| || |When the cause of your complaint is a Connective Tissue-Based problem, you will garner all sorts of odd responses, deer-in-the-headlights looks, and made up explanations from the medical profession. I have heard an array of "made up" answers that would be comical if the situation weren't so downright desperate. Or you may just get that blank look like you were an alien from the planet Neptune. Both are common. So is throwing it in that bucket labeled "Fibromyalgia" and moving on to the next patient. Dr. Russell Schierling from a BLOG POST on Fascia. | |
I recently got a heartbreaking email from David C. of Vancouver, Canada. A large part of my practice is focused on people who have severe CHRONIC PAIN
related to problems within their FASCIA
--- many of whom come from LONG DISTANCE
to see me. Fascial Adhesions are the perfect vehicle for Chronic Pain because you have a situation where the single most pain-sensitive tissue in the body becomes injured (scarred or adhesed). This is doubly problematic because SCAR TISSUE
is itself up to 1,000 times more pain sensitive than normal tissue. Throw in the fact that in most areas of the body, the Fascia is too thin to be imaged with even the most advanced techniques such as MRI, and you have the makings for a PERFECT STORM OF CHRONIC PAIN
. Some of the problems related to Scar Tissue can be found on THIS LIST
. Thank you David for allowing me to put this email up on my blog. I sincerely wish you the best. In fact, if you ever find a resolution to your pain, please drop me a line. Hi Dr. Schierling.
I don't think that I can receive your treatment, but I just wanted to say that it's very relieving to read about your recognition of the absurdity of response from GPs regarding fascia pain.
I have been extremely impaired and tortured for 12 full years without rest to the point that I suspect that the human body / brain is not capable of processing further pain, and I came to suspect this on the basis that while hitting a seeming ceiling of pain on multiple occasions, a ceiling that is impossible for me to even imagine or even nearly remember how extreme it was unless it is upon me again (and I only remember while the intense pain is engaging),.
While in that state which has been repeated 3 - 5 times, my mind was just one blurry mess with an incalculable number of pains that all blurred together, and on subsequent visits to that level of pain I came to identify (whether in the moment or as it was reducing, I don't know) that my whole mind was dedicated to processing that pain. In retrospect, I've personally come to think that it's possible that when the mind's processing power is already maxed out, dedicated to translating the pain that pushes all else out of the mind, that additional pain won't be experienced due to the lack of it being processed. That is my suspicion based on hitting this same, non-dynamic upper ceiling of awful and de-humanizing pain on multiple occasions, during which I would be unresponsive, without thought, recognition or awareness of things such as defined perceptions of myself, things around me, etc, sounds would be audible, but not mentally processed or responded to, they were just there. I think that in those events it was as if my being was just one big pain receptor until it eased up.
Anyway, I've been the recipient of all the inane thoughts doctors can conjure up on the subject which is described HERE:
"It means that when you go visit various doctors (orthopedists, pain specialists, neurologists, etc) they run all sorts of tests, and then look at you as though you are crazy. Or maybe they look at you like you’re a drug seeker, or trying to get Social Security Disability. Or maybe they just chalk it up to hard work and too many sports. Or maybe they just tell you that you have “arthritis” or “fibromyalgia” just to get you out of their office.
" I've been labeled an abuser of drugs as a result of my voluntary allowance of a drug counselor to sit in on a psychiatric review, in which I merely stated that I have occasionally self-medicated outside of prescribed medicine (which became a necessity because my doctor only wanted to prescribe ANTI-DEPRESSANTS, which I've used numerous times through the decade and which have always been completely without positive effect - although some awful negative ones). It actually helped when I focused in meditation, as it articulated my thoughts and made my attempts to relax and release fascia marginally tangible, and it was my only success in all of my treatment.
I've received much emotional abuse at the hands of family, who are understanding for a time but then it seems they become impatient with waiting for me to suddenly be perfectly healthy and they judge and accuse and pressure me to do what I really cannot. I've had some doubts from friends, although they are the most understanding and compassionate out of everyone. I've even received related extreme abuse from police during an event where an attempt at theft of my car was made, in the following interactions I was severely and deliberately abused by one officer who has caused serious lasting trauma to me, which exacerbates my pain and increases feelings of despair, humiliation, lack of worth, and loss of feeling of having any control.
