Don't Live With Chronic PainChronic pain can be difficult to live with and have a dramatic impact on our daily lives. If you suffer from musculoskeletal chronic pain or know someone who does, continue reading! Aches and pains develop over time due stress from our daily activities and poor movement patterns create what we refer to as muscle imbalances. These imbalances lead to tension and disorders in our kinetic chain. In other words, as our muscles tire, other muscles pick up the slack and over time the roles of those muscles reverse, leading to the wrong muscle doing the wrong job. This role reversal is responsible for most aches and pains, loss of balance, increased potential for injury, and loss of coordination.
Our Achieve Wellness training specialists work side by side with Achieve Wellness massage therapists to provide a unique approach that works to eliminate aches and pains, recover from past injuries, and prevent future injuries by retraining the body to use the proper muscle in the right way. Once this is achieved, we refer to this new state as a clean slate. From there, the sky is the limit. What makes our approach so wonderful is that weight loss, heart and lung health, strength, balance, coordination, energy levels, and more are increased and maintained all along the way.
For instance, a door hinge, much like our knees are designed to move a specific way. In this example, if someone would hang on a door it would create tension on the hinge and it would begin to bind, much like muscles, when not balanced, can bind our joints. Common over-active muscles involved in hip or knee pain are portions of the quadricep muscles, calves, TFL (IT Bands), and hip flexor muscles. In addition many other muscles will need to be strengthened and placed in their proper roles, which includes the core stabilizers and glute muscles. This prevents or eliminates issues like plantar faciitus and pinched sciatic nerve.
The elimination of tension and returning to proper movement patterns is the best way to eliminate these aches and pains. If not dealt with properly, these issues can lead to tears and more serious injuries which may require surgery and become very costly. With proper education in how we move and what patterns lead to this poor state, we can ensure the pain doesn't return.
Sciatica refers to pain that radiates or shoots along the sciatic nerve, typically starting about the lower back or hip and traveling down the leg. Sciatica typically only affects one side of the body, although it can affect both. Although sciatica can be very painful and at times crippling, most cases can easily be resolved with the proper stretching and use of myofascial techniques.
The most common cause of sciatica occurs when the nerve becomes pinched in the hip by a muscle called the piriformis. The priformis is responsible for rotating the leg outward and when it becomes over-active and tight with tension it puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. In less severe cases pain will radiate/shoot from hip to foot and in more severe cases—when the nerve is pinched completely—the result can create a buckling of the leg and cause temporary loss of use.
The solution is fairly simple. By using myofascial techniques—like foam rolling the piriformis or having a massage therapist target the muscle—tension can be relieved within the muscle and the scar tissue or adhesions preventing the muscle from lengthening can be broken apart. Afterwards, proper stretching of the piriformis will provide relief on the sciatic nerve and over a short period of time rid sciatica altogether. Proper exercise technique and/or proper walking/sitting can prevent sciatica from ever returning.
Evidence of this imbalance and poor stabilization is displayed through our posture and movements, such as forward head positions, rounded shoulders, low back arches and a forward tilting pelvis. Our spines are made up of tiny vertebra that stack upon one another and are separated by cushy cartilage. These segments allow freedom of movement when necessary and with proper core stabilization, hold stiff when spine movement should be kept at a minimum such as during a squat or heavy lifting.
Muscles imbalance can allow our spines too much movement in the wrong places and compression and impingement which lead to nerve pinching, wear on cartilage, building discs and a lot of chronic pain and discomfort. If not dealt with properly, these issues can lead to tears and more serious injuries which may require surgery and may become very expensive.By properly treating these muscle imbalances, correcting back and shoulder posture during our daily activities, and creating and maintaining proper movement patterns we can eliminate back and neck pain.