Have you ever wondered why you suddenly started experiencing pain (for no apparent reason), in an area of your body? You may have sought treatment for that pain, but it didn’t go away, or relief was only temporary.
Why does this occur? How can we resolve it?
Injuries, operations, trauma, stress, occupations and hobbies can all change the way we move. The body is amazing at adapting to change. These adaptations are usually quite subtle; however they affect all other areas of the body. For Example, you might sprain your ankle as a teenager. The bodies response in the early days is to tighten up your calf and foot muscles to protect the ligaments as they heal and stabilise the joint. This is a useful adaptation initially, however if you do not seek treatment and the foot remains tight, the rest of the body will have to adjust. You will put more load on the outside of your knee, your pelvis may twist slightly and your torso and neck might rotate and shift to the side. This all occurs for two reasons
- So you don’t fall over
- So that you can still face forwards
If you stay like this for a long period of time you are at risk of headaches, back pain, hip pain, knee pain and foot pain (to name a few). Massage and treatment to any area other than the foot is likely to give short term benefits but won’t make the pain go away.
So how would you resolve the pain in this situation?
This is where connect therapy comes in. The Therapist assesses the patient’s movement, and takes into account their history, goals, outside stressors and current occupation and hobbies. In this case treatment would consist of releases to the affected foot. This would allow the rest of the body to stack nicely, therefore relieving the back pain. Sometimes, releases will be needed in other areas of the body, however the foot must be released first in order to unwind the body.
The next step is the most important- RETRAINING THE BRAIN!
Because the foot has been tight and you have been walking that way for a long time, the brain will want you to continue to stand, walk and move the same way. This is called a motor pattern. Our motor patterns become very ingrained like habits, therefore massage and releases will give temporary relief, however they will not prevent the problem from coming back. Your therapist will need to retrain the way you move (in this example – how you stand on your foot), in order to stop your pain. Retraining involves simple exercises, however a lot of concentration in the early phases.It is also important to identify aggravating factors in this early assessment so the therapist can address these in the treatment plan.
Our patients are constantly amazed that often, there is NO PAIN around the area at the root of their problem. However, if the problem is corrected at the root with releasing and retraining, the area where they ARE feeling pain resolves.
Do I have to do exercises?
Exercises are the cornerstone of retraining the brain, however, you therapist will limit your exercises to only a few per day. All of the exercises also have the added benefit of relieving your pain so you will want to do them! We are also great at integrating them into your day to day life so you will be doing some of your exercises as you go about your day to day activities!
How to find out more
You can contact Physionorth on 47240768 or firstname.lastname@example.org arrange a free chat with one of our Physiotherapists to find out if Connect Therapy can help you. Dr LJ is the founder of Connect therapy and you can visit her website for further information and resources: https://ljlee.ca/teaching-models/connecttherapy/.
– Jaquie Goldsack, Senior Physiotherapist
If you would like to make to make an appointment with Jaquie, call one of our friendly team on 4724 0768 or follow the link to book online. https://portal.coreplus.com.au/physionorth