Anyway, I don't mean to moan and complain, and this is just partially summing up what effect this unrecognized pain has done for me, and I'm still untreated and without help or advocate. I appreciate reading your recognition of the pain and the often ludicrous experiences that people who suffer it go through from their GP. It's a small piece of self-affirmation and validation of experience, and I appreciate that.
MORE SCAR TISSUE REMODELING
| || |I would never let someone do that to me! A patient speaking to me Wednesday as I brought them past another patient I had just done Scar Tissue Remodeling on for a LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS.Because I not only deal with people suffering with Chronic Pain on a day-to-day basis, but also because I have suffered with it myself, I understand why the average chronic pain patient would gladly agree to be beat with a baseball bat if they thought it would help. Dr Russell Schierling from his website, DESTROY CHRONIC PAIN. | |
"I would never let anyone do that to me!"
This is a common response when, for the first time, people see patients who have undergone SCAR TISSUE REMODELING
. The reason for thinking like this is understandable. The bruising can sometimes be SEVERE
with a capital "S". I always tell these people to thank God above that they do not have to make that decision. The truth is, most of the folks making statements like the one at the top have no idea what real
pain --- particularly longstanding CHRONIC PAIN
--- is all about. Chronic Pain changes people. It affects one's moods. It affects one's ability to think. It affects one's work. It can destroy relationships. It is a significant cause of DEPRESSION
. The truth is, each and every person out there who is dealing with CHRONIC NECK PAIN
, PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME
, SHOULDER PROBLEMS
, or any number of OTHER HEALTH ISSUES
, would gladly subject themselves to beatings if they thought that was the solution. In some cases; it is.
is relentless. It never rests or sleeps. On top of that, Scar Tissue is up to 1,000 times more pain sensitive than normal tissue. And unless you get rid of it, it is likely to haunt you day and night. Not that it is an every-day occurrence, but I have literally had patients writhe, cry, and even scream while I treated them. And when I would stop, they would tell me to keep going (HERE
is an example of this --- read the comment). Breaking Scar Tissue (FASCIAL AHDESIONS & TENDINOSIS) is a solution to many people's problem(s). Here are some of the VIDEO TESTIMONIALS from patients who have undergone Scar Tissue Remodeling.
By the way; the patient from the quote at the very top of the page........? He decided that he wanted to try Tissue Remodeling for the chronic mid-back pain he had been dealing with for at least three and a half decades. His was the same story I hear all day long ---- "Adjustments are really the only thing that help me. They just don't seem to last very long".
He had severe Scar Tissue between his shoulders, running down into his THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA
. The change was immediate and profound. He is already planning on having it done again after DEER SEASON
SCAR TISSUE REMODELING FOR HORSES?
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Scar tissue can restrict movement in adjacent joints, eventually creating injury to the joint itself. This type of restrictive tissue can become stronger and as non-elastic as connective tissue like tendons and cartilage. After an injury, collagen fibers are laid down in a sporadic and unorganized pattern in order to prevent the recurrence of injury...... There is no guarantee that manual therapy can break up the tissue, and you must understand that by mobilizing tissue that has grown over like a scar, you will be required to create a new injury by pulling the adhered tissue from the adjoining tissue. This can be painful, and requires a new healing process attended by more therapy. From an Ezine article by Kathy Duncan called Equine Massage for Releasing Scar Tissue. Although I am not doing massage, the principles are the same.
I'm always up for trying something new. So when STACY
called me about the possibility of having me take a look at his chronically injured horse, I agreed. One of our local vets --- a real expert in the equine field --- DR. ROGER SHAW
of Thomasville, had recently told Stacy that while his horse could be gently ridden for fun, it would never be physically able to rope or barrel race again. Not wanting to give up, the gears in Stacy's mind began to turn.
