Did you know that almost every organ in your body is covered or supported by fascia? Fascia is a unique connective tissue made mostly of collagen that helps to connect everything in the body and provides support and lubrication to all of your organs, muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. Think of fascia as a giant network of internet fibers connecting everything in the body. If tension patterns form within the vast fascial network deep in the body, it will cause a cascade of issues that can appear far from the origin of the tightness or tension. Simply said, it’s all connected.
Did you also know that almost every organ in your body is always moving? Each organ has its own rhythm that helps it work most efficiently, but if the fascia on or around that organ is too tight or sticky, then the organ can’t move the way it’s supposed to, which can affect its function. This is where visceral manipulation can be very helpful. “Visceral” means internal organs and “manipulation” refers to moving the organs into the correct position. Using very specific myofascial techniques, specially trained physical therapists are able to release the fascia around the organs and encourage their normal movement patterns in order to improve their function. For example, if the large intestine has a lot of fascial restrictions around it, the bowel is unable to move and function the way it normally should. Restriction in the large intestine could cause constipation or other bowel issues. Using visceral manipulation, we are able to move the large intestine and stretch or break up the tight fascia to improve the bowel’s mobility, or its ability to move correctly. Visceral mobilization also helps improve blood flow and lymphatic flow to the region, which helps remove waste products from the area and aids the overall function of the organs and surrounding soft tissue.
Visceral mobilization is especially helpful in those that have undergone abdominal surgeries, including c-sections and hysterectomies. After abdominal surgery, scar tissue can form around the organs, compromising their mobility and ability to function most effectively. Through visceral mobilization, the physical therapist can gently introduce movement and ease tension on the internal organs
At Rebalance Physical Therapy, we use visceral manipulation to help with many different conditions, including pelvic floor dysfunction and orthopedic problems such as pelvic pain, constipation, bladder dysfunction, low back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, and many others. Sometimes the problem is coming from a visceral source, a musculoskeletal source, or both! By utilizing different myofascial techniques, we are able to rebalance the body and improve function. If traditional exercise and self-treatment have been ineffective for you, please contact us at Rebalance Physical Therapy to see if visceral mobilization can help with your problem!
Written by Elayne Geba PT, DPT, WCS
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