It is an understatement to say that most people in the industrialized world live a stressful life. One article states, “Low-back pain continues to impose a huge burden on industrialized societies, in terms of symptoms, medical costs, productivity, and work absence. Annual costs related to back pain in the United States alone may run as high as $100 billion per year.”
By the time most people come to see me they’ve spent a minimum of $1000 in their attempt to cure their pain. Medical co-pays, personal trainers, months of physical therapy, special exercise equipment, pillows and gadgets can add up. There are myriad treatments that attempt to “fix” back pain, and many clients who come for Hanna Somatics have already spent weeks and often years doing them in their search for relief from muscle pain and tension: massage therapy, therapeutic ultrasound, physical therapy, laser therapy, acupuncture, MRIs, Xrays, medication, and a host of others.
Why don’t these therapies work to relieve muscle pain for the long term? Because the doctors and therapists who perform them approach approach the problem as a medical pathology. Muscle pain and dysfunction isn’t a medical problem – it’s a functional problem. There is no doubt that poor muscle function can cause structural damage over the long term. An uneven gait or limp can cause hip damage. It’s preventing that problem in the first place that is of paramount importance.
The only effective approach to sciatica, piriformis syndrome, low back pain, poor posture, scoliosis, shoulder and hip pain, herniated disks, decreased flexibility, and joint pain is, in most cases, to IMPROVE THE FUNCTION OF THE SENSORY MOTOR SYSTEM so that the entire musculoskeletal system functions optimally. This is a functional approach to a functional problem that the medical profession considers a medical problem. Therein lies the disconnect: most doctors don’t know how to effectively address muscle and joint pain and postural problems.
Muscles move bones and the brain controls the muscles. If muscles are pressing on bones and nerves, causing tingling and pain (“entrapment”), there is a reason for it: there is something that you, the person in pain, is doing to cause the muscles to contract. Any reflexive response to stress, whether it be contracting the back muscles, twisting to the side to avoid an injury (or carry a toddler on the hip for hours at a time) or slumping forward over a computer terminal, will become habituated in the muscles. That means your muscles will become “frozen” and “stuck.” Tight muscles cause pain. Relaxed muscles relieve pain and allow our bones and structure to become balanced again. No doctor or therapy can fix your crooked posture, tight buttock or rounded shoulders. Only you can.
Check out classes at Essential Somatics to begin to learn how to reverse chronic pain and dysfunction for good!