Recently, one of my co-workers was treating a patient that had been a couple times over the last couple years for the same injury: groin pain. While it had improved some with PT in the past, it never got 100% better. Typically, with recurrent "strains" we tend to think the nervous system is at fault, which leads to spinal and neural mobility training. However, in this instance, the patient was only having some improvement with dry needling (still never complete improvement in pain).
While I am still far from proficient with my visceral manipulation techniques, my co-worker wanted me to take a look at this patient due to lack of improvement. The visceral manipulation course I took recommended a standard assessment of both general "listening" and local mobility testing. I have only been practicing local mobility testing. While there are more organs that can refer to the groin for pain than I am trained in, I was aware that the cecum can refer to that region, based on the material I was taught. I assessed and treated any mobility restrictions that I found in the 3 planes.
As I've stated previously, the Barral Institute claims that effects for visceral manipulation may occur within 3 weeks of treatment; however, I have experienced the most significant changes occur within 3 days of treatment (not usually same day). When I followed up with this patient the next week, he claimed he was 100% pain-free for 3 days afterwards - something he had not experienced with any other treatment. Now there are too many variables to say that what I did or what I claim to have done was the reason this patient had an improvement. It may have simply been a novel stimulus to the nervous system. It may only be a temporary fix. There are many reasons to be skeptical; however, the fact that the symptoms could be affected by the treatment is intriguing. I look forward to learning more about the potential benefits of this treatment style and will be sure to keep you all updated!
-Dr. Chris Fox, PT, DPT, OCS
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