Balanced Body Soft Tissue & Spine | Ankeny, Iowa Chiropractor Balanced Body Soft Tissue & Spine | Ankeny, Iowa Chiropractor

Adhesion: It’s silently wrecking your joints.

Although you probably haven’t heard of adhesion, it’s the most common problem in the musculoskeletal (muscles and joints) system. A prevalent cause of joint pain, muscle weakness and limited motion, it’s unfortunately frequently misdiagnosed by the majority of providers. The good news is, adhesion is the most reversible condition when treated effectively.

What is adhesion?

Adhesion, or scar tissue, is an abnormal area of dense collagen fibers found in soft tissue structures such as muscles, tendons and ligaments. It prevents normal lengthening of these structures which leads to pain, weakness and limited range of motion. Adhesion can also act like glue between adjacent soft tissue structures, limiting necessary glide or entrapping (‘pinching’) nerves that need to pass through.

When adhesion is present, muscles and joints will have to work harder to perform activities they once were able to do with less effort. Areas effected by adhesion at first appear as ‘tight, stiff, or achy’ and symptoms come and go. As the amount of adhesion increases, symptoms become more frequent, more intense and become intrusive to your daily life. These symptoms can manifest in a variety of ways including but not limited to: low back pain, headaches, foot pain, tendinitis, or shoulder pain.

How does adhesion occur?

  1. Acute injury or trauma
  2. Overuse or repetitive motion
  3. Constant pressure and tension for extended periods of time

If you’re one of the few familiar with scar tissue, you’re probably surprised to find out you don’t need a tear, like from an acute injury, to get adhesion. The latter two processes are the most insidious and thus grossly misdiagnosed. Repetitive trauma or overuse, like typing 40 hours a week or training for a race, creates micro-trauma that leads to large problems over time. Prolonged position, like standing at your desk for 8 hours or driving 300 miles a day, decreases blood flow to the area due to sustained contraction of muscles required to accomplish these tasks which leads to the collagen build-up referred to as adhesion.

How is it removed?

Adhesion can only be identified via a thorough history and detailed assessment by an expert in soft tissue treatment such as an Integrative Diagnosis™ provider. When adhesion is found, it has to be physically broken down with precision in order for it to be effectively removed and resolve your condition. No other self-treatments (stretching, foam rolling, ‘smashing’ with lacrosse balls) or non-specific treatments (lasers, ultrasound, kinesiotape) will provide long lasting results or resolution of your problem.

Our office treats adhesion via MAR (manual adhesion release) and IAR (instrument adhesion release). These techniques are non-invasive and done exclusively through a skilled doctor’s hands. Once adhesion is broken down over a series of visits, the muscles will regain normal function. They can then lengthen and contract with the appropriate force which allows for normal joint motion resulting in less pain and symptoms for you.

As with all conditions, there is a window of opportunity to fix adhesion and prevent further damage. If left untreated long enough, adhesion can lead to more serious problems such as disc herniation and degeneration, stress fractures, cartilage or ligament tears, muscle tendinitis or tendinosis, and early arthritic changes. If you have been to multiple doctors (physical therapist, chiropractor, orthopedic, pain management) without resolution, we may be able to help. Please fill our our new patient intake and call to set your appointment today at (515) 964-1641.