Listen to your body. It’s telling you something.
Chronic muscle and joint pain is annoying, frustrating, and debilitating. When you're in pain it's natural to want it to go away and stop immediately. It's instinctive human nature.
Day in and out clients come to work with me here at my studio looking for a natural solution without medication, manipulation or more surgery for their pain.
The GOOD NEWS is, most are ready to take a risk and try a new paradigm of healthcare.
The BAD NEWS however, is that I also find they have lots of reasons and explanations for their pain.
What's Your Pain Story?
Explaining our pain history is a coping technique we learn growing up in a culture that likes to assess blame.
How many times have you heard yourself say "It’s your (insert sport, job, genetics and/or age here) causing the pain, so you better stop!”
Now add your family, doctor, PT, and other clatter to the collection of voices telling you what to do, (insert activity is bad for your feet, knees, hips ) and you get the idea.
By the time clients arrive at my studio most have given up on the activities they love because of chronic pain. Not only are they in physical pain, but now they can't even do the things that they love and give joy.
When I ask why they don't do what they love to do anymore, the response usually goes something like this:
"When I power walk (run, do the elliptical, etc), my hip (you can inset any joint pain here) hurts. I stopped power walking because it hurts my hip." Or, "running hurts my knee. I don't run any more because it causes too much knee pain."
As a Certified Corrective Exercise & Posture Alignment Specialist, I always find the pain story fascinating.
Okay, your (insert muscle or joint issue) hip hurts. We'll agree on that.
But then I'll ask have "you ever stopped to wonder what the pain is telling you?" Here's an example conversation.
"If power walking is causing your hip (or insert any other pain here) pain, then why doesn't the other hip hurt too?
Don't they both do the same amount of power walking? How come only one hip hurts? Why doesn't the other one hurt just as much?"
Most of my clients have spent thousands of dollars, and countless hours visiting doctors and orthopedic specialists, going to and from physical therapy, massage, chiropractic, Pilates/yoga, or acupuncture looking for symptomatic pain relief. It's exhausting!
Sometimes the pain abates for a few months, or only for a few days or hours. Manipulations, adjustments, ice, heat, needles and exercises have not bought lasting chronic pain relief. Eventually the pain rears it's ugly head again, often at the oddest and most unexpected times.
What if the pain has nothing to do with your workout program, sports you play, your job, chair, desk, shoes, orthotics, or family genetics?
Maybe, the pain is a signal that is begging us to ask the fundamental question "Why do I hurt"? Tomorrow we will explore part TWO of Pain is a Signal .
Have you created a "story" to explain away your pain? Or better yet, have you changed your explanation and overcome chronic pain? We'd love to hear from you! Please share!