One of the most confusing relationships is the one we have with chronic pain. The fact is the body has no direct way of speaking to you. The only means of communication is through varying levels of pain.
Sharp sudden pain usually means you did something terrible. Mild pain to soreness is just an indicator you activated something.
Mainly, what pain tells you when you’re underworking and overworking. (Yes, underused muscles get very sore.)
The relationship most people have with pain is punitive, especially around exercise. It is the nagging voice that tells you things wrong.
• “You’re no longer in shape to do this. So stop!”
• “You should never do anything like that again.”
• “You’re getting too old for this.”
• “You’re going to pay for this for a very long time.”
• “You are broken, so you might as well give up.”
Slowly from there, pain unconsciously becomes an esteemed guest that you over-cater to in every moment.
You will learn what temperature your guest does not like, you will become radar sensitive to what movements this guest does not like, and it will tell you what you are no longer allowed to do.
Pain becomes the nagging master that tells you what cannot do and things you can learn to live without.
Through all of this, we believe the place of pain is the weakest part of our body. What fail to realize is pain is showing you your favorite part of your body. It is the part of your body that does everything.
For example, non-traumatic knee pain. The pain you’re experiencing in that knee can come from a myriad of things:
• A shift away from the opposite knee to the side of pain.
• Work transferred from either hip to the knee.
• Work transferred from either ankle to that knee.
• Muscular weakness elsewhere in the body compensated in that knee.
The strange thing about the pain you are experiencing is that it is “the light switch is never where the light is.”
The pain is almost always compensation from somewhere else in the body, and it is typically from a weakness in that other location.
Determining where that location is problematic in own right, but figuring out what to do is a whole other challenge. If it were easy, we would all know what to do.
Linda is a physically very active individual and was having progressively worse left knee pain. She was sure it was from a cycling accident that happened years ago.
Even though Linda was physically active, her glutes had become weaker from travelling days at a time, longer hours of work, and putting on a few pounds from eating later at night.
We put her on an intensive butt training program for 12 week and her knee pain began to diminish. Initially, the knee hurt during the workout, but, once her glute muscles became strong enough to become the dominant mover, the pain went away.
At the end of the eight weeks her knee pain was gone and she now had a solution for when the pain ever comes back. (As a side note, a low grade neck tightness she experienced at the end of long and stressful days also diminished as she balanced the work across her pelvis.)
Fortunately, starting by strengthening the major core muscles such as the gluteus maximus, all of the abdominals, back extensors and the latissimus dorsi is a great place to start. They are the major movers and load bearing muscles. By strengthening these groups, smaller groups around smaller joints do not have to work as hard.Pain is merely telling you what is being overworkedClick To Tweet
Pain is merely telling you what is being overworked. Now, you have a means of doing something about it.
As you get started working out, here is a hint:
The part of your body that hurts the most is your favorite working part of your body. The part of your body that you like the least is the part that should be doing more of the work.