Cold Laser Rolfing for the Long Distance Runner

Posted in: Cold Laser Technology, Healthy Lifestyle, Rolfing, Science- Sep 19, 2012 No Comments

By Chris Hodel, BS, CSCS

I appreciate the “Running Addiction” I see in some of my clients. In order to successfully pound the pavement, treadmills, and trails, there are some important considerations that will lead directly to your performance and longevity.

As you probably already know, most injuries runners face are overuse injuries. The main principle here would be to increase the adaptability in the body. A body that can properly absorb shock is one that can minimize injury. Without adaptability, force is transmitted improperly through your tissues, which impairs function and the overuse injuries you are familiar with begin to set in. Some common overuse Running injuries are:

Plantar Fasciitis
Runners Knee (Patellofemoral Syndrome)
Patellar Tendonitis
Achilles Tendonitis
Pulled Hamstring
Chronic Calf tightness
Shin Splints

Lets take the common Plantar Fasciitis and look at this injury a little more closely.

First of all, if you rest any of these injuries, your symptoms will most likely improve. However, most Runners I see are not interested in resting. Sound like yourself? Usually I can talk them into scaling back a bit while healing takes place.

For treatment, we have to talk a bit of science. In all of these musculoskeletal conditions, your brain tells you the soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament, etc.) is injured and it’s right. The problem is where you focus your energy to heal the injury. Muscles are big dumb animals! They are told what to do and when to do it by highly sophisticated electrical wiring called nerves. We will think of these nerves like Garden Hoses. This is where we will focus our attention.

Nerves like muscles have specific properties about them that we need to honor in order for them to properly function. Probably most important is the nerve’s ability to slide and glide within its connective tissue surroundings.

For PF, the nerves that control the bottom of your foot and lower leg muscles come out of the spinal cord around your lower back. This is where the journey of the Garden Hose begins, and it ends clear down at the bottom of your foot. Those collections of nerves have to negotiate the tight spaces of your dynamic hip complex, down the “tight as a guitar sting” hamstrings, through the rock hard series of calf muscles, and finally around the heel and into the pounded foot.

This sounds like a tough enough journey under perfect conditions, however most of us have old injuries leading to a body that is compensating for restricted tissues.

When a client comes in with PF symptoms, I tell them we are first going to focus on treating the nerves. First we take a posture and movement analysis to see if other restrictions are present. There always will be.

Once on the treatment table, I will palpate the pathway of these restricted nerves causing the PF. This usually identifies tender areas where inflammation and scar tissue are present. One of the ways nerves become inflamed is an increase in their internal pressure. We can address this by stretching the nerve lengthwise to release it from its connective tissue surroundings. Remember nerves need to slide and glide along their pathway to ensure proper electrical communication to the muscles, organs, fascia, etc.

While the practitioner gently applies the mechanical forces to the tissue, the Cold Laser is applied to the area of the tissue to create a cellular event vital for healing. This event is the dramatic increase in cellular energy and cellular communication. Energy is necessary for the healing and communication helps ensure that healing is done properly to address why the injury happened in the first place.

An example of proper communication is most of us have had Hamstring injuries, and those same people usually have Glutes that are inhibited. Inhibited glutes will put a tremendous strain on the Hamstring group leading to overuse and injury. In most cases, a profound activation happens in the body when the energy of the Laser is applied to the weak area of the Nervous System. This area is usually in the brain or spine. In my experience, once the weakness is identified, the activation of the weak glute usually takes 30-60 seconds!

If we really simplify things here, we are addressing restricted nerve tissue to restore proper slide and glide. Secondly, we are up-regulating the Nervous System’s ability to properly stabilize a joint. These two objectives have such far-reaching benefits to the body going way beyond healing PF.

If you would like to learn more about Cold Laser Rolfing offered by 212˚ Wellness, feel free to contact me directly and I would be happy to make some time for you. 970.744.9034

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