I had done some SCAR TISSUE REMODELING
for injuries Stacy sustained several years ago. He thought, "Hey; if it works on people, why wouldn't it work on a horse
?" Not knowing any different, I had to concur.
Although I grew up in the Flint Hills of Kansas and worked for several people who used horses to take care of their cattle (I also used to occasionally wrangle at YMCA CAMP WOOD
), I am about the furthest thing from a horse expert there is. Just to see if it's possible, I am using my Scar Tissue Remodeling technique on an area of severe Scar Tissue on Stacy's horse in an attempt to get the horse well enough to compete again.
The problematic area is made up of what I believe to be a combination of TENDINOSIS
and FASCIAL ADHESIONS
. After taking care of the horse, I finished up by using some COLD LASER
on the area. Stacy is STRETCHING
the animal as best he can. To get an idea of how effective this sort of work can be when done on humans, take a look at some of our VIDEO TESTIMONIALS
). Because the Scar Tissue is thicker than anything I have ever seen or dealt with before, I'll see the horse half a dozen times and see what happens.
HERE is a progress report from a few weeks after this post
SIDE VIEW OF HIND LEG
In the picture on the left, the "hock" is the 'backwards knee' found just below the third red arrow. The muscles affected seem to a lesser degree to be the hamstring (semitendinosus / semimembranosus) and to a greater degree, the gastrocnemicus, which is analogous to the calf in a human. The Achilles Tendon (or whatever it is called in a horse) is also affected.
The picture on the right simply shows another view (the rear view) of where I have thus far found the worst of the Scar Tissue.
REAR VIEW HIND LEG
MY DAUGHTER'S APPALOOSA, WILLOW
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For those of you who do not know, I am a chiropractor, not a veterinarian. The work I am doing on Stacy's horse is simply one friend helping another. If what I do for his horse works (or doesn't work), he will let you know. In other words, ask Stacy or look for the follow up to this post.
MICROSCOPIC SCAR TISSUE
Image by Kaspar1892
The pictures above represent a six month period of the progressive healing of surgery and the Scar Tissue associated with it. Because of the scar's visible nature, this individual likely did weeks (probably months) of physical therapy and home stretches. But what happens when Scar Tissue is not so obvious or visible like the scar above? And what happens if you cannot relate your pain to a specific injury or surgery? You end up with what I refer to as CHRONIC PAIN'S PERFECT STORM
(you can find more about Fascial Adhesions HERE
). If you are suffering with pain that no one has been able to help you with, start by reading either of the two links above. It is the solution to many people's Chronic Pain (HERE
are some of the problems potentially helped by remodeling the Scar Tissue.
INJURED FASCIA AS A MECHANISM FOR CHRONIC PAIN Image by Pujanak
I spend a large portion of each day in the office dealing with Fascia. Fascia is the tough membrane that surrounds muscles. If you have spent much time in the kitchen, you have probably seen Fascia when you are preparing meat. Despite the fact that it is cellophane-thin in many areas of the body and does not show up with advanced imaging techniques such as MRI or CT, it has the ability to wreak havoc in the body. When Fascia is injured (this happens either repetitively / posturally or traumatically --- or both), it tends to lose its ability to stretch and elast. For more information on how this works, please visit our FASCIAL ADHESION PAGE
. I also have numerous BLOG POSTS
on Fascia which are helpful in understanding its role in both Chronic Pain and CHRONIC DISEASE
STATINS ATTACK MUSCLES.......
AND LIGAMENTS, AND FASCIA, AND TENDONS, AND BONES....
Image by Aquapatmedia
| || |
"To our knowledge, this is the first study... to show that statin use is associated with an increased likelihood of diagnoses of musculoskeletal conditions, arthropathies [arthritis], and injuries" Dr. Ishak Mansi from this month's issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.
