Recovery from Pain, Injury & Operation
Way more often than not, whatever a body tries to do, thinking it is trying to protect you from pain or injury, is actually changing the mechanics to a pattern that is causing the pain or perceived injury...becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
This is PARTICULARLY the case for 'Frozen Shoulder' and Back Pain.
SHOULDERS: Whatever the body tries to do to protect a shoulder often locks the shoulderblade in place to try and stop the shoulder from moving through a painful range. Unfortunately, this completely changes the mechanics of how a shoulder should move -called 'Disrupted Humero-Scapular Rhythm'. In order for the tendons that travel under the acromial (shoulder) arch to remain free and unpinched, the shoulderblade MUST move in a unit with the arm past about 45/50 degrees of elevation. If not, then the muscles at the deltoid, and upper trapezius (between the shoulder and the neck) try to 'help' and succeed in jamming the head of the humerous (upper arm bone) into the socket causing tendons to be pinched under the joint arch...recreating inflammation, and the pain that ironically motivated the change of action in the first place. It is a self perpetuating cycle that is difficult to get out of since the body almost refuses to allow the shoulderblade to move for fear of pain., without help and intervention. Painkillers do not work as they can remove the pain, but not restore the correct way of moving.
Through respectful tissue work I am able to restore correct muscle balance and movement within the shoulder, . Comfort and movement can further be supported using proprioceptive taping.
BACKS: Oh Backs....Pain most often is caused by asymmetric load through rotation or a sideways shift....and/or from the amount of sitting and bent forward activities. Hip Flexors become shortened: sitting at desk, sitting to eat, sitting at work, sitting to drive, gardening, etc etc. Psoas and Iliacus, the main Hip Flexors, attach between the femur and the lumbar spine. When they are tight, they tug on the lower spine and pelvis making it rotate/tip forwards (anterior tilt). If one side is more rotated forwards it puts a twist through the sacrum and can increase the level of pain experienced and can result in Sciatica. When the pelvis is rotated forwards, it compresses the lumbar spine into a tighter curve (lordosis), compressing the discs and squeezing them forwards (like biting into a cream slice), putting pressure on the nerves in the spine. Often people suffering from damaged discs are faced with operations or feeling that this is as good as it gets. However, restoring the pelvis to balance, reduces the forward squeeze on the discs, and ultimately the pressure on the nerves.
Often people with a 'bad back' feel able to do less, and end up spending longer times sitting down (because it's too painful to stand for long)....once again this becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. The more time spent sitting, the shorter the hip flexors get, the greater the compression on the lumbar spine and the greater the pressure on the nerves equals more pain equals more sitting etc etc
The alignment HAS to change to rectify this situation -to take the pressure off- and sadly, no painkillers or anti-inflammatories can do this.
Restoring pelvic balance .....and helping you understand how to use yourself, how to sit, how to set up your work station, how to set up your car, how to do your daily activities in the least damaging way, is my daily bread and butter job.
Someone with a 'bad back' often is scared of pain when they are getting up from sitting. Their body locks their body towards their thighs by locking their hip flexors. fearing any opening up of their back. Then as they reach back to push off the chair with their hand and haul themselves up from their upper body, their lower back is forced into a pinch creating the pain they were dreading. In correct standing from sitting, the back stays completely neutral and doesn't change shape for the whole movement....it's simply not used...standing is all about getting your (neutral back) body weight over your feet and what gets you up is ONLY pushing from your legs and feet.
Let me help you find a new way forwards.
Unless there is current trauma through impact, tear or accident (or tumour/disease), almost all other discomfort is usually because something is being squashed/crushed, tugged about or made to do 'a double shift', because something else somewhere ISN'T doing it's job.....
E.g. A lot neck and back of shoulder pain is contributed to from loss of length of the front line of the body, pulling the head forward, and necessitating the muscles at the back of the neck to overwork to hold the head up against resistance. No matter how many times you massage the back of your neck, it keeps coming back, because the cause of the back of the neck complaining is the shortening of the silent front.
