I. – The origin of a mechanical tension.
When a person receives a physical shock, at the moment of a fall or an accident a muscular, bone, or ligament injury takes place, and the person will unconsciously adopt a compensatory posture in order to minimize pain. This new posture will generate new tensions.
For 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.
II. -The importance of the nervous tension
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.
An osteopath will localize the areas of “primary” tension in the patient, which were the cause of tissue and nervous disorganization. The osteopath will relax these areas by re-establishing the tissue and nervous balance so both systems can eliminate the compensations.
A visit to an osteopath is highly recommended immediately after a traumatism has occurred in order to avoid the creation of compensations at a tissue or nervous level (fractures should be seen 60 days after they occurred or when the plaster cast is removed).