Principles of ART

To be able to work with the many different types of injuries sustained by the body. We must first understand the process that creates these situations.

Most soft tissue injuries do not require a specific traumatic event to begin the cycle of repetitive damage. This lack of need for actual trauma causes some confusion with the naming or diagnosis of soft tissue injuries as they are commonly called Cumulative Trauma Disorders(CTD). A better term would be Cumulative Injury Disorder(CID).

The three main types of injuries are:

Acute Injuries- ex. actual trauma slip and fall
Repetitive Injuries –  ex. keyboarding, using a mouse
Constant Pressure /Tension Injuries – ex. standing in the same position for long periods of time

These Cumulative trauma disorders are a group of injuries to the muscles, tendons, bones, blood fascia and/or nerves. Any of the 3 main categories of injuries can initiate the CTD cycle.

Acute injury: Muscle and fascial tearing from an acute injury immediately results in inflammation, white blood cell proliferation, fibrinogen and the tissue adhesion process begins. If this is not treated correctly the CTD cycle will begin.

Repetitive Motion Injury: This type of injury is related to specific factors  (number of repetitions, amplitude of movement, etc.) that are best understood by looking at a repetitive stress formula to determine the amount of injury to the tissues.

Constant Pressure/Tension Injury: These injuries can decrease in circulation and compromise cell recovery. This type by definition does not require any motion instead, isometric (same muscle length) contraction and increased tension due to poor posture are enough to create injury.

Repetitive Stress Formula:

I, representing the injury to the tissues.
N, representing the number of repetitions.
F, being the force and tension of each repetition as a percent of maximum strength.
A, being the amplitude of each repetition.
R, being the relaxation time between repetitions.

So by looking at this formula we can better understand how any activity when done using inappropriate amounts of each of these factors can cause repetitive damage to the tissues being used.

So the basics of this formula are that an increase in number of repetitions or force of tension lead to increase in tissue damage. Alternatively, a decrease in either Amplitude or relaxation time also creates an increase in damage to tissues. So the recap, Injury is directly proportional to number of repetitions and force and inversely proportional to amplitude and relaxation time.