It's not news that STATIN DRUGS
(Cholesterol Lowering Drugs) cause muscle pain. In fact muscle pain is their number one side effect. It is also important to understand that referring to what is going on simply as "muscle pain
" is missing the bigger picture. The 'trust us
' side-effect warnings for Statin Drugs refers to this muscle pain as Rhabdomyolysis ----- a problem that most people have never heard of. Let's take a minute and break it down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to understand.Rhabdo means striped, Myo means
muscle, and Lysis
means rupture. So, in a nutshell, Rhabdomyolysis infers that striped muscle (skeletal muscles --- i.e. biceps, triceps, quadriceps, gluteus, etc, etc) are actually breaking apart at the cellular level and releasing their contents into the extracellular fluid, which eventually makes their way to the blood stream. The chief breakdown product of Rhabdomyolysis is something called 'myoglobin'. Myoglobin is an oxygen-carrying protein in the muscle that is analogous to hemoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein found in the blood.
SYMPTOMS OF RHABDOMYOLYSIS
How do you know whether or not you have Rhabdomyolysis? One of the classic findings is going to be dark or "Coke-colored
" urine. But it is usually found via blood test, long before the urine ever gets to that point. The main symptom is pain. Because muscle tissue is actually being broken and destroyed at the cellular level, people suffering with this problem are going to have muscle / joint pain, weakness, point tenderness, and even swelling of the affected muscles. This means that patients / doctors can easily be fooled as I have several times over the years.
Rhabdomyolysis can look just like artrhritis, a Rotator Cuff Problem, FIBROMYALGIA
, a knee problem, or any number of other painful conditions. This is why I always find out whether or not someone is on Statin Drugs (or for that matter, other drugs) before I do anything else. By the way, certain other things like HYPOTHYROIDISM
, AUTOIMMUNE CONDITIONS
, CERTAIN ANTIBIOTICS
, ANTI-DEPRESSION DRUGS
, and drug or alcohol abuse can all contribute to the development of this problem as well.
WE ALREADY KNEW ALL OF THIS
WHAT IS THE NEW EVIDENCE FOR STATINS
DESTROYING OTHER TISSUES AS WELL?
A study was published in this month's issue of JAMA Internal Medicine
(Statins and Musculoskeletal Conditions, Arthropathies
[Arthritis], and Injuries
) showing some extremly disturbing evidence. Dr. Ishak Mansi and his team of researchers, working out of the The North Texas Health Care System (Dallas' huge VA), showed that musculoskeletal adverse events and diseases are significantly higher
in those taking Statins than in those not taking Statins (study size was over 46,000 individuals looked at). The study concluded that, "Musculoskeletal conditions, arthropathies [Arthritis], injuries, and pain are more common among statin users than among similar nonusers.
" They went even further and clarified the term "muscluloskeletal conditions
". They include, "all musculoskeletal diseases, arthropathies [Arthritis] and related diseases, injury-related diseases (dislocation, sprain, strain) and drug-associated musculoskeletal pain
". Stop and think about this for a moment. Not only are injuries
to the MUSCLES
, and LIGAMENTS
significantly greater in those taking Statins, but so are the diseases
affecting these tissues (not to mention bones), as well as adverse side effects of a wide variety of drugs. Interestingly enough, the main reason that this study was done in the first place was to "prove" that Statin Drugs had anti-inflammatory powers that could actually help people with arthritis and musculoskeletal pain. Probably why one of the authors discolosed associations with
AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Elan, Forest, Ortho-McNeil Janssen, and PFIZER
. It would be safe to say that these companies are now in full "Damage Control Mode".To learn more about CHOLESTEROL, just click on the link.
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WHAT DO SCARS AND SCABS HAVE IN COMMON?
MORE THAN YOU MIGHT THINK!
I get it. My artwork above is crude. But it is adequate to show you the difference between normal Connective Tissue and Scar Tissue. Everyone knows what a scab it. They're those 'crusty' wound coverings that act as nature's band aid, keeping the wound covered while preventing it from leaking fluids and the various components the body uses to repair itself. Eventually in the process, fibrous cells with muscle-like qualities, grip the edges of the scab and begin to contract. This causes the scab to shrink and eventually fall off. Pictured below is a scab on a knee that is in the process of 'contracting'. But what happens to the tissue underneath?
