Anyone who's dealt with chronic muscle and joint pain can tell you the pain is like a thief that steals over and over again from the joy of life. One of the biggest problems I find as a Corrective Exercise Specialist is that in general, as a comfort and technology driven society, we're conditioned to mask symptoms, or focus primarily on the pain versus looking at the body as a whole.
It's a huge problem. Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined, with 100 Million now reporting as suffering from chronic pain .
Additionally, we are not taught how to move in ways to keep the body and overall health from deteriorating. It's important that you know it can be resolved, and you can do something about it.
If you're tired of the chronic pain cycle and looking for a simple and natural solution without medication, manipulation or surgery, corrective exercise programming like Foundation Training, Pilates and Posture Correction Exercise are definitely worth your time to look into.
However... it will take MORE than just wanting a natural solution. Most people who have chronic muscle and joint pain didn't get into the situation overnight. In my experience, it's a cumulation of a life experience of postural imbalances taken through movements, prolonged sitting, and prior injuries where movement compensations began.
So the process of healing is just that. A process, not a quick fix. And before you take the plunge, the primary key to success with any corrective exercise program lies with you!
The Key to Success
The Key to Success with a Corrective Exercise program in my opinion, comes down to Personal Responsibility. It's as simple and profound as that. YOU must take personal responsibility for the situation you are in, and more importantly, personal responsibility for reversing it. Postural therapy works, but you will have to change your thoughts about your ability to heal and restore, take positive action through your corrective exercise/postural therapy program, which overtime creates new and better habits that lead to a pain-free lifestyle.
“Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge,
let your learning lead to action.”
- Jim Rohn
It is vital that we take an absolute responsibility for our own health, and recovering from chronic pain demands that we accept the responsibility to evaluate our overall condition and change what isn't working. Very often, you can successfully overcome the symptoms you're experiencing without drugs, surgery, and machines on your own. Yes, YOU! A normal, everyday person by changing the things that are NOT working.
To clarify, I'm not talking about someone who has had an acute trauma from a serious injury/accident, or dealing with genetic abnormalities. In this instance, I'm talking about the day-to-day chronic pain most of use chalk up to "old-age, inherited body types ("I have my mother's feet", "I have my aunties bad back"), and a simple lack of understanding of how your body should be positioned and move.
When you partner with someone who will educate and empower you to address imbalances in your posture and function, you are put back in control. It is very possible to reverse chronic muscle and joint pain that is caused by prolonged bouts of imbalanced static positions and repetitive dysfunction movement patterns. Intrigued? Sound too simple? Then ask yourself:
Does my chronic pain mean I’m just getting old and it's something I should expect and learn to live with as I age?
I disagree. Pain is a signal. It's the one and only way your body can communicate with you that something is wrong! Unfortunately we live in a culture that immediately tells us to take something to mask it. We're taught to ignore or mask the signals, and that really doesn't work in my opinion. In my experience, treating pain symptoms without identifying the underlying source of the problem is shuts down our inner body wisdom.
With 25+ years in the business, I recognize you may need guidance, because let's face it. You may have sought out the help of a lot of other programs and medical opinions promising you a quick fix. You might not trust your internal wisdom any more, or those in the profession to help.
I truly do understand. What makes working with someone like myself so DIFFERENT is that I look and treat you as a whole person! It's also vital that you feel empowered to affect real change. It's your body! It's your life!
I believe that YOU know more about your body, and we it's my job to listen, educate and advise. My training will help identify the root cause (origin) of your pain, and then come up with a plan of action to tackle the issue that fits your learning and lifestyle.
You'll be encouraged to not only listen to your body, and your instincts, but then to communicate with me and how to address how your body is responding to the process without fear.
10 Body Wisdom Tips to Help You Overcome Chronic Muscle & Joint Pain
Make sense? I hope so. I've put together a compilation of Body Wisdom Tips I've gathered and cultivated through my work experience over the years. These tips form a great deal of the underlying core values that guide how I work with and treat my clients here at Pain Free Posture MN.
- Trust yourself. Deep down YOU know more about yourself than anyone else and this includes medical experts. Fear can take your power away. Remember, the medical community works for you, and you are paying the bill.
- Everyone has an opinion about what you should do, based on their experience, hearsay, and what we're conditioned to believe from the advertisements that bombard you through the tv, internet and social media. Everyone wants to help. BUT ultimately, YOU have to trust yourself and internal voice above all others.
- Western medicine is trained to focus on your pain symptom. However, YOU are MORE than a symptom, and more than just a body. Consider that real healing is a bio-psycho-social process. It's time to look at the problem through a wider lens.
- If you've been going around the same problem doing the same kind of things over and over again - STOP! The body changes and responds to it’s environment, so if you continue to do the same things over and over, expecting something to change is futile.
- Learn how your body works. You can fix what you can't feel, or change what you're unaware of. Find someone who can assess your posture and help you create a pathway to change that works for you and your lifestyle.
- Implementing small changes in your reasoning, responses and routine will take time, and it's worth it!
- Time is a precious commodity. Do proactive things to change your habits and work smarter will yield better results.
- Develop and implement a plan that is gives you an immediate positive outcome, and build off of that.
- Begin rebuilding trust in both yourself and the process. By addressing the underlying cause of why you have pain – NOT the symptom itself your body will immediately tell you if the plan is working or not.
- Follow points 1-9 and you'll begin to create an environment for your body to heal and peace of mind, and that is something money can't buy!
Do you have a body wisdom tip that you've used to help you overcome chronic pain tip that isn't on this list and would like to share? I'd love to post it!
Or maybe you have more questions. No problem. That's what I'm here for. Please leave a comment or contact me directly. We're in this together. I'm here to help.
1. American Academy of Pain Medicine
Stock Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Head Photo Credit: Melissa Thome Photography
Author: Deb Preachuk is a Certified Foundation Training & STOTT Pilates Instructor, Corrective Exercise & Posture Alignment Specialist, and the founder/owner of Pain Free Posture MN.
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