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Another Option for Chronic Injuries

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Our first approach to pain is to ignore it, hope it will go away. As a kid, that approach often worked. As we get older, it doesn’t—not because of age, but because of accumulated tension. Rather than shutting down your awareness, you start to feel it. You let your pain teach you what your body needs. Maybe you learn that walking around all day with your shoulders held up causes your headaches.

Once you learn that chronic tension is more a setup for injury and limited recovery than often the injury itself, you can start treating the underlying cause. Discovering that most joint pain arises from tight soft tissue above and below the joint gives you something you can do. Misalignment wears down that joint. Releasing the tension and creating the proper alignment and movement pattern could prevent you from being like your friends having joint replacement surgeries.

The demineralization carbs can produce, lack of sleep increasing your cortisol levels, and never moving are all behaviors you can change. You have more power to turn around chronic pain and injuries than any of us were told. This is not much different than expecting your car to keep running if the oil is not changed regularly. The money you spend in the short run will not come close to the cost of replacing your engine.

Be less concerned about finding the “perfect” remedy. Just take new action. It might be taking a yoga class. If that doesn’t help, try one of those foam rollers that are now popular.  If that doesn’t work, get a few treatments. Maybe all you need is a therapeutic massage or a few acupuncture sessions. Particularly for the more acute scar tissue and pain, proteolytic enzymes can be helpful. Many of my Rolfing clients are people who tried everything else. When the tension or scar tissue is too much to release with other therapies, they step up their treatments with Rolfing.

Look beyond just treating the pain. New studies show that the more connected we are to others, the healthier, happier and longer we live. You don’t need to run five miles a day. Other studies show that a fifteen-minute walk can be almost as beneficial as a run (for many, I would suspect that walk is more beneficial). We are meant to move. So get up and move!

Take Action

Stop chasing your tail. You are either depleting, or you are building. The body has an amazing ability to rebuild when you remove the stressors and supply it with the resources it needs. Be smart; understand it’s not if, it’s when. The time to fix a problem is before it becomes a problem, or at least a problem that has you in chronic pain where your only option is major surgery.  As every doc I’ve known has told me, medicine is amazing at treating trauma, poor at healing chronic pain and injuries. What action will you take in the next week?

Owen Marcus, MA, Certified Advanced Rolfer, author Power of Rolfing; – call if you have questions: 265.8440.

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