Whether discussing Acute Pain (rapid onset) or Chronic Pain (prolonged), we almost all experience it at some point. The problem with ignoring it is that often without intervention, the pain can cause loss of function, injury, and/ or disability. Perhaps the pain starts limiting your physical function and inhibits you from daily tasks like rising from a chair or even maneuvering stairs. The American Physical Therapy Association reports about 1/3 of all of us have back or joint pain. This is an alarming statistic.
This does not just happen in the elderly. This happens from the active to the inactive and we likely all know someone experiencing it right now. There is typically an underlying series of events that brought the pain on. This could be simply overuse or underuse. Often our bodies simply need to be re-educated. If we move early to correct this pain we can often avoid surgery and injury. If you look past symptoms, you can sometimes find faulty biomechanics that can be corrected with the proper Physical Therapy through a Rehabilitation Program.
Mechanical discrepancies within our bodies as the result of muscle imbalances can often be to blame for dysfunction. Think of your posture and how it affects your lower back and your neck. Sometimes muscles are shortened and tight while the opposing muscle becomes weak and elongated. This piggybacks off of the stretching blog I posted recently. Stretching in the proper manner can assist in rectifying these imbalances. I must emphasize proper manner as improper stretching can injure you. I recently heard a lecture that discussed a slumped inward posture even affects our hormones. This is likely why when people stand erect and talk on the phone they feel more confident than when they are sitting and slouched. Fatigue and depression seem associated with poor posture. Whether depression or hormones caused the poor posture is not the point. The point is that you are training your muscular and nervous system to follow this incorrect pattern that can lead to Pain.
Think about Golf or a Baseball pitcher. They are often using one side repeatedly and this can cause a one-side imbalance. For the most part our bodies crave symmetrical movements that allow normal function. Think of this next time you repeatedly do a movement within a single direction on a single side repetitively. Whether muscle lengths, scar tissue, or a host of other factors are causing you pain and dysfunction needs to be explored. Find out today and perhaps you can avoid future injury.