What is Pain?

Pain is the brain’s way of indicating to us that something is wrong in our physical body. 

If we never felt pain, we wouldn’t know that our skin was burning as we grasped a hot iron, a sharp knife cut our hand, or that we had broken our ankle and it needs to heal.

While we may not like pain, it is a fact that pain is completely normal, natural, and necessary for us to survive.

Intellectually we can accept this type of pain as necessary, as it clearly serves a purpose.

On the other hand, pain in the form of chronic muscle and joint pain can be quite confusing.

Underlying most types of muscle and joint pain is tension.

I explain the role of tension in the video below.

Tension and Altered Movement

As I discussed above, tension restricts movement and causes your body to move improperly.

When I say your body is not moving properly, it means that your body has lost range of motion in your joints and, as a result, the natural way your body moves, from the feet to your eyes, will be changed.

Altered movement opens us you up to muscle and joint pain for a number of reasons.

First, when you lose range of motion in a joint, the joint itself doesn’t fit together properly.

Most of the commonly painful joints are made up of two bones that fit together and move on top of each other in a specific relationship.

If those bones aren’t aligned properly, movement can become painful because the surfaces of the joint are no longer gliding on top of each other correctly. This is very typical of knee, hip, and shoulder pain. 

Second, when a joint isn’t positioned properly the muscles that support that joint are forced to change their “behavior”.

Muscles have to be team players. One muscle may stabilize the joint while the other muscles moves a bone on the other end. Then the roles may reverse. 

Some muscles are forced into a shortened position while others are forced into a lengthened position. These muscles can also become overly strong or weak depending on the physical demands being placed upon them and they may become too active or not active enough. 

When this occurs the muscles no longer function appropriately as a team and the the whole team suffers through joint and muscle pain.

The key to resolving muscle and joint pain is retraining proper movement patterns. 

Without precise muscle retraining, the dysfunctional movement and breathing patterns persist and all treatments are temporary.