How your everyday life is keeping you in pain and what to do about it
By Michael Campi
If you are not paying attention to how you move, as you go about the activities of daily life, and that includes most of us, then you are probably doing things, like reaching for an item on a shelf, sitting in a chair, walking, turning, driving, and taking things out of your car that are contributing to chronic pain.
Most of our lives are spent in activities that are ergonomically incorrect. The offices we work in, the cars we drive, household chores, spending a lot of time on the computer, or an excessive amount of time on the phone can all affect you negatively.
Living a modern life can set you up for years of chronic pain.
There is a solution.
The movements you do in everyday life can be improved but it will take some serious work on your part to dig into what is causing you pain and to address it.
If, for example, you support yourself somehow when you sit down or stand up and then notice that you are experiencing pain in your shoulders and upper back it might not occur to you that there is a connection. But there is.
The problems you have now didn’t just show up overnight.
Alan Hivale of InspirePT in Chico CA said "As a physical therapist I work with people every day that are dealing with pain and movement dysfunctions that have happened over many years. I make sure all of my clients know that there is no easy fix if they truly want to get to the root cause of the issue The only way to truly correct the problem is being consistent with your work and to give your body the time it needs to adjust to new patterns.
Constantly managing a problem without correcting the underlying cause is like adding air to a tire over and over again, fixing the issue is taking the time and effort to remove the nail from the tire, repair the hole, and then add air. Putting in the time and effort will lead to a more permanent long term solution."
In most cases these issues are the result of years of bad movement that have compounded and now present themselves as chronic pain. With that in mind you cannot expect them to go away overnight. It will, most likely, take months of retraining your body to function properly. One of the programs that I am currently using, The Shoulder Fix by Upright Health has 3 five week phases for a grand total of, (come on you math wizards) 15 weeks of daily work to achieve the results that are laid out. Matt Hsu who designed the program says, in the introduction to the workbook that, “…your goal is to retrain muscles to maintain proper spine and shoulder position. This takes time, repetition, and attention. Put another way: this isn’t a magic quick fix program.”
As much as we want there to be quick fixes there just aren’t any and the last thing people in the modern, hyper-fast world want to hear is that you have to put in time and effort if you want to affect any meaningful and lasting change.
The amount of relief you get corresponds directly with the amount of work you put in. If you are self motivated, tired of hurting all the time and can dedicate yourself to the process of getting better then you a rare individual. It is uncommon to find someone who can self direct because in addition to all the work you will have to do once you decide on a plan there is the research you will have to do in order to find the information you need to make that plan effective.
If you are not that person then searching out a competent coach or physical therapist might be a better choice. They can observe your movement patterns and make course corrections that you might struggle with on your own and they can point out and help you to start noticing the interrelated nature of bad movement and pain. A good practitioner will act as a guide and show you the proper path to take and it will save you a massive amount of time as he or she will have all the information you need to start you on your journey to a pain free and much more enjoyable life.