All Injuries have these Two Parts: Structure vs Function

Why you should evaluate movement. If rest decreases pain, while activity increases it - read this blog.

In every injury involving muscle, joint, tendon, ligament (musculoskeletal system) there are two major parts to the injury. Structure and Function.

We can have a problem with the structure of an area such as: a tight muscle, a lax ligament, knots or adhesions in the muscle, degeneration, scar tissue, joints that don’t move, etc.

These are the common parts of a musculoskeletal injury that people think of. When we have a rotator cuff injury, iliotibial band (IT band) pain, or plantar fasciitis, we look for the structure problem. Doctors will order x-rays or MRI’s of an area to identify the structural problem. We learn to ice or heat an area or take a time off of running to let the body heal. When we return to activity and feel pain again - we have become conditioned to move to the next step, anti-inflammatory injections or surgery.

Studies show that if you take an MRI of the lumbar spine in someone WITHOUT pain - 60% of 50 year old subjects showed “Disc Bulging”

The other major component to musculoskeletal injuries is function. Function is the way we move or use that structure, the way we coordinate movement, the way we stabilize, etc.

Most of the time the place that we feel pain is due to that area overworking or compensating for a different area that isn't functioning correctly. If you look at the person with a torn rotator cuff they likely don’t stabilize their shoulder correctly. The tendons work overtime to keep the ball and socket joint together. Overtime, the tendons fray, the labrum tears, etc. We send that person to surgery to repair the tendon, but if they don’t learn how to move correctly, they will tear it again.

The person running with IT band pain typically cannot use their glutes or core correctly. As a compensation they use their quads and the IT band becomes tight and painful. After weeks of rest, the pain returns as soon as they return to running. The function has not been corrected.

At Boulder Sports Chiropractic, we are the only Boulder Chiropractor to evaluate your movement using the SFMA (selective functional movement assessment) - the same movement evaluation tool used by all major professional sports from the NFL to the MLB. This certification allows us to pinpoint the source of the pain, not just rub a sore muscle.

We use different techniques to address the structure such as: Active Release Technique (ART), Graston Technique, Class IV warm Laser therapy, and trigger point Dry Needling to reduce the pain and inflammation. We then give you precise physical therapy exercises to restore normal function.

If you’re experiencing headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, lower back pain, hip pain, knee pain, etc -

Call today to make an appointment. We will get you back to activity ASAP.