Muscle reactivation is the specialized technique of stimulating muscles that have become inhibited and are no longer performing their normal function (s) properly. To understand muscle inhibition we have included a “brief” explanation below:
Muscles perform the following functions: move joints, stabilize joints and absorb shock. Our bodies are amazing and can typically adapt to most stresses they are placed under, whether they be physical, chemical or emotional. There are, however, instances where the stresses rise above our bodies ability to adapt. When this happens, the human body will prioritize energy usage in support of organ function over muscle function. When this occurs the muscle becomes inhibited and changes to a protective splinting or spasms state instead of performing it’s normal functions. This is done to protect the region from damage. Normally this occurs quickly and when your body overcomes the stress the muscle returns to it’s normal function and you don’t even know this occurred. However, there are times when the stresses last longer than expected and the muscle cannot return to it’s normal function. Usually this occurs if the stresses do not abate or the body is not healed after approximately two weeks.
When muscles continue to be inhibited past the two week period, the body makes other changes to allow it to keep functioning as best as it can. Initially other muscles begin to take up the inhibited muscle’s function. Unfortunately those muscles are bio-mechanically disadvantaged to do jobs they were not designed to do. This leads initially to altered function and eventually to pain and decreased range of motion. When muscles are inhibited for years often physical disabling symptoms arise. This is due to the fact that the longer muscles stay inhibited the more they affect muscles around them. This starts a domino effect to the surrounding muscles, which can eventually lead to more and more muscles becoming inhibited.
The technique of reactivating muscles was initially pioneered by Dr. Alan Beardall. By merging the arts of chiropractic, acupressure, origin/insertion stimulation, neurovascular and neurolymphatic stimulation, muscle spindle cell stimulation and visceral organ reflexes, he created a technique which, when performed properly, reactivated the previously inhibited muscles. He found that once these muscles were reactivated they began to heal, inflammation was is decreased in the muscle, tension in the muscle was reduced and the muscle began to perform it’s job(s) again thereby allowing it’s neighboring muscles to focus on their jobs only.
Each muscle requires it’s own reactivation which takes between 10-15 minutes. Typical patient response to the treatment is that they feel lighter, have less tension in the region and a decrease in their symptoms. Results to the treatment vary depending on number and position of inhibited muscles. Often after only a few muscles are reactivated the patient may be completely symptom free. Other instances, usually when a large number of muscles in a region are inhibited, it requires more reactivation to achieve symptom relief. It is however, recommended that any muscles which are found during the initial examination in an inhibited state be reactivated as soon as possible to allow complete healing to occur.
Undergoing a proper examination procedure is vital to the success of treatment. Since there are hundreds of muscles in the body which interact and rely on each other to do specific functions, we recommend a full body muscle examination to check the majority of muscles and be sure that any muscles inhibited are detected and thereafter be reactivated. This allows the body the best chance to return to a high state of complete function and allow for the best results in the future whether it be normal function or, in the case of athletes, achieving improved athletic performance.
Truly here at Modern Health Chiropractic we focus more on working towards positive goals: returning normal function, improving range of motion, gaining optimal health and well-being as opposed to ridding the body of unwanted symptoms. In almost every case when patients are focused on a positive goal as opposed to a negative one (ie. removing symptoms or problems) they get better and quicker results.