The Root of the Problem

Whenever you experience pain somewhere in your body, a careful evaluation of your entire body is needed to fully understand the origin of your dysfunction.


Whenever you experience pain somewhere in your body, a careful evaluation of your entire body is needed to fully understand the origin of your dysfunction.  Just because the pain is located in your knee, for example, doesn’t mean that taking care of the knee alone will solve the problem.  Our bodies are very complex and all of our parts work in harmony with all of the other parts—most of the time.  Due to this complex inter-relatedness, pain in the neck can stem all the way from a problem in your feet.  

The way your muscles and underlying myofascial tissue connect to your bones has a direct effect on your ability to move.  When you bend forward to touch your toes, you most likely feel a pull in the back of your thighs.  This demonstrates at the most simplistic level that tightness in your hamstrings, the muscles in the back of your thighs, can limit your back’s ability to flex forward.  If you never worked on stretching out those muscles, they would continue to cause a problem for you when it comes to low back flexibility.  Down the road, the tightness in your hamstrings can cause significant problems for your entire spine; neglecting to stretch the hamstrings, in this example, would set you up to have continual low back problems.  Even if medication or some other treatment eased the back pain, you are prone to more problems later due to the muscle tightness in your hamstrings. 

If you have been treated for a particular problem in the past and it came back, then you never fully solved the underlying dysfunction.  Perhaps you temporarily abolished the pain and/or inflammation, but the mechanical dysfunction, imbalance or weakness remained.  You are not supposed to live with pain and if you do, then you should attempt to get to know the source of the pain to begin the healing process.

Similarly, if you have an injury that keeps on occurring over time, then there is an underlying problem that has never been addressed or fully resolved.  I see this a lot with people who sprain ankles over and over.  It is usually not a coincidence.  The problem is most likely due to your specific bone structure of the foot and ankle complex that puts the outside of your ankle at a disadvantage mechanically.  With appropriate strengthening, education, footwear and/or use of custom orthotics you can solve the mechanical problem and prevent future sprains.

Another way to temporarily fix a problem is to wear a brace.  The brace serves as the support for the joint or body part in which it is placed.  This is helpful for acute injuries, when using your muscles makes the pain worse, or when it is needed to get through a sport season.  However, wearing the brace over the long term is allowing your muscles to slack off and weaken, preventing them from doing their part in stabilizing the joint.  

If you repeatedly see your healthcare provider and experience only temporary results then, you are not truly getting better.  So, it is your choice; you can choose “Band-Aid” methods for a quick fix or you can learn the real source of the problem and fully recover by addressing it.

Conshohocken Physical Therapy is not an ordinary Physical Therapy clinic. We believe in changing your life. We are driven by the desire to make a positive impact, both personally and therapeutically, on every person who enters our office.

You will experience pain relief, improved motion and a greater quality of life. Our approach is friendly, evidence-based and innovative and our Doctors of Physical Therapy have the most specialized training in treating your body.

Learn more about Conshohocken Physical Therapy by visiting us online at www.conshypt.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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