I have been in the service industry for a long time, I started out in restaurants. I soon noticed how many people are affected by not eating. As a server I could tell when someone came in too late, they were hungry and they just needed to eat, and eat now….people would get angry frustrated and even throw tantrums. They didn’t listen to their body, they know they need to eat. Soon after they ate, they were the most friendly people….such a change.
In doing body work I find a lot of similarities. Most people wait too long to be seen by a massage therapist or even doctors. People usually become angry and impatient even frustrated that the pain is still there. Our bodies have an alarm system called pain. If you ignore this alarm your body will innately “reboot” to keep the pain at bay by reconfiguring your structure. This “reboot” strains other systems in your body because other muscles and possibly other systems have to work harder to compensate for the issue. An easy example is a sprained ankle. As soon as your body feels that pain, Swelling occurs to immobilize that joint and sends pain signals telling you not to use that foot the way you have all your life. To get around you limp. Now you are using your other leg to support most of your body weight and your body is contorted to compensate. This taxes other muscles. You might develop a sore low back or hip pain. Hopefully you heal quick and some of those aches and pains will go away naturally. But the ankle sprain has already changed your gait, left untreated can contribute to chronic knee or hip pain. This is a good example because it is very animated. In the case of a stiff neck or pain in the shoulder blades the change may not be that noticeable, but still significant.
There are many reasons our structures become compromised aside from injuries. There are many structural imbalances such as having a leg shorter than the other, Mortons foot (about 80% of the population have this condition), Short upper arms, or a small hemi-pelvis to name a few. Then there are repetitive activities such as sitting at a desk all day, crouching over your work space, driving, playing the guitar to name a few of those. Most of us ignore those discomforts and push on to complete our tasks. Then there is the lack of movement, we can kind of put those in the category of people who sit at a desk all day.
The best advice I can give you is to keep moving. The body needs movement to circulate the blood in your system. The less you move the less your whole body gets fresh blood and nutrients flushing through your system. If you are doing a task and you feel pain from the repetitive movement, change it up for a few minutes, do a different task or the same task differently.
If you are already in chronic pain (3 months or longer), you need to seek help identifying the problem. Most pain comes from the muscles, yes even migraine headaches. Your pain is a signal that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. In more serious cases, I like to see patients after they have gone to medical doctors or even chiropractors that have given them little to no relief, or when they say everything is fine, here are some pain pills and muscle relaxers. When there are no other answers, and the client doesn’t want to be on pills, the patients are much more receptive to our treatments. Usually you can expect to feel at least some relief after one visit, but sometimes it takes a few visits.
Listen to your body, pain and discomfort just like hunger pains, is a signal from your body telling you, you need to address the issue. Like not eating, when your body tells you, you are hungry and you ignore it, it will get worse, your body will adapt and start eating your muscles, pain will also stop your muscles from working properly causing more pain and discomfort and can perpetuate into more pain in different areas of the body. I hear that a lot “the pain was here then it moved”.
Remember pain is a signal from your body to take action.