E.g. A lot of lower back pain is contributed to by short hip flexors pulling the pelvis and lower back forwards and making the lumbar muscles overwork to pull the trunk back upwards against the resistance pulling you forward. Again, no amount of back massage will make it stay away, because the lower back HAS to keep gripping to hold you up against the hip flexors. again the culprit is generally asymptomatic.
Whenever there is a breakdown in movement pattern, there is ALWAYS a really good reason in the body (or mind) that makes it easier for the body to go towards the pattern it breaks down to, rather than to stay on the ideal.
- Sometimes we are using moving muscles to stablise and initialising movement from the outside in, instead of the inside out (the ideal -like in martial arts- is to keep the outside moving muscles soft and responsive and to start the movement from the core). Moving muscles are likely to be over-recruited to try and stabilise when we are out of alignment -like The Leaning Tower of Pizza.
- In my experience, poor recruitment of core stability is ALWAYS related to poor alignment and body balance (paralysis excepted). Poor alignment makes it very difficult to recruit core muscles, AND the core muscles need to work much harder to hang onto a out-of-line structure. Restore correct alignment and engaging the core becomes pretty automatic.
- Sometimes one part of our body is erroneously overused (usually 'trained' from other repetitive/habitual activities) and thinks it needs to be in charge of everything and hijacks all movement, disturbing correct biomechanics.
- Sometimes we are following a previous (mis?) perception of what we believe we should be doing because what we have been told or learnt in the past.
- 'It's what we've always done'......can work when we are younger with more joint space, but as we get older and end up with slightly lumpier bits on bones where tendons and muscles attach (Wolf's Law... bone grows according to the forces placed on it), space (through which nerves and blood supply go) becomes more compromised and it becomes more critical to move correctly not to pinch things. It can sometimes take folk a long time to get their head angrily around the fact that they can't carry on mindlessly doing what they've always done and get away with it. 'It's their right!' When you're a kid, falling asleep in a pretzeled heap is OK, but as joint space is more compromised as we get older, falling asleep like that feels like you've been attacked by an axe murderer.
- Sometimes errant movement is due to a less flexible area of tissue. When we reach the first resistance of this tissue, unless we are constantly mindful of overriding it, the body takes an alternative easier route -which is not necessarily the same as the correct mechanics. It could be due to scar tissue from an old injury. It could be shortened due to compensation patterns. Either way, the aberrant pattern then throws the force into a new place that is not designed to take the load and thus a new injury occurs (eg often the shoulder gets 'injured' after tennis elbow because it takes on the roll of pronantion and supination that the sore forearm is now refusing to do)
Pain, Injury and Operation damage encourage us to alter the way that we move to avoid tugging or squashing the areas that are painful during recovery. It is a little like the original route to work (movement) goes from A to B. One day there are roadworks on that route (injury) and we have to take a different route to work following direction signs...'Don't put too much pressure there'; 'Don't move it too far'; 'Don't move that too fast' etc. Unfortunately, long after the normal route to work is clear again (the injury has healed), the body DOESN'T take down the redirection signs. Our bodies find a new (compromised) 'normal' route to work. This works for a while, and then later down the road, the body starts to complain because the new route (limp or lean) is starting to put too much pressure in a new different area, but the time gap from the original injury is usually far enough for us not to connect e.g. we don't associate the pain in our right hip with the bump we had on our left calf 3 months ago. In this case treating the right hip will NEVER cure it (even though that is the only apparent area of hurt) because it is being stressed from the sideways push off from the left foot because of the now-silent left lateral calf stiffness.
Not all that hurts is broken....sometimes its overworked or squashed -compromised- shouting -trying to get your attention. Restore correct length and function to the often silent (most often opposing) culprit and suddenly the symptoms can melt away.
I can make you and your body, more Fluid, more Efficient, more Consistent and most importantly Less likely to get Injured.
Recovering from Injury is most often about restoring the load back to the centre of the joints, the place with the least work from the muscles, and the skeleton optimally aligned to support the body in gravity.
Tel: 077 9645 7715
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