treating the site of pain doesn’t get to the root of the problem!
Henry’s first visit with me was during a particularly bad lower back flare up. The pain was particularly bad and he was stuck tipped to the one side. A position which his body would go into when getting stuck in the past. He had seen a number of different health professionals during this flare up who had manipulated, and worked the area in hope of supplying some relief, unfortunately nothing was relieving the back.
As with all client prior to his appointment I asked him to fill out a detailed consultation form of all the injuries he could remember, be it related to his back or not. This allows me to start building up a picture of how the body may have been compensating over the years to finally present with the pain it was experiencing right now. The body is extremely clever. Pain is generally the last thing to show its self. The body will have been putting in twists, tilts and closings for potentially years to try and keep you moving until it doesn’t know how else to compensate. It is at this point pain shows itself. Key points to this chaps injury history was a bad ankle sprain which had led to the uses of a crutch during recovery, fractured rib, old shoulder injury which had persisted for seven years and a fractured left jaw.
Old Injuries played the part in causing the back pain. Address these and you get to the root of the problem!
Once we had carried out a full biomechanical assessment and gait analysis we were able to plot what, in his body, was working too hard and what wasn’t working hard enough. Because Henry was in so much pain we used a process called interviewing the body to find out which phase of gait (walking) the body wanted more of. We then began to piece together the 3D moves that make up that phase of gait. This was fantastic at reducing his pain. The cherry on the top for dramatically reducing the back pain was when we linked the old jaw injury into the movement pattern his body was telling us it wanted. By mobilising this old injury to what the body needed we dropped the pain by over half. Within one piece of movement homework we were able to address: the lower back pain, the old jaw and rib fractures and teach the ankle which had been badly sprained how to take weight through it again. All these old injuries had helped accumulate into the back injury he was presenting with.
It was only by looking at the setup of Henry’s whole body we were able to reduce the pain so dramatically in the first session. Within two days of his appointment he was back to the gym training. Only now he has developed a new appreciation for his body and how it tried to compensate to allow him to carry on with his life. Henry over the following three sessions with myself will be learning new ways to move his body so he does not have to regress back to old coping strategies. He will then have the option of joining one of our movement classes to help him keep balanced and moving well.
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