Photo by ALEF7
CHARACTERISTICS OF SCAR TISSUE
Collagen, the most abundant protein in your body, has waves in it. When tension is put on healing Connective Tissues, the waves allow it to stretch and elast. As far as the healing process of the tissue underneath the scab, the COLLAGEN FIBERS
are (or should be) aligned along these same lines of mechanical stress and tension. Hopefully, the Connective Tissue fibers of the end product look more like the picture on the top left than that of the top right.
When we end up with tissue that is more like the picture on the above right (Scar Tissue), there is potential for problems ---- big problems. This is because Scar Tissue (often referred to as "Fibrosis") has some very specific characteristics that are in direct opposition to those of normal tissue. In a nutshell, Scar Tissue is different from normal tissue because it is....
- WEAKER: Most pathology text books will tell you that Scar Tissue is at best, no more than 70% as strong as normal tissue, and in most cases, probably more like 60%. This means that Scar Tissue is much easier to re-injure. The re-injury subsequently heals with more Scar Tissue.
- LESS ELASTIC: This is a no-brainer. A second grader looking at the side-by-side pictures at the top of the page can see that Scar Tissue is less elastic than normal tissue. And be aware that during its healing process, Scar Tissue will 'shrink' ---- kind of like a scab. All of this can present a huge problem because even if the tissue itself is not painful, loss of (or abnormal) joint motion is the known cause of DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS --- often erroneously referred to as DJD. This is why restoring joint motion --- even in the absence of pain --- is such a big deal not only for helping you now, but as far as saving you a ton of grief down the road is concerned.
- MORE PAIN-SENSITIVE: Many people with Scar Tissue (whether seen or unseen) end up in CHRONIC PAIN because Scar Tissue is potentially far more pain-sensitive than normal tissue.
- LESS VASCULAR: Although Scar Tissue is living tissue with a blood supply, the blood supply is not as good or as organized as it is in normal tissue. This is particularly important to understand in the event that Scar Tissue forms in tissues that are poorly vascularized in the first place (SPINAL DISCS, LIGAMENTS, TENDONS, etc).
Scar Tissue is often created after SURGERIES
, CAR ACCIDENTS
, SPORTS INJURIES
, etc. But sometimes stuff just 'happens' and you never know why or when. A prime example of this is seen in Fascial Adhesions. If scarring gets into the FASCIA
, you can have a real problem on your hands. Fascia is the most pain-sensitive tissue in the body, yet does not image well with even our most advanced imaging techniques such as MRI. This sets people up for the PERFECT STORM
of Chronic Pain and dysfunction. Below you can see the progression of a surgical scar.
Photos by Kaspar1892
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT SCAR TISSUE?
What can you really do about Scar Tissue? In a perfect world, you would simply prevent it. Unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world. So, once it is there, there are some things you can do to help deal with Scar Tissue such as avoiding INFLAMMATION
, eating a WHOLE FOOD-BASED DIET
intelligently, getting periodic CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS
, COLD LASER THERAPY
, SPINAL DECOMPRESSION
, etc, etc, etc. However, nothing; and I do mean 'nothing
' works as well as SCAR TISSUE REMODELING
. Rather than me talk about how devastating Scar Tissue can be, I would rather let a couple of my patients speak. These videos were both shot yesterday and both cases involved the THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA
(click this link for 15 second videos showing the difference between Scar Tissue and normal tissue).
THORACOLUMBAR SPINE Image by Anatomography
The image on the left shows the diamond-shaped Thoracolumbar Fascia (arrow), with another image of a lumbar spine overlayed in red. I show you this because Mary has been coming to me for a long time with low back pain that was diagnosed via MRI as being caused by her Spinal Discs (disc-related pain).
The problem is that according to the latest scientific research, 50-70% of the adult American population is walking around with disc problems in their low backs that they are completely unaware of because they do not hurt (HERE). Think about this for a moment. The majority of us would show a HERNIATED DISC on MRI if we had one --- even if we have no pain. Not knowing this information sets people up for failure when it comes to SPINAL SURGERIES. It also means that it is always easy for a doctor to find some kind of abnormality on the MRI to blame your pain on.
