significant proportion of my clinical practice over the past 13 years has focused on treating acute and chronic soft-tissue injuries. Acute injuries, or injuries that occur suddenly and within the past 14 days, require careful attention to inflammation and pain management, followed by functional rehabilitation to restore full mobility and strength. Chronic conditions, or injuries that have been ongoing for over 3 months, are often more complex injuries to treat, involving physiological changes to the primary injury site. There are also secondary areas of dysfunction that develop due to compensation and abnormal movement patterns that have been brought on from the original injury. Many of the chronic injuries I see in clinical practice have become chronic for a number of reasons – either a concise diagnosis was never made, a patient-specific treatment plan with the appropriate treatment options was never rendered, or the patient has pushed through pain without addressing the problem. In any case, chronic injuries, as a rule, tend to lead to longer recovery times, require more treatment over an extended period of time, and are often associated with a less favourable prognosis for a full recovery.
Earlier this year, I selected a dozen patients that had been dealing with chronic soft-tissue injuries that had been plaguing them for as little as several months to as long as 3+ years. Their injuries included upper hamstring tendinopathies, lateral epicondylitis (elbow pain), plantar fasciitis (heel pain), Achilles tendinosis (lower calf pain), and longstanding myofascial adhesions in the upper back – those stubborn knots just above the shoulder blade. Almost all of these cases had seen very good to excellent improvements in their condition using our typical conservative treatment options (soft-tissue therapy, laser therapy, and/or acupuncture), but their conditions had plateaued at around the 70-80% range of full recovery. No matter how intensely or how frequently treatment was rendered, the conditions had hit a standstill. This was not only frustrating for the patient, but also for myself as a healthcare practitioner dedicated to delivering results!