Treatments We Offer

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We specialise in soft tissue (muscles/tendons/ligaments) injuries and rehabilitaion. Available treatments include:

Fascia and Myofascial Release

Fascia is connective tissue, which is found superficially as well as deep inside the structures of the body. It can be likened to a spider-web of continuous uninterrupted tissue, which supports organs, offers protection and allows muscles to glide as they contract and relax. On a deep level, it is found encasing each muscle fibre, in addition to each bundle of muscle fibres and again, around each complete muscle. Therefore, it plays an important role in muscle function. Fascia is made up of collagen, elastin and water and is both flexible and strong, but it is subject to injury, adhesion formation and tension in the same way as the muscle tissue itself. As muscle tissue weakens, the fascia can compensate by gaining strength. Although fascia facilitates the movement of muscles, through poor posture or trauma, this casing can become adhered to the muscle, leading to stiffness, ischemia (restriction in blood supply) and associated dysfunction. Tightness in the external layer of fascia around the muscles in the lower leg or forearm is a direct cause of Compartment Syndrome, where the muscles, nerves and blood vessels are compressed as the fascia does not stretch sufficiently to encompass them. The tendons that attach muscles to the skeletal system are a continuation of the fascia, which is thread in and around the muscle, therefore, changes in fascial tension can be related to conditions such as tendonitis as much as tension in the muscle itself. The elastic properties in fascia actually help to assist movement and take some strain off the muscles. This can be seen when someone flexes at the hips to pick up a pencil. The fascia around the lumbar spine will recoil to its normal position (when the back is straight), which helps to bring the person upright from the bent position.

Because the fascial network is one continuous web of connective tissue, it is of great importance in posture. A restriction in one part of the network can lead to pain and restriction in another seemingly unrelated part and as the fascial system spirals and winds through the body, these restrictions can produce systemic effects. Although fascia is strong, it is also very elastic and moulds easily with time. So long as a change in posture does not provide too great a resistance, it will slowly stretch the fascial fibres until a visible change of posture is apparent. It’s no wonder that after 70 years of sitting and standing in a progressively slouched position, that an older individual develops a hunch in their back and forward head position. Indeed, with the computer centred society that we live in, forward head positions and rounded shoulders are evident in many of the population as young as 20! Along with over stretching in parts of the fascia network, comes thickening and shortening of other parts, which serves to worsen the problem. A common example is where the upper back fascia stretches under the weight of the head and rounds the shoulders. Because of this, the rib cage shifts and the fascia around the abdomen tightens and becomes shorter, as does the fascia at the front of the chest, and in the front of the neck. In this way, asking someone with poor posture to ‘stand up straight’ may be very unhelpful, because the muscles (which are also affected) have to work against the strong, newly moulded fascia. This is partly why it is so exhausting trying to change posture quickly, or by not addressing the fascia. In the same way as it has taken time for the fascia to stretch into the undesirable position, it needs to be returned back into the correct position, taking into account its elasticity and tendency to mould. Myofascial release addresses this exact problem, by slowly stretching the connective tissue and freeing up restrictions, which may have taken years to build up.

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