Everyone has experienced some sort of pain in their life. Pain is a survival mechanism telling us something is wrong and needs some attention asap; be it an alignment problems, stress and inflammation, trauma or an energy imbalance. You can be hurting in a range of ways and it can be extremely frustrating to not know why it’s happening or what to do about it.
At the Fiona Maree Clinic in Crows Nest we specialise in looking at the body integratively and holistically, meaning we focus on where the pain is coming from, and how to treat it, not just what the pain is. Through our experience working on thousands of clients, these are the four reasons your body might be hurting.
1) By not challenging your body's movement enough, it will forget how to move well
If you make no effort to move, move with poor technique, or with limited range, your six core muscles will become weaker. Other non-stabilising muscles are then forced to switch on to compensate— muscles which fatigue much faster.
You need your six core muscles firing correctly to give yourself one of the key foundations for a happy and pain-free life.
When these muscles don't work your body is more unstable, joint move more and wear and tear accelerates. To try to help you keep functioning as long as possible your body tightens the fascia around joints to create stability in stiffness (instead of stability in active muscles). When fascia stays in the same position for days, weeks, or years it gets less slide and glide to help us move, and instead ends up being gluey and hard.
As with how you slow down and everything gets harder and more tiring when you jump into cold honey (we’ve all been there, right?) Gluey and hard fascia takes a serious toll on your body. And when your body is tired and constantly under stress, you get hurt.
2) Rest your body or you’ll make it worse (even if you’re trying to make it better)
Stress and exercise both break down the tissues of your body. It’s natural. However, despite every pill and powders socialist on Facebook telling your otherwise, only rest and recovery helps recover and repair. Different hormones are produced depending on whether we’re stressed or chilled. Not going into rest and relaxation phase often or long enough to promote healing and tissue repair is a detriment to getting rid of pain.
If the body is in a constant state of stress (as many of us are in modern life from having work deadlines, bus lines, bullies at work, bills, someone cutting you off in traffic, Karen from marketing, John from the dad’s group, injuries, doggo dug through the fence again, etc, etc) it’s just a constant cycle of stress and pain that your body never gets to recover from. I’m not going to pretend that I get what it’s like to have my life plus kids and feel like I have less than no time, but you need to find some way, some how, to switch off and heal.
The same goes for when you are going to the gym to try to improve your health. If your body does not have enough time to heal the muscle tissue you rip and tear (in a good way!) and build new and better muscle in its place, then it’s like when you were a kid with a juicy scab. If you pick it before it heals again, and again, and again, you don’t get beautiful skin back, you get a scar. Same goes for your muscles. Let them heal. Take an off day once or twice a week.
3) Hydration / dehydration
The first place the body loses water is in a disc in your lower spine, L5/S1; one of the bigger discs in your spine who’s job is to act like a shock absorber for a lot of your weight. By becoming dehydrated the actual disc is less full, meaning you have less hydraulics and more chance of wear and tear on a part of you that—let’s be blunt—is pretty pivotal to your movement well being.
In addition, dehydration leads to cell /fascia shrinkage and lowers the body’s ability to transport nutrients and fluids to help in pain and tissue recovery. Imagine your fascia is like a kitchen sponge. When they’re old, dry and brittle sometimes the water just runs straight over it instead of seeping into it to make it all pliable again. So it needs to be kneaded, moved, and squeezed for it to become absorbent again. Dry kitchen sponge breaks and tears and snaps far easier than a sponge that is wet and in good shape.
Most of the above three reasons for pain will generally result in you ending up with an injury at some point or other. You stiffen up, become less capable of handling a trip or a tumble, or the effects of a fall become worse.
Sure, sometimes injuries are unavoidable. They happen. It’s part of being alive. But your ability to absorb injuries in the moment of impact, or to avoid falling in the first place because you could move swiftly enough to avoid the fall, comes from ensuring you have a body that moves, is rested both mentally and physically, and is wrapped in hydrated fascia.
You’ll note that plenty of this post talks about fascia and the importance of it to your wellbeing. It wraps around every muscle and organ in your body. It can help or hinder everything you do. You need to look after it. Hydrate it, move it, and make sure it’s supple. I can help you with that. At the clinic treating pain through fascia work is our bread and butter!