(Last Updated on : 22/03/2014)
Mechano-therapy is a method of healing physical ailments and restoring sound health with the aid of exercise. The term is similar to electrotherapy and pharmacotherapy which refers to the use of electrical modalities like ultrasound and applications of pharmaceuticals respectively for curing maladies. Under this branch of treatment various exercises are prescribed to promote tissue repair through mechano-transduction. Masso-therapy is another term frequently used in relation to mechano-therapy which refers to therapeutic massage.
Mechano-transduction is the phenomenon in which the cells of the body sense and respond to the mechanical loads. Researches have established the therapeutic use of load on a body which can be effectively used for remodelling cartilage, bone, muscle and tendons and for stimulating tissue repair. Various ailments such as muscle tears, fractures can be effectively cured by controlled loading. Several systematic reviews and randomised controlled clinical trials have proven the efficacy of Mechanotherapy for an array of musculoskeletal problems.
The central concept of mechano-transduction, which is the integral part of mechano-therapy, lies in the conversion of mechanical loading into cellular responses. These responses then help in promoting structural changes in the body. A prominent example of this theory can be witnessed in the adaptation of a bone to load. It is a common phenomenon that a weak bone in response to appropriate load can become stronger and longer. In fact, in the process of mechano-transduction, the cells respond by converting the mechanical stimuli into biochemical responses which helps in bringing about changes in structure. Stepwise it can be summarized as on application of a mechanical load, the loading message is distributed throughout the tissue to trigger and assemble the bio-chemicals which are necessary for the proper alignment of the body structures. At each step, the communication occurs through a network of messenger proteins, lipids and ion channels.
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