Have you ever had pain in one area of your body and in no time at all your pain spread throughout your entire body? This can happen from the body over compensating for the area that is hurt. For example, you have an injured right ankle. What would you do? The most common solution is to limp, or to shift your weight over top of your left leg. So what happens a few days later? Your left hip and lower back begin hurting. Next, you start feeling the right side of your neck tense up from the way you were standing, holding your weight over your left leg. Now you have aches and pains from your head to feet. There are ways to help prevent this unwanted and unneeded discomfort from starting. A few ways are to know the causes which helps you to prevent it from happening, get body work done such as massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture, and take time to stretch the muscles.
What many people don’t know is that everyone has fascia, which is a connective tissue surrounding all their muscles like saran wrap. These tissues also connect muscles to one another throughout the body. When one area or muscle is tight, the fascia around it will get pulled to that area. This causes strain on the connective tissue surrounding the tight area. Everything in the body is connected and working together. When you are hurt, over compensation (hurt ankle example) or ignoring it (fascia areas pulling on each other example) can cause the injury to get worse.
Different types of body work that can help reduce pain and prevent future injury are massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture. Massages can help relieve stress, relax tight muscles and fascia, which reduces pain and discomfort. Getting adjustments done from a chiropractor can help keep your body aligned and cause less stress on muscles and tissues surrounding bones and joints. Acupuncture uses pressure points to help activate natural pain relief. All three of these can work wonders on the body.
Stretching is a great way to help heal and reduce tightness in the muscles and loosen fascia.
When stretching areas of the body, you want to stretch both sides. You don’t want to just work one side of the body and not the other because then the one side of the body will be tighter then the other side being worked regularly. Muscles are like rubber bands, if