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Radial Pulse Therapy: A Deep Tissue Technology Worth Checking Out

By | Uncategorized
Personally written by Dr. Milan Lassiter, Chiropractor, 1303 W. Main St., Richmond, VA, Tel #: (804) 254-5765
ripples-in-water

Radial Pulse Therapy has also been dubbed ShockWave Therapy, but it’s a mis-nomer because there is no “shock” involved.  It uses an instrument to create pulsing waves, similar to throwing a rock into a pond and creating ripples in the water. Think of Radial Pulse Therapy as creating those same type of ripples in the soft tissues (muscle, fascia, tendons, ligaments, bursae, connective tissue), penetrating deeply down and spreading out as they go deeper. These “ripples” are actually rhythmic waves that are delivered into scar tissue and adhesive tissue, breaking it up over a 5-10 minute treatment. The German Radial Pulse unit that we use has a “soft” option, which makes it very effective while being very comfortable.

I particularly like shockwave therapy for chronic soft tissue conditions. Treating soft tissue conditions in the acute phase is much easier than treating those conditions once they have become chronic. The challenge with treating long-standing problems is that scar tissue and adhesions, once in the chronic stage, are either becoming permanent or are permanent. This makes most traditional treatment methods less effective and may be the reason why you’ve tried many different therapies, but nothing has worked.

The initial minute of treatment stimulates chemicals that release natural pain-killers in the body.  The reaction from the treatment is usually that the skin will turn red and feel warm, often with mild post-treatment soreness for a day or two.  This type of therapy is so deep that it can only be used once every 4 or 5 days.

Our other soft tissue treatments, such as Active Release Technique (ART) and Graston Technique, are state-of-the-art soft tissue therapies. However, with tough, chronic cases, ART and Graston are even more effective if the problem area has been pre-treated with the deeper, more high intensity mechanical energy from the shockwave therapy. No one else in Richmond has this cutting-edge therapy.

I first became aware of this therapy from my friend of mine in NJ who is one of the chiropractors for the NY Jets. He works very similarly to me, using a lot of manual therapies such as Active Release Technique, Graston Technique, and chiropractic adjustments. He has been using shockwave therapy for over 10 years and has a huge sports practice, working with high level runners, tri-athletes, and other athletes in all types of sports. When he first started working with the NY Jets, he was taking his shockwave unit back and forth to their training camp. After a year of using it with the Jets, their training staff found shockwave therapy to be so effective that they went out and bought a few Radial Pulse Therapy units for treating their athletes.

If you have had other “deep tissue” treatments without getting results (or aren’t getting good enough results) and are looking for someone to help you when no one else has been able to, give us a call at (804) 254-5765.

Dry Needling…No Medications, Only Pain Relief!

By | Dry Needling, Uncategorized
Personally written by Milan Lassiter, DC, 1303 W. Main St, Richmond, VA and reached at (804) 254-5765.

 

People with muscle pain may seek out care with their MD, often ending up with one of 3 different types of medications:  muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories, or pain meds.  Sometimes this will give a bit of relief of the symptoms, but they rarely resolve the actual cause of the problem.

Myofascial pain is the pain coming from muslce (myo) and fascia (the surrounding connective tissue around the muscle).  One of the common findings with myofascial pain syndromes is something called a “trigger point.”  A trigger point is a tight band of contracted muscle, often felt as a “knot,” and it’s often responsible for ongoing pain and dysfunction. A trigger point will often cause a pattern of referred pain, which is pain that is noted at a location away from the actual origination site of the problem.

It is desirable to elicit something called the latent twitch response (which feels like a grabbing or cramping around the needle), although a slight ache may be all that is felt.

Trigger point dry needling is one of the most effective treatment options available to resolve myofascial trigger points and dysfunctional or abnormally behaving muscles.

Here is a synopsis of how a trigger point is formed:

 

1)    Something causes pain.  If the insult occurs repeatedly or if the trauma is severe enough, the pain can form a feedback loop. Technically, the pain signal may return through a part of your nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system, activating pain receptors (called nociceptors) and feeding back to the spinal cord.  This is called a Reflex Arc, which causes the pain to continue instead of fading away.

 

2)    The nerve that goes out to a muscle (a motor neuron) can become stuck in the Reflex Arc loop, causing a muscle to contract and spasm, sometimes lasting for years or even decades.

 

3)    Introducing a new stimulus (dry needling) directly into the trigger point causes a disruption of this feedback loop, impedes the Reflex Arc from continuing, and has the effect of relaxing the muscle.

 

A contracted, spasmed, “knotted” muscle becomes a damaged muscle. Spasm reduces blood flow in the muscle, which means less oxygen and nutrients to the muscle. Muscle fibres die off and build up adhesive, fibrous scar tissue. This in turn holds the muscle in a tightened, shortened position and prevents the muscle metabolism by-products from leaving the muscle, which continues the cycle.  What you’re left with is a muscle “knot” or a tight band of muscle that won’t seem to go away, instead restricting your ability to move the area and causing pain.  Putting a needle into a spasmed muscle or trigger point causes the muscle to relax, which can be seen with an EMG (electromyogram), has been corroborated by many randomized research studies, and has been researched extensively by Dr. Karel Lewit, MD.

So there you have it: with regard to a trigger point, it’s not the injection of cortizone or taking some pill that resolves the problem. It’s the actual needle, inserted into the correct spot, by someone who’s trained and certified to do so. I have been trained and certified to do this procedure and have found it to be an indispensable procedure for the physical rehabilitation of many problems that come to my office in Richmond, VA.

 

For further information or for an appointment please contact Dr. Milan Lassiter, Richmond, VA @ (804) 254-5765.