Most people don’t realize how interconnected the human body really is. People in chronic pain have a single-minded focus: to get rid of the pain, wherever it may be. They take medications, see specialists, and often times resort to surgery to cure the problem.
What they don’t think about, however, is that their body is completely interconnected, with one specific area depending on many others in order to function. Their chronic pain may be caused by an imbalance somewhere other than where their pain is occurring, and like a domino effect those imbalances filter down from one part of the body to the next, affecting movement and stability. It’s a different way to look at pain and the body, but one that makes a lot of sense.
Let’s use an example to illustrate this. Dorothy’s knee cartilage is worn down completely, making bone on bone contact, and she is in a lot of pain whenever she walks. She goes to see a variety of knee specialists, the first who tells her that she’s getting older and it’s just natural wear and tear, part of life and aging. Ok, she thinks, but if that’s the case why are all my other joints working fine?
So she goes to another one, who tells her that she hasn’t been using her knee correctly for years and that’s why all her cartilage is worn down. Again, she nods her head, but is still thinking well, fine, but then why I haven’t I been using my knee correctly?
Many people never think to ask these questions, but they’re a critical step in finding the root cause of pain. The problem with seeing specialists is that even though their skill in a specific area is profound, it may cloud their vision from the bigger picture.
Yes, Dorothy’s knee hurts and yes, the cartilage is worn down, but it could be her back, her hip, or even her posture that’s causing the wear and tear and the damage is only showing up in her knee. It’s the domino effect that specialists don’t often see because their focus is one area, not the whole body.
Corrective exercise is a relatively new field that fills this gap. Described as falling somewhere between physical therapy and personal training, corrective exercise uses a “whole body” approach to pain. Instead of just looking at Dorothy’s knee, a corrective exercise specialist would look everywhere but her knee.
Treatment for her condition would be simple exercises that teach her body how to function properly again, lessoning the stress on her knee over time and giving her more freedom of movement than she has now.
It’s never too late to start a new approach to healing and pain elimination. Corrective exercise is a great way to start a healing process that is non-invasive and good for your body.
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