Chronic inflammation occurs when the natural inflammatory response of an acute injury does not fully resolve. Failure of a tissue to fully heal can happen with repeated small tears and overuse. Conditions such as an autoimmune disorder or the presence of a foreign material such as a suture or implant may also contribute to chronic inflammation. Pain in the chronic stage of inflammation may be hard to detect. It may only become evident with pressure or pull on the area. More commonly experienced symptoms are reduced range of motion and postural distortions, which if tested, invoke Pain.
It is important to note that chronic inflammation is not the same as chronic pain. Chronic Pain has been discussed in previous blogs and will be reviewed again in future posts as it is a major part of my practice and a personal concern, as I cope with medically unexplained chronic pain every day. But back to Chronic SOI -
Chronic inflammation may not feel red, hot, swollen and painful at all. In fact, the area typically feels cold, hard, stiff and has a pale or bluish hue, due to lack of blood flow.
The goal of Chronic inflammation is: to protect the formerly injured area. In order to do so, scars reorient and remodel in response to pulls and tensions placed on them during daily activities.
Physiology - In order to protect the area, the following physiological processes happen:
The Symptom Picture is :
Treatment Plan (works to decrease symptoms). Therefore LMT's and other therapists work to:
Treatment follows directly from the Plan, So in addition to successful treatments from the Acute and Subacute SOI's,
Self Care Recommendations follow the Plan too, so good recommendations include
Hydrotherapy : Heat at rest, heat before and ice after activities or receiving bodywork,
Marian Wolfe Dixon
MA, LMT (OR #3902)
NCTMB Approved Provider
Continuing Education for Massage Therapists, CHt, TCMBB.