Through their lives seniors accumulate many tensions (stress, strong emotions, shocks, impacts, fractures or scars). With each, the body has been adapting in order to function and at the same time it has been storing tensions within the tissues or in the nervous system affecting overall wellbeing.
For example, when we treat a senior that has accumulated a lot of stress during life, it is normal to find his or her nervous system still with tension. In some cases, the posture can reflect an emotional state similar to when a person has received an emotional shock that has not been liberated. The osteopath will focus the treatment at the nervous system level.
Another example, when a person has the cruciate ligaments broken in the knee, or a foot fracture, this person will transfer weight to the other leg. The part of the body that received the trauma, having suffered a tissue disorganization or from not being used correctly will create in an area of restricted mobility. This area is known as the area of “primary” tension.
This primary tension will have a domino effect upon other parts of the body that were not affected, possibly altering its function with the appearance of pain or inflammation with the passage of time. Thus a person with a knee problem will disrupt the balance between the right and left of the body and will unconsciously make the back work in an unbalanced manner creating pain up to the neck level.
At the moment of any traumatism (impacts, car accidents, falls, surgery and fractures) the nervous systems receives the information that damage has been caused in the tissue and starts protecting it.
Until this stored information in the nervous system has not been liberated by a therapist, even if the original pain has disappeared, the patient will continue protecting this area unconsciously, altering posture, and preventing a complete recovery
As we can see, to compensate for the pain, a person constantly adapts their posture, creating an imbalance in the spine, which at a later stage often translates into arthrosis in old age. This deformity limits articulatory movements and provokes local inflammation and aches.
The osteopath will locate the “primary tension” areas that were the cause of the tissue and nervous disorganization, so that these areas can be relaxed allowing the compensations in both systems to undo themselves.