The viscera are the internal organs of the body held in place by fascia. All the organs need to have mobility within the overall organ tree so that when you move it is like the wind blowing on a tree. When your organ tree does not flex as you move it reduces movement efficiency (1). The movement of the organ tree has been demonstrated on ultrasound investigation and visceral manipulation has been shown to change organ motion (2).
Visceral restrictions can be Articular (adhesions and Fixations), Ligamentous (ptoses) or Muscular (Viscerospasms) and are thought to be derived from problems of rhythm. Mobility and Motility palpation can be used to identify specific restrictions within the context of the body before manipulation of the tract of organ motion and or a rhythm rate adjustment can be applied.
The fascia of the organ tree is connected with the fascia of the rest of the body. Abdominal fascia may cause nerve entrapment pain. Ideally the visceral tree would complement the stability of a strong spine. This is how the viscera are important in back pain experiences (3). The organ tree fascia, thoracolumbar fascia and abdominal fascia can all affect the muscular control of the spine. Don’t leave it and leave it so that your brain uses ankle muscles instead of your back muscles for postural control.
Taxonomy of Pain
Pain is a sensory emotional experience that can come on even when no tissue damage has occurred. Pain can signify difference and not just damage. When body tissues are damaged they are different to normal, hence why Lee says the pain system is a signifier of difference which could be chronic ongoing muscular imbalance or an obvious acute injury. Radiation exposure gives us a window into the importance of interpretation, for it is the interpretation aspect to a pain experience that is missing in radiation induced tissue damage. A type of tissue damage that we do not know is happening. Making it a lovely example of when tissue condition and pain experience are independent of each other.
- Hedley G. (2010) Visceral Adhesions and Pathology. JBMT. 14,(3), 255- 261.
- Michallet JM Kidney Mobilisation and Ultrasound Documentation in Barral JP Visceral Manipulation II [7th printing, 2003 Eastland Press] P.227-246
- Barral JP and Mercier P Basic Concepts. Visceral Manipulation [13th printing, 2003 Eastland Press] p.16-21
- Switters JM et al (2019) Is Visceral Manipulation Beneficial for Patients with Low Back Pain? A Systematic Review of the Literature Int J Ost Med 33 16-23