Unwinding Injuries

Solving Pain Puzzles

Hardware vs. Software


In listening to a patient’s history, I may learn that they sprained their left ankle—last month, or thirty years ago. The injury may have healed, but in assessing their foot shape, joint mobility and observing gait, we find the ankle still lives in a "sprained" state. In a series of movement assessments, we find their body doesn't like to land, bear weight, or “live” on the left. They haven’t paid attention to or noticed it, but if put on their back with outstreched legs, they can see the foot is still curled in. If brought to their attention, they now notice how that leg has to turn out as they walk, to make up for the shape of the foot. This is a "hardware" problem.  


Using foam wedges and 3D movements, we can restore joint function and engage tissue, returning options lost from the sprain. We make the body feel safe landing on the left side again. We then may see how increasing the function of the foot decreased the burden and torque on the knee and that by restoring rotation in the foot we eliminated the reason for the visit,  knee pain.     


But what if that same patient also fell and hit the right side of their head skiing—several weeks, or two decades ago? In their body scan, we find their body hesitates to go to the right. They have a "software" problem—that is, their body has learned “danger” in going in that particular direction. Through a sophisticated method of muscle testing, we can actually tie impaired movement patterns and diminished strength to the cranial impact. We may find a host of muscles in the arms, legs and trunk that initially  tested weak “turn on” when we touch the cranium in the proper location in the apropriate vector. We perform a customized technique of cranial release work that clears up this negative neurologic imprint and enables the body to feel safe going right again.    


Most of us, no matter what our age, have experienced a fall, a sprain, a break, or some type of bodily trauma. A person can have a "hardware" problem, a "software” problem, or both. 


When you come in for your first visit, we will talk in detail of your history. You’ll learn to see the difference between injury and symptom. We will do a static and dynamic scan of your body. I will ask you to perform a series of movemtns to see what hurts, what feels different from side to side. Where you feel pressures and compensations. Are things loaded where they should be and headed in the right direction? Through narration and motion you will tell me the history of your body. My job is then to play the part of detective and solve the puzzle of why you hurt. Ultimately I develop a strategy that gives you the techniques and tools to reduce your pain and resove your movement impairments.

Restoring Lost Options

The health and vitality of the human body comes from having options. Pain and dysfunction stem from lost options. The work of Cranials Physiotherapy is to identify and restore lost options. 

an interview / session with Julie