By Bryan Patton, Registered Massage Therapist
Pain – experienced universally – is something we often struggle to individually overcome.
Naturally, pain seeks an uncomplicated and short-lived resolution but often finds itself feeding off its own symptomatic offspring. The production and continuance of pain can lead to long term suffering affecting all areas of our lives. Interrupting the pain cycle can be challenging but it is less so with the help of medical professionals that train and work in rehabilitation and injury prevention.
First, we need to understand what takes place in the pain cycle before we can take the steps necessary to interrupt it.
Pain may come in many forms, but we are focused on facilitating recovery of the physiological. This could be a result of something severe such as an impact injury from a sport accident or pathological condition such as fibromyalgia or scoliosis. It can also be a result of something more simplistic such as poor posture or body mechanics at work or school. Pain can even come from scar tissue.
Stress, emotional and physical pain can stimulate increased muscle tension.
Muscle tension can restrict blood flow or isolate neurological pathways causing ischemia and various neurological pathologies such as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (numbness, pain or tingling into the arms and hands)
Muscle Inflammation, Weakness and Dysfunction
Inhibited circulation and/or neurons over time can result in inflamed tissues or cause atrophy (muscle wasting). Muscles need the oxygen we breathe to regenerate. When the blood supply is low, the oxygen supplying the muscles is as well.
As our body becomes inflamed, we can succumb to inflammatory arthritis’s such as, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, restricting movement in our joints causing our body to remain in stiffness. Muscle tension, inflammation and weakness can also limit our movements affecting our day-to-day activities and our quality of life.
What we have learned is that pain can stimulate muscle tension, as a result can reduce circulation creating a less than optimal atmosphere for our soft tissue to operate, limiting movement and creating inflammation.
Breaking the Cycle!
There is no miracle cure, and no magic pill that will solve physiological pain without typically producing undesired side effects. But there is hope! Stepping out of this cycle can be as simple as removing one of these four symptomatic changes due to pain. Luckily, some people make a career out of doing just that.
Do yourself a favour and book yourself in with a Chiropractor, Physiotherpist, Athletic Therapist or Registered Massage Therapist (RMT)! We have dedicated our careers to helping people rid themselves of pain.
Let us help you break the cycle!
Picture from Coach Amy PT