In the case of Dave B.’s back pain from lifting, Neuromuscular Therapy treatment at my Metro-West Boston clinic was as follows:
The first job was to flush the tissues. Metabolic waste products accumulate from the body’s automatic response to the injury as well as those from muscle hyperactivity. Presence of these wastes feel like the soreness you get after a heavy workout. When the muscles are tight, the blood and lymph circulation is reduced so these irritating compounds can’t get away from the injury site efficiently. Flushing helps increase fluid flow to move them along and clear the area for healing.
Neuromuscular Therapy techniques were used to treat the soft tissue: pressure to release Trigger Points and muscle spasms, and deep slow gliding to lengthen the muscles and “milk” the toxic fluids. The work was slow and gentle, going deeper as his body allowed.
At Dave’s second treatment he reported that he was sore after the session for a day, but felt great the day after. Except for a little continued soreness, he had no pain except for the time he tried picking up a heavy bag (!) and found that lifting still did hurt.
I gave him some supported Active Isolated Stretching (see post to follow) to do at his desk. The treatment targeted the same low back muscles as the first treatment, focussing on the symptomatic side. The remaining time was spent on the “helper” muscles, the lats and ribs on the right. He probably lifted more on this side and strained the side-bending muscles.
At his third and last treatment he again reported that he was sore the day after the session from the release of more waste products, but was fine after that. The stretching had helped. He had a good week even though he shoveled a lot of snow!
Treatment included the muscles treated in the first two sessions plus the gluteal muscles in his right butt and hip that always get involved in these injuries. I went through my “Limbering the Low Back” protocol with him (see post to follow) and sent him home. He has continued to feel good.