What is injury treatment? The judicious use of stress.

Audience: Patients

What is this about:  Injury Treatment

Injuries can be treated a number of ways and many different ways are often successful. But if I am asked to be very simple about what treatment is I start with one basic assumption.  THE BODY ADAPTS TO STRESS. 

Often the body adapts positively to stress.  This is why exercise is important.  We stress the body with running, strength training or yoga and the body says "what are you doing this to me? I can only handle this for so long, I had best ADAPT".  This is also said in an australian accent.

Unfortunately, the body is sometimes overloaded with stress and its adaptability is overcome with too much stress.  Hence, an injury and sometimes pain.  An injury is merely the body's lack of ability to adapt.

What treatment is, is the judicious modification of stress.  We can stress a tissue or system of the body with some form of modality (active release technique, massage, exercise, ultrasound, LASER, needles etc, although I don't really do the latter three) and this will in turn challenge the body to be the unbelievable adaptive system that it is...and get better.  We can also modify the stress on tissues.  We might do this physically (e.g. teaching spinal sparing postures, taping a foot, perhaps joint manipulation or tissue manipulation) or even through a cognitive-behavioral approach (e.g teaching a patient that hurt does not equal harm may change movement patterns that overload cranky or injured tissue).

That in a large nutshell is how I view treatment and injury.  The body adapts and we can facilitate this.


Greg Lehman

Your Toronto Physiotherapist