Why do I have more pain?
Pain is a fact of life. If you ask around everyone has experienced pain at some point in their life. It’s one of the most valuable feedback systems in our body as without it we could potentially damage our body beyond repair.
Pain says: Stop Pay Attention Do something Different
For example, touch the frying pain when it’s hot and your body will immediately activate a withdrawal reflex and you will pull your hand back to avoid further injury. Or sprain your ankle and while it heals your body will tell you to put less weight through it so that the tissues have time to heal and restructure.
For people under Network Care there are certain points in their journey where pain can show up so it’s useful if that’s you to consider why it’s happening now.
I was doing so well and now I hurt again……
For some people pain shows up early in care. This could after the first few session as tight tense muscles relax and things start to change. Sometimes muscles that have been “asleep” for years start to activate and come to life and like any muscle that is being used more than it was before, the get tired and achy.
For others as parts of the spine start to heal and posture changes the whole shape of your spine is changing and this can result in things aching in different ways.
Already getting worse…..
Early on in care, more pain can occur simply because it was going to anyway. You had already injured your disc or whatever it was you injured and the natural progression of your complaint was that it was going to get worse before it got better – with or without NSA.
But I thought I was ok?
A VERY common reason for increased pain early in care is that people start to feel better or sleep better than they have done in a long time. They feel free, they feel healed, they feel great and consequently the overdo it. This is probably the most common reason for increased pain as people are over using an injured area because it just feels so much better.
One of the benefits of NSA is that most people report increased awareness and ability to listen to their body. With this for some can come an increased awareness of painful areas, which in the short term is not always welcome.
The advice I have from years of working with people is – Be Patient. Healing takes time and it is rarely a smooth journey. If you are like the typical person in the UK, you’ve not listened to or looked after your body for years and as old tension patterns unravel and change it’s very common to have some discomfort or even full blown pain.
I thought I’d dealt with this and now it’s back……..
This is the time in care where people can re-trace old painful patterns. It’s not uncommon to here – “I’m back where I was in the beginning, nothing has changed”. When we examine these people and compare their current spinal tension patterns to their original ones – they are often very different and in a positive way. Sometimes to fully heal our body needs to go back into the tension pattern than caused the original symptoms and work out what to do. This can be associated with emotional releases, sometimes tears, sometimes anger. It is personal and again, part of a journey.
One way of explaining it is this. Imagine someone young tall and straight who gets an injury. The injury causes them to shift slightly to the right, tightening up muscles and this is painful for a while. Then they adapt and the pain goes away, but the shift remains. Then they get another injury and distort in a slightly different way and again over time the pain goes. Over a lifetime many such distortions occur, some physically painful, others less so. And then they come for NSA. As their body unwinds it revisits each of these distortion patterns, sometimes once sometimes the patterns have been reinforced over time and need more than one visit. And with each visit tension patterns and emotions are released and the patterns in the body change. Can you see that this process may include some pain and discomfort?
Creating new pain in your body?
Sometime the pain you are experiencing has nothing to do with how your body is unwinding and healing from the past, it’s to do with the present. You are in fact creating your own pain!
Why would I do that you ask? An easy example would be that you embark on a new training regime that is way beyond your current capacity and it’s logical – you get injured or everything hurts. But what if the trigger is emotional or mental. You start a new job and it’s not what you expected. Your new boss is a bully, the job is way more demanding that you thought or just different. Your body contracts in response to it, you don’t know how to handle your emotions. You need this job but hate it at the same time. Or maybe you have challenges at home? Maybe it’s the anniversary of the death of a spouse or dear-one. Maybe the memories stir up feelings that contort your body?
I blame my boss
When the pain is in reaction to something current this will often show up in your body as new area of tension or a different pattern. Talk to your chiropractor about it because they may be able to help you learn from your body what is going on.
If you feel it is a pattern you are creating then what can you do about it? Using Donny Epsteins formula AAA can be a good starting point. Firstly become Aware of what is going on in your body. Secondly Acknowledge it. And finally Accept it (never as easy as we think).
Awareness Acknowledgement Acceptance – a formulae for success….
Most people make the mistake of trying to accept a situation when they are not fully aware of how it is showing up in their body and not really acknowledging the process. Somato-Respiratory Integration can be a very useful tool for seeing the pain for what it really is.
What pain is not….
Pain is not a sign that your body is not healing. Most of the time pain is a sign that your body is reorganizing and trying to be difficult. If you have concerns about pain though, it’s really important that you talk to your chiropractor and tell them what is going on and how it’s affecting you. They can then help you decide if a second opinion is needed or if this is part of your process.
So next time you experience pain – because pain is a guarantee – Stop! Pay Attention! Listen! And take action because it’s telling you something is changing or has to change and you have a choice in how you handle it.