I want to change how you view your injury or pain. Follow me for a few minutes and let me know if this makes sense.
You know just a few years ago, if you developed low back pain or neck pain or any other musculoskeletal pain your doctor would have you take it easy for a few days or weeks, then you would resume what you do, sometimes with most of the pain gone. He would prescribe muscle relaxers and NSAIDs and life would return to normal. Or would it? What was typical, is the pain would return in the same location and this time would stay longer and the doctor would prescribe the same prescription as before, rest, muscle relaxers and NSAIDs. What we noticed, after that was over, was that the issue was becoming more prevalent and would stay longer each time it occurred. Now flash forward to today. What has changed? Absolutely nothing! Well, maybe this time the doctor will say stay active (great advice by the way), but still provide the muscle relaxers and NSAIDs. Why!
Just 12-15 years ago doctors started looking at a specific structure in the body, a structure that until then was just some kind of useless connective tissue that was sometimes discarded during surgery. That connective tissue, we call fascia. The strongest tissue in the body has a purpose when taken care of and manipulated properly. Stretching, foam rolling (fascial rolling), exercise, massage are the ways to keep our fascial tissue healthy. The reason pain and dysfunction come in and stay is because we are lazy and of course most people still do not understand it. Let me help you understand! ( See Fascia: The Mystery…below)
Go back to our original issue, back pain. Let’s be a little more specific, let’s pick an area where everyone seems to have problems with. This area is between the shoulder blade and spine. Close enough that we can usually grab it with our opposite side hand. We see this every week in my practice. So, why does it seem to affect so many people. Because we sit all day at our work stations, on the phone or computer or in class and our heads begin to lean forward and our shoulders roll toward the desk and we sit in that position for hours. Don’t say you don’t because you do! If you have any musculoskeletal pain it’s because you spend way too much time in that position and you do not move enough to melt the fascial restrictions that are caused by inactivity. Now how do we fix it!
Get up and move! OK, let’s say you have developed trigger points (TP) in a few areas. Massaging those areas help. Using specific Myofascial release techniques can make these areas much better and return the muscles and fascial structures back to homeostasis. Ok, now you have removed those TP’s and you want to keep them from returning, what is a person to do? I’m glad you asked. Quit being lazy! Fascia as a connective tissue is thixatropic, which means to be able to convert to a fluid or gel when manipulated. So when you massage, foam roll, or use any other fascial release type of program you can return the muscles and fascia back to their original no pain relationship. (See The Fuzz, below)
All the muscle relaxers, NSAIDs and other medications you can come up with will not help you to reclaim your no pain status. To help you understand fascia, I am including a couple of videos that may interest you. The best part of this, we have been doing this at Advanced Muscle for over 15 years. Ask your doctor, if seeing one of our Active Release providers would be much better than meds, my guess, he will say yes. Thanks for reading the No Pain Zone blog.