A 39 year old Naturopath presented for treatment of a calf tear sustained the day before while playing tennis. She wasn’t sure if much could be done since the injury was only 24hrs old.
This patient had injured her calf in the usual way overstretching for a ball and had felt a “pop” in her left calf. She had limped off the court and applied ice appropriately.
When she attended for her appointment, she was still clearly limping and walking was painful. Musculoskeletal assessment revealed lunge limited to 6cm, pain on bilateral heel raise(20% of weight on left ), tender and slightly swollen left medial gastrocnemius, hypomobility and left rotation of T8 and T12, as well as large trigger point in left infraspinatus(on the back of shoulder blade). She was diagnosed with a grade 2minus calf tear, an injury that normally takes at least 4-6 weeks to heal and even longer for return to running and weight bearing sports.
Using a series of treatment directed tests (Ridgway method), we established that this patients thoracic spine was affecting her calf function. Treatment of the T12 segment resulted in a 66% increase in her lunge in the first session( 10cm), and an infraspinatus release improved bilateral calf raise to be pain free. This patient walked out of the rooms without a limp, was totally impressed, and her calf was not even treated!
She progressed to begin walk/running within 1 week, which usually takes 2-3 weeks when treated the standard way. This example shows the power of treating the whole musculoskeletal system even for an acute injury…more effective than the traditional ultrasound/electrical stimulation applied to the site of injury.