Understanding how the body works to maintain postural control is necessary to allow a clinician to piece together how pain might have a detrimental effect on balance. Postural control has been defined as the act of maintaining, achieving, or restoring a state of balance during any posture or activity.
Unfortunately, the 3 systems that work together to maintain balance can become impaired for a variety of reasons. For example, the removal of visual input (due to blindness, cataracts, etc) can increase reliance on the proprioceptive and vestibular systems. Impairments in the proprioceptive system (due to chronic musculoskeletal pain or neuropathy). For example might limit the range of motion, forcing increased reliance on the visual and vestibular systems to maintain postural control.
Fortunately, there are ways to improve balance that can have a direct influence on chronic pain. We use Myofascial release techniques a form of treatment in which relief of myofascial tension is accomplished. By applying pressure (a massage-style technique) on myofascial trigger points. Which are sensitive areas in discrete, tense bands of hardened muscle that produce symptoms such as pain and stiffness. Another component of comprehensive pain management is nutritional intervention.
The important field of kinesiology is a vital link in better understanding, treating, and developing treatment outcomes for this biopsychosocial model approach.
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