After the Cast is Gone…–March 11, 2014

After the Cast is Gone…

A Story of Casts, Braces, Pain, and Weakness

After the cast comes off, strength has gone on vacation, coordination takes extra effort, and there are weird aches and pains. Sound familiar? It’s a story we hear frequently.

In addition to the trauma of a bone break, the cast can be the source of your current pain and weakness. Why? When the muscles are taken out of action to allow the bone to heal, the communication to the muscles is put on hold. When the cast comes off, the communication doesn’t magically return to normal. Sort of like when your computer crashes. The new hard drive doesn’t automatically talk to the computer—you have to do some set-up work to get things back to normal.

The same thing happens with your muscles. Once the cast comes off, the communication to those muscles need help returning to normal. We are able to re-stabilize the muscle relationships by going back to the sequences the muscles originally learned when you were an infant. This has the added benefit of un-doing any compensations you’ve developed while the cast was on.

We’ve been helping clients restore muscle sequences following casts for several years. Interestingly our observations were supported by findings published in “In Vivo Alterations in Skeletal Muscle Form and Function after Disuse Atrophy” published on October 2009 in Medicine & Science in Sport and Exercise.

…”the influence of different disuse models on regulating the loss of muscle mass and strength, with immobilization causing greater reductions than bed rest and limb suspension do…”

 

What does this mean to you?

Your leg or arm is immobilized with a cast or brace. Your strength does not return and, often, you have nagging pain or stiffness somewhere.

What do we find?

Your muscle function is not differentiated in the manner it should be—zones of miscommunication caused by the immobilization.

What do we do?

Similar to restoring your computer, we restore the fundamental relationships and sequences of integrated movements. Once the basics are back in order, your strength returns, coordination improves, and pains become distant memories. All in just a couple of sessions.

 

A Note from Cara

Putting you back together-

Strained backs from shoveling, shoulders from tennis injuries, or stress in arms from walking your dogs. The common link? Something else that happened years ago.

Very often the headaches and pains you experience from something mundane are really just the straw that “broke the camel’s back.” Frequently, the real culprit is a long forgotten broken arm or broken ankle as a child. We find the cast creates a gap in muscle communication not automatically restored when the cast comes off.

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