As you can see from the picture below, Mary is fun to be around. She is sweet, gentle, and loves to laugh. For five years though, she has not felt like laughing due to severe chronic pain. That is until a couple of months ago when I was able to convince her that she needed to try our TISSUE REMODELING TREATMENT. She had brutal FASCIAL ADHESIONS of her THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA. Make absolutely sure you click on this link. It contains two 15 second videos of Thoracolumbar Fascia (one of a person with low back pain and one of a person with no low back pain). I'll stop and let Mary tell you the rest of her story. Thanks for the video Mary. We love you!
THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA VIDEO TESTIMONIAL
There is a diamond / triangular shaped area at the base of the spine (low back) called the Thoracolumbar Fascia
. This Fascia is impregnated and concurrent with at least three different muscle tendons, giving it three distinct layers. Although I did a post on this topic several months ago, I have revamped something important on it and included two short (15 second) videos that show how adhesions in the Thoracolumbar Fascia severely restrict joint motion. It is amazing for me to actually see
with my own eyes the model of pain and dysfunction that I have been promoting for years and years. HERE
is the link (I actually had these videos on my site previously, but could not get them to play). If nothing else, take 30 seconds to watch the videos. Amazing!
CHRONIC PAIN'S PERFECT STORM
LEAVES SUFFERERS SHIPWRECKED
is the tough, cellophane-like membrane that adheres tightly to muscles. One of the things that I have learned after years of treating patients is that if a person has Fascial Adhesions
(Fascia whose fibers are not lined up in a neat, orderly manner but are instead clumped in a tangled, matted wad), they will never hold adjustment. And not only will they likely end up with some sort of Chronic Pain issue, when they go to the doctor for examinations and tests, there will probably not be anything to see other than a run-of-the-mill DISC BULGE
or some DEGENERATIVE OSTEOARTHRITIS
--- common scapegoats for all sorts of CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES
. Problems with the Fascia can create a perfect storm of Chronic Pain because.......
- Fascia is arguably the single most pain-sensitive tissue in the body. When you couple this with the fact that it is also the most abundant Connective Tissue in the body (it's literally everywhere), you can see the potential for disaster.
- Fascial Adhesions will not show up on MRI. I realize that most of you believe that your pain is severe enough to make your MRI glow red. Unfortunately, Fascia is so thin that it will not show up excepting in certain places like possibly the PLANTAR FASCIA. What happens when your MRI comes back negative? You are likely to be labeled a hypochondriac, a drug seeker, or a person trying to get on Disability (unfortunately, there are lots of these today). Once the insurance money runs out, you will be discarded like a piece of trash.
- If you have areas of Fascial Adhesions (SCAR TISSUE), these have the potential for creating things like ALLODYNIA OR HYPERALGIA. In other words, Scar Tissue has the potential to be up to 1,000 times more pain-sensitive than normal tissue. Unfortunately, few doctors are aware of this.
RECIPE FOR DISASTER:Take these four items, put them in a pot, stir them all together
- Your doctor will likely not touch you / examine you ---- which is really the only way of determining whether or not Fascial Adhesions might be present. Yesterday I treated a physician who has been dealing with progressively worsening chronic BUTTOCK PAIN. One of his big complaints about his care (one that I hear regularly), is that when he went to pain specialists, neurologists, orthopedists, etc, they did not touch him, watch him walk, check Ranges of Motion, or look at anything else that might actually provide some valuable clues as to what the problem is. Instead, tests were ordered, he was charged incredible amounts of money for injections of BOTOX or CORTICOSTEROIDS, given some meds, and told to hit the bricks.
, throw in copious amounts of drugs that the doctors have prescribed, and you have a recipe for disaster --- the "Perfect Storm
" for perpetuating Chronic Pain. Maybe it's time to step outside the box and actually address the underlying cause(s) of your pain. I do not want to insinuate for even a moment that I help each and every person I see ---- but I help a lot of you. The cool thing is that you'll know in just one treatment if what I do is going to help
. Like I always say, talk is cheap but the PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING