Don’t be misled by the name – Micro-Tears are a major player in chronic pain conditions. They can evade detection by X-Rays or even MRIs, all while making your life smaller, filling it with restrictions, and setting you up for more issues down the road.
Never heard of micro-tears? Here’s a mini-course on what they are, how they happen, and how we can heal them.
“Death by a Thousand Papercuts” – Dr. Sorr
Microtrauma is a bit of a blanket term that encompasses many small injuries to the body. One of the most common is muscle tears in areas of overuse. This can stem from repetitive motion – think tennis players or golfers- or just from doing too much, too often. Their potent effect isn’t due to the small injury – it’s the associated damage that causes so many issues. Where micro-tears appear, the structural stability of your connective tissue is lost. They start small and then build their power in the background.
It’s all about location. Unfortunately, many micro-tears in your body form in areas with a lot of nerves and capillaries. The loose connective tissue that runs along our muscles (called fascia) responds to the injured area by growing harder and tougher. As you might expect, this change isn’t good for the surrounding tissues – where it can reduce the flow of circulation and even entangle nerve endings.
Left untreated, micro-tears kick off an undesirable cascade effect. As you experience pain and gradually change your movements to compensate, you set the stage for even more damage at a later date. Joint pain and arthritis are common manifestations of these modified movement patterns.
Identifying the source of your own pain can prove to be extremely difficult. Micro-tears are, as we said, virtually invisible. Like most myofascial pain, the location of your injury may not match that of your excruciating twinge. Myofascial involvement can create trigger points and cause pain in completely different areas of your body. Connecting your old back injury to your aching neck may not seem logical. Likewise, when you develop arthritis in your knee, you’d never suspect that the real root of the issue is nowhere near your leg. A proactive approach can require professional guidance to help you stop the cascade and get back to your normal life.
Early Intervention is Best
This is why it’s so beneficial to address micro-tears early. They start as small injuries, then snowball into chronic pain, degenerative conditions, and more. Their standard of care treatment usually involves anti-inflammatories, rest, and a merry-go-round of physical therapy appointments – none of which address the main issues at hand. Meanwhile, those afflicted experience everything from breathtaking twinges of pain whenever they move wrong to lingering dull aches.
Here’s how we break the cycle at Source of Health. We’ve developed a way to recreate how you connect with your body, built around our pillars of “Live Better, Heal Better, Move Better.”
Healing the damage from micro-tears is not a quick process – we’re committed to a long-term cure rather than a quick fix that will fail later. As we help patients move from sickness to health, our whole team follows the “Time heals all wounds” adage. It’s a bit of a cliché, but we’ve found there’s a lot of truth to it. Breaking old habits is hard, and rewiring your old movement patterns and habits requires real change! Taking time to work with each client requires patience and commitment. We love to focus our hearts and minds on the person before us to help them live a better, pain-free life.
How the Process Unfolds at Source of Health
We’ve organized our process into steps that work efficiently and allow our clients to heal at a rate that produces lasting results. Using our key pillars to resolving pain, we diagnose each person’s condition, establish their personal foundation of wellness, then add regenerative treatments and movement-based therapies.
The First Pillar: Live Better
We’ve discovered that ensuring the fundamentals of health for an individual can involve something as simple as eliminating inflammatory foods. We may also work with you to create a diet that supplies the raw materials you need at the cellular level. Our diagnostics can include evaluating and treating hormone deficiencies, food allergies, and more.
You’ll experience this focused approach from your very first Discovery Session, where you’ll meet with Dr. Sorr. After listening to you closely and gaining a full understanding of your problem, he’ll order any blood tests or imaging that’s needed. At your follow up Wheelbarrow Visit, we’ll spend more time talking and listening to you about your needs. We’ll go over your past and current medications and supplements and then formulate a diet and lifestyle plan tailored to your unique needs and requirements.
The Second Pillar: Heal Better
Regenerative medicine, in its purest form, aims to stimulate self-healing. Dealing with micro-tears and deep injuries can be challenging, as it addresses difficult to reach areas – going literally to the root of your pain. Empowering the human body to grow and repair itself naturally proves that regeneration is not only possible but is becoming the new standard model of health treatment. We use Prolotherapy and Platelet Rich Plasma treatments to achieve highly targeted and effective results, helping to loosen myofascial adhesions and stimulate healing. You may benefit from therapies such as cupping, dextrose prolotherapy, or other cutting edge treatments that help us heal without drugs or unnecessary surgeries.
Treatments such as regenerative injections will be scheduled approximately 2-3 weeks after getting started.
The Third Pillar: Move Better
During your Move Better Analysis, you’ll meet with our Doctor of Physical Therapy. They’ll assess and establish your current movement and pain parameters. This is a key part of your journey, where we help you change your movement patterns and deliver a custom movement plan for you to practice at home. By discovering the adaptations someone has made from a prior injury and rewiring the connection from the mind to the body, true resolution can begin.
Our team will continue to re-evaluate your progress with re-testing and diagnostics. As we witness inflammatory signal indicators go down and movement goals advance, it’s a rewarding experience for all of us.
You can expect some profound changes as we work together to address micro-tears at their source, re-establish healthy movement, and establish a foundation for health at a root level. Our Integrative Medicine approach combines the best of functional and naturopathic methods with regenerative medical procedures. We are passionate about avoiding unnecessary surgeries or symptomatic treatments with drugs. By going deeper into the root cause, we can deliver better solutions to help the body heal itself.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of repetitive use injuries, chronic pain, or other indicators of micro-tears, we’d love to help you stop the paper cuts and get back to healthy movement and function. Get in touch with our Scottsdale office to schedule your free Discovery Session with Dr. Sorr, and learn how we can help you heal.