance.