Muscle Pain: Is It Really A Medical Condition?

Today’s healthcare system is swamped with people experiencing chronic muscular pain. Upwards of $86 billion is spent on low back pain alone.

When people visit a doctor for back pain they are looking for answers:

  • How did this happen?
  • What’s wrong with my back?
  • Can you fix it and make it go away?

The statistics surrounding the costs of back pain are frightening. There is a good faith attempt to help people with low back pain, yet there is no useful education in medical schools that can applied to educate those with chronic muscle pain and give them information that makes sense.

Sensory Motor Amnesia causes chronic muscle pain.

The reason that doctors are seeing little improvement in health is because they’re asking the wrong questions and trying to use MRIs, X-rays, and blood tests to diagnose something that is unmeasurable with those tools. Most chronic muscle pain is the result of  Sensory Motor Amnesia and muscular dysfunction, not an inherent structural breakdown in the body. Examples of Sensory motor amnesia are:

  • low back pain
  • sciatica
  • TMJ
  • neck/shoulder pain
  • poor posture
  • shallow breathing
  • leg length discrepancy
  • sacroilial dysfunction
  • hip joint pain
  • inflexibility
  • uneven gait
  • plantar fasciitis

Muscular dysfunction is a subjective experience that cannot be measured by medical diagnostics.

Medical diagnostics only see the end result of sensory motor amnesia, such as herniated discs, nerve impingement, or joint compression, all of which are caused by involuntarily contracted muscles pulling on bones. Because the muscles are controlled by the central nervous system, they must be taught how to release, relax and coordinate properly so that the body can return to a pain-free state. We adapt to stress by tightening our muscles in specific ways; we can learn to release them fully, regain balance, strength and freedom of movement. It’s a task we must do ourselves. No one can “fix” us.

You can learn to reverse your pain with simple Somatic Exercises and a dose of self-awareness.

What is required is not “treatment,” (which acts upon the body), but Somatic Education (which works from within). Below is an email I received from a woman who read my book, Move Without Pain, and purchased my Pain Relief Through Movement DVD. She is a shining example of how one can apply the tools of Somatic Education to reverse years of chronic pain:

I started having back pain while attending nursing school in 2002 at only 20 years old. Having complete trust in modern medicine, I went to my primary medical doctor. Through standard medical protocol, I endured years of multiple MRI’s, steroid injections, physical therapy sessions, chiropractors, and finally 2 separate surgeries removing disc bulges. Ten years later, still in pain, the only thing anybody could diagnose me with was pelvic muscle dysfunction.

I decided to try Hanna Somatic exercises. After each session, I felt relaxed and had better posture, but still had some sciatic pain. I knew, from reading [Martha’s] book, that it was vital for me to become aware of how I was moving throughout the rest of my day – and especially of my posture and different habits I had acquired over time.

I began to notice a link between my habits and my sciatica. Activities such as sexual activity, standing on one leg to shave the other in the shower, and standing throughout the day with one hip sticking out, (like the posture of a mother holding a baby on her hip) would cause more sciatica. It would make a muscle in my hip and buttock cramp, fatigue and subsequently cause inflammation and pain. Just becoming self-aware of how I stood throughout the day made all the difference!

As I look back on all the doctors I have seen, I realize that the best diagnostic tool was myself. Practicing Hanna Somatics and becoming more self-aware in the other 23 hours of my day has brought my pain level down to almost nothing now. I am confident as I continue on this path I will be able to completely recover, become strong again and live pain-free.

If you’re interested in learning to reversing your own muscle pain and seeing similar results, check out the following:

Alternately, if you’re a doctor or medical professional, please check out our Somatics Guide for Physicians.

One thought on “Muscle Pain: Is It Really A Medical Condition?

  1. Pingback: Back Pain: It’s Time To Ask Why – Pain Relief Through Movement

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