“You can’t expect to have a high quality of life if you don’t make wellness a priority.” – Gymaholic
As we always stress here at Pain and Performance Solutions, one of the fundamental keys to preventing and avoiding chronic pain issues is physical well-being and fitness.
This is not to say that you must be a marathon-level athlete or all-in with CrossFit or some other intensive fitness regimen. Simply that, given the body’s tendency to weaken and even atrophy from inactivity, it is logical that the opposite is true.
In fact, just being habitually inactive and sedentary can lead to pain, according to one source,
“Not only can inactivity cause a variety of health risks such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis it can also lead to weight gain, weakened muscles and joint pain.”
So, what’s the answer? For starters, committing to a reasonable level of physical exercise on a regular basis for life will reap several benefits, including the prevention of avoidable pain.
When the Pain Doesn’t Go Away
There are times, however, when despite your admirable efforts to get and stay in shape – and consistently active – that some form of pain, even chronic pain, doesn’t diminish.
Unfortunately, our tendency – and that of the medical field in general – is to treat the symptoms.
We do it with ice and heat, bed rest, and medications. And, while there is certainly a place for most of these, not every bodily ache and pain will alleviate and disappear. For the average, healthy adult, muscle, or joint pain should not normally last for a long time.
When some type of physical pain lasts less than three to six months, this is known as acute pain, something that afflicts most people at some time or another. For others, unfortunately, the pain is constant or recurring and lasts far beyond six months or so.
We refer to this condition as chronic pain or persistent pain, and it can affect a person’s mental and emotional well-being as well as their overall physical health. And, even more unfortunate, is that fact chronic pain is something that many people resign themselves to live with and suffer from.
One study determined that close to 50 million adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain, and almost 20 are afflicted with what is called high-impact chronic pain.
Treat the Symptoms or the Source?
The medical establishment is a wonder of technology, knowledge, and capabilities. It is truly overwhelming in its scope and depth of understanding of the human body and pathology and so on. But there is still a strong tendency to treat symptoms over causes.
For example, a typical recommendation for treating chronic pain from one source includes,
“Oral medications include those that can be taken by mouth, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen, and opioids. Also available are medications that can be applied to the skin, whether as an ointment or cream or by a patch that is applied to the skin. Some of these patches work by being placed directly on top of the painful area where the active drug, such as lidocaine, is released. Others, such as fentanyl patches, may be placed at a location far from the painful area.”
To their credit, the information provided goes on to suggest alternative methods. These include exercises, best performed under the direction of a physical therapist, alternative modalities such as acupuncture, and Transcutaneous Electro-Nerve Stimulator (TENS) units placed on the skin to provide stimulation around the area of pain.
Nonetheless, what is missing in all these approaches is a strategy to identify and correct the primary source of dysfunction that is the cause of pain. And it may not even be located where the pain is felt.
At Pain and Performance Solutions, our primary purpose is to help you find complete recovery and relief from recurring or chronic pain. The ultimate goal is to restore your ability to perform normally in life.
And this can only happen when we treat the “source” of your pain, not the symptoms.
We do this by employing a variety of therapies and tools to address your pain. In most cases, the primary approach we make use of is known as Active Release Technique ® or ART®.
Using the ART® methodology, we start with a physical examination and obtaining a history of your activities, lifestyle, and pain history. Once we have concluded a diagnosis based on your history and our examination, a suitable treatment can then be applied. It is important to note that ART® is generally performed with direct, manual contact with the patient’s skin.
Part of the technique involved requires having you actively move a body part, or we move the body part for you. Through observation and assessment of your movements, we are then able to identify and correct the specific problems that are leading to the chronic pain you may be experiencing.
Living Pain-Free with Pain and Performance Solutions
Living pain-free isn’t really possible if you are still suffering from the effects of an old injury or some other movement dysfunction.
But there is hope.
The first step in recovering from pain and becoming pain-free is when we get to know you and your pain issues. Once you make your first appointment, we’ll want to learn about your present discomfort as well as any history of pain.
After providing you with a full examination, we can determine which form of treatment is needed to help you on your road to recovery.
Often, when pain occurs, our bodies will try to compensate for the pain in order to allow us to get through the day with less pain. However, because our bodies have shifted that pain around to compensate for our discomfort, this often leads to other areas of pain.
Getting chronic pain relief with therapies such as Anatomy in Motion and Active Release Technique® can only begin when we can understand where your pain started. That could mean it started previously with another injury you might have sustained.
Your trust in us and your transparency is key. Getting your body to work properly and healthy is the only way to achieve total recovery. So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any, and all questions that you may have. You can reach us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form.