CAN YOU REALLY “WORK THROUGH”…… THE PAIN?

The short answer is maybe, but eventually it will catch up with you.  I have many patients that come in and say they can usually work through the pain but this time it will not go away.  This response indicates to me that they never actually worked through the pain.  Their body compensated by loading up another area.  Eventually there will be no other areas to compensate to and pain will result.  Most of my patients are between the ages of 30-55.  This is the common age range when the body runs out of areas to compensate to.  One of the most common under diagnosed sources of pain is muscle adhesion. If you have a nagging injury that will not go away or you have been “working through” the pain, please call our office to schedule an exam. This way you will know if adhesion is at the root of your pain.

THE GIFT OF PAIN

Why is pain a gift?

Pain is the bodies warning system that something is wrong.  If we didn’t have pain, we would slowly destroy our bodies and not even know it.

Unfortunately, we are trained to cover up pain.  Americans consume billions of dollars of pain medicine every year.  Pain medicine allows us to function when we shouldn’t.  It seems like the answer to shoulder, knee, back, elbow, neck, and foot pain is ibuprofen or some other type of pain medicine.  This may help in the short term but it sets you up for disaster down the road.  Many times pain medicine will allow you to irritated the bad tissue until it tears.  This may be why we see such a large number of rotator cuff tears and disc herniations.

Rest, ice, or pain medicine is not the answer to reducing your pain.  Muscle adhesion is the most common source of pain and stiffness and the most underdiagnosed. To determine the cause of your pain, schedule an appointment now. 

NO PAIN, NO GAIN…… RIGHT?

Have you ever heard the saying, no pain, no gain?  This saying can be a good thing or a really bad thing.  For example, if a triathlete starts swimming after a long break, it is probably going to be a painful experience.  It’s hard to get oxygen, your arms are sore, and you are trying your hardest not to let your legs become a 60 pound anchor.  At first you have to push through the pain, and eventually it becomes easier. Pain in this case is a part of becoming better, stronger, and faster.  If that same triathlete has shoulder pain on his right side during the recovery portion of his stroke, then that’s a different story.  This is bad pain and indicates that the joint is not working correctly.  This pain would most likely be caused from adhesion in the rotator cuff muscles.  This will cause the joint to move incorrectly and create pain in the shoulder and down the arm.  Bad pain is your body’s way of saying STOP.  If you try to work though the pain and take anti-inflammatory medicine, it will only get worse.  The medicine will allow you to continue to move the joint wrong until something tears.  I like the saying, “No GOOD pain, no gain”.   If you are unsure if your pain is good or bad, please schedule an exam to find out.

STRETCHING: THE SOLUTION TO MUSCLE PAIN……. OR IS IT?

Do you have tight, stiff, or painful muscles? You obviously need to stretch more, right?

If something is tight, stiff or painful, we immediately assume it needs to be stretched. Stretching may provide temporary relief for some, but the majority of people do not get results. Unfortunately, stretching is not the answer to all of your problems. In this article, we will talk about two of the major contributors to your tight, stiff, and painful muscles.

The first contributor is protective tension. Protective tension is the spasm of a muscle to protect an irritated or damaged area. The easiest way to visualize this is to think about someone who has lower back pain. They try to touch their toes but immediately feel their back and hamstrings stretch, which prevents them from bending forward. This is your body’s way of preventing you from loading the irritated and damaged area. Your hamstrings aren’t “tight”; rather, they are contracting to prevent you from causing more damage. Stretching in this case would only make it worse.

The second contributor is adhesion. Adhesions form in muscles mainly from overuse and prolonged positions (sitting and standing). Adhesions are like glue in your muscles that don’t allow them to stretch properly. This leads to tight, stiff, and painful areas because the joint isn’t allowed to move properly. The great thing about adhesion is that it is reversible and, once removed, the muscles and joints can move properly, effectively reducing your symptoms. Adhesions are treated by specific soft tissue work by a certified provider.

The next time something is tight, stiff, or painful, don’t waste your time with stretching. Have it properly assessed and treated by a professional. This could save you many problems down the road.

If you have tight, stiff, or painful muscles, please schedule an appointment.