In today's technology age, most people spend a lot of time sitting at desk looking at a computer, or looking down at their phone. There is nothing wrong with this posture. I'll say it again, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS POSTURE. I wrote this while sitting in that position. However, because of this position and how gravity works, our postural muscles work as our anti-gravity muscles. Without them, we would technically face-plant on our computers and phones ????♂️.
There are two, main mechanical (movement-based) pain causes: inflammation and tight soft tissue(s). The medical term for tight soft tissue is ischemia. Soft tissue is everything besides bone (ie hard tissue). The third category, highlighted in our overall overview of pain, is directed to the nerves – specifically the peripheral nerves. These are the nerves outside of your spine.
Pain is not always simple. It is easy to understand if we roll an ankle or break a bone what is causing the pain. However, pain is not always a cause and effect event. Pain can come from many different sources and may be simultaneously with other sources at the same time (as shown below). Individuals with multiple sources of pain are often dragged through the healthcare system with little results or given complicated diagnoses such as Fibromyalgia or Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome.
Navigating through pain can be frustrating. This traffic light handout’s goal is to help you understand WHEN to perform your exercises based on your pain symptoms.
When we have pain or become stressed we can develop a rapid or shallow breathing pattern. This breathing pattern can increase tension in the neck, chest, and shoulders. Overtime, this increased tension can lead to trigger point formations which can produce specific pain patterns.
Nerve pain is typically thought of as radiating pain down the arms or legs with diagnosis such as Sciatica. This pain occurs via the peripheral nerves. Your peripheral nerves connect your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. These nerves connect your brain and body to express danger. Anywhere along the path of these nerves a negative stimulus can cause symptoms.
There are three stages of healing following an injury: inflammatory, proliferative, and remodel. Each phase of healing may take different amounts of time depending on the extent of the injury and tissue(s) injured. Recognizing which phase of healing you may be in is important for a speedy recovery. Be sure to ask your chiropractor about which phase of healing you are in during your journey to recovery.
After an injury, or flare-up of an existing issue, the body produces inflammation. Symptoms of inflammation may include: pain, swelling, redness, increased temperature, and loss of movement. When inflammation sets in, it usually is felt as an increase in 3 points on a 10-point scale, which lasts longer than a day. Once inflammation sets in, the body starts to heal. Pain is your body’s response to inflammation. Pain bring awareness to an area of the body to decrease the odds of re-injury during the early phase of healing.
The whole moto of this approach is “too much of a good thing can be bad.” With each example, in Part 1, the person started to experience a decline in feeling better when performing more reps or more amount of time spent in a specific stretch. Let’s explain why.
When it comes to self-treatment, there is a plethora of information on the internet. How do you navigate it accordingly? Stretch this, activate that, feel here and not there – you can quickly be standing on your head feeling more lost then when you started. We have put together a “cheat sheet” on what we find are the most important CONCEPTS when trying to self-treat at home. By focusing your efforts on concepts or principles, it will help weed out 95% of unneeded information on the web.
Improper hip motion is oftentimes a culprit to low back pain and knee pain. Interestingly, the area where we experience pain is regularly not the source of pain. When the glute medius and glute minimus become problematic they can refer pain down the leg (mimicking a disc herniation), and to the SI joint. These muscles become dysfunctional due to lack of use. Stating this, you would think working on activating these muscles alone would be sufficient, but recent research indicates that combining soft tissue therapy with rehab/exercise training, adds greater benefit then either alone.¹
Do you have a question about chiropractic care, fitness or nutrition? We would love to hear from you, and we might even turn your question into our next blog post!
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