Pain is not where the problem is.
When you read that sentence, what comes to mind?
You may be thinking that "I have pain" and I've tried everything to make it go away.
I've strengthened. 💪🏽
I've used heat.
I've used cold. 🥶
I've used creams.
I've used medications. 💊
I've used tens machines.
I've had acupuncture. 💆🏻
All great things. And still the pain remains.
What if I told you that the pain is a signal that something isn't moving well?
You may think "no kidding, Lisa, I know that!"
What if the part of your body that isn't moving well is actually not in the place of your pain?
Let me give you two examples.
Example 1️⃣ :
I had a client this week that came to see me with neck and shoulder pain. She has had surgery on both shoulders and said nothing seems to work that resolves the pain.
I had her move her arms in various ranges of motion with great success. Then I glanced at her lower body and saw an interesting position of her thighs. I asked her to start doing some leg movements and what became clear was that her leg bone loves to move one way and not the other. When she moves, she also compensates by moving her pelvis when its not the pelvis' job to move.
As you can imagine, I had to explain that I saw excellent movement in her shoulders. Nothing that I flagged to be moving poorly and what I did see was compensation patterns in her lower body. Although two ends of her body, there are muscular connections between the parts that can influence each other.
She has started directing her attention to her lower body movements to notice what is moving. To use her breath to move with ease AND to feel when pain shows up with movement. If it does, she's gone too far.
I'm looking forward to meeting again to see what shifts and changes in her body when making slight modifications to how she is moving…even in her lower body instead of her upper body.
Example 2️⃣ :
I've been having persistent fiery nerve pain in my left middle toe for years. 🔥
Yes - years!
I've had various treatments to help resolve this on going pain.
Rolling out my feet with a ball. Stretching my calf. Having massage and acupuncture on my feet. It all feels good at the time. Yet nothing sticks.
Then one day, I'm in a training where I do some side bending. On break, I go for a walk outside and low and behold the pain has completely vanished!
Not only has it vanished, my left foot feels spacious, active and move alive than ever before. I keep walking and the pain stays away.
Fast forward to now, the pain returns but not as frequently. When it does, I go back to my side bending to help relieve my pain.
Not obvious on the surface that my foot pain can resolve by bending to the side.
However, I know that my left side (hip, pelvis, low back) doesn’t always work well. I am diligent (most weeks!) doing my exercises.
The pain in my left toe tells me that my left side of my body is not moving well. And funny enough, sometimes my left knee joins the pain party and then I really know my mechanics have been poor!
It is a work in progress. If I do the work, my pain decreases and even goes away. I know that I have the tools to resolve my pain.
By teaching my body to move with ease and within its ideal range of motion, I've trained my neuromuscular system to a new pattern of movement. Movement that will keep me moving mostly pain-free.
Pain is not where the problem is.
So, what do you think of the statement now? Do you have pain that persists?
Maybe there is somewhere in your body that isn't moving well that contributes to your pain.
I can help.
My trained eye can see what is moving that should be moving, what is moving that ought not to be moving and what isn't moving that should be.
I've got two spots open on Friday mornings starting mid November if you'd like to join me for some one-on-one support. Let's explore your movement patterns to see where you can move better to reduce your pain. Send me an email directly to email@example.com and let's chat!
Stay well and happy moving,
👋🏼 P.S., Before you go - do you have any physical activity/exercise/movement/yoga/behaviour change questions for me? Hit reply to this email and let me know what you want to learn about. I am happy to do the research if I don't know the answer and share the details in a future newsletter! Think of it as a Q&A with Lisa!
Missed my most recent newsletter? Don't worry, I've got your back. Find all my exclusive letters here on this blog. ~Lisa