Injuries, their affect on the body, and me – Jessica Johnson, LMT

bones to muscles running

Injuries, their affects on the body, and me, Jessica Johnson, LMT

Nicole asked me if I would mind writing as a “guest blogger” for her, and as one of my dearest
colleagues of course I happily agreed. Thank you for reading, I tend to nerd out on what I do so
I hope you enjoy!

February is a perfect time to address the topic of injuries. With ski season at its peak and
marathon season nearing, people are engaging in more and more physical activities, which also
puts them at increased risk of injury. Do you know what happens inside your body when you
sustain an injury? Well, big or small the inflammation response pretty much follows this pattern:

Discoloration -> Heat -> Loss of function -> Pain -> Swelling -> Repair phase -> Remodeling

Scar tissue does not form in a clean, linear fashion, meaning it doesn’t follow the same pattern
of the muscle or original tissue. The scar tissue fibers form in a random, criss-crossed “pick-upsticks”
design for stability and maximum protection. If left untreated, excessive scar tissue can
lead to decreased range of motion at a joint, loss of strength in a muscle, and decreased
circulation. With the formation of scar tissue happening as early as 4-5 days after the injury,
generally the sooner the fibers can be arranged in the right direction, the better the healing

The body tends to “overreact” when healing, and massage helps to abate this by helping fresh
blood move through the body which will reduce excessive swelling or inflammation. One of
these overreactions includes act of holding or guarding. This defense mechanism acts to
stabilize the injured area by engaging nearby muscles to tighten and protect. Since an injury
cannot support a normal amount of tension, the body disperses that tension to nearby areas. By
“sharing the load” areas that wouldn’t normally be under strain now are, and so that leads to
overcompensation. When muscles and joints are being engaged more than normal or
compensate for an area not functioning properly, they become strained and sore. Massage
therapy using deep myofascial strokes will slowly work through the layers of tissue, but only to
the point of the client’s pain threshold. This will not only effectively relieve tension by
encouraging the muscular and connective tissues to return to their resting lengths, but over time
also help to re-train the body to let go of tension-holding patterns brought on by injury with the
release of trigger points and other soft tissue restrictions.

To see a really cool and simplified explanation of the entire inflammation response, check out
this page!

My practice is called Body in Mind, and my office is located in City Park South/Congress Park. If
you think you need or would benefit from my work, please book online! I look forward to
meeting you!