Do you have several issues going on? Right shoulder pain, left hip pain, back pain and maybe the occasional right ankle problem? Do you feel like once you get one problem addressed, another one comes up? Or, are you like me, and always seems to be getting hurt?! You may think you are a “complex” biomechanical hot mess, but all of your issues are probably connected.
You move in patterns, millions and millions of neuromuscular patterns. You put your pants on with the same leg first. You brush your teeth starting in the same place every time. You go up the stairs leading with the same foot every time. Just some examples. These patterns involve coordination between your limbs and your trunk. In order to reach overhead, you have to rotate through your spine. In order to bend over, you have to move your shoulder blades. There is a close relationship between your neck and your pelvis, your shoulder and your hip, your knee and your ribcage.
As far as healing is concerned, sometimes over time the body is able to create a compensatory pattern on top of this pattern and you may get some pain relief. But, you may discover a new pain in another area. I see this in clients that have had several varying musculoskeletal issues over several years. They may have sciatica, then that cleared up and started developing shoulder pain, then a few months later, started having knee pain. This is the body trying to correct itself, but is unable to fully correct its position.
This is where a specialized physical therapist comes in. You need someone who understands the relationships between your joints on a “whole body” level. You need someone to assess the faulty patterns and help your body find its true position. You need an integrative approach incorporating the neurological, respiratory, and orthopedic systems to get you back on track and to a place where your body stops compensating for itself.
It’s amazing to see a client with multiple problems have relief so quickly when an assessment is done correctly and thoroughly. It’s also crazy to see how clients improve with basic foundation-type treatments. Alot of the time, it doesn’t take crazy positions using 10 tools and 15 exercises to get the body to respond to treatment. Most of the time, a few basic positions incorporating specific muscle activation and proper breathing can be enough to elicit range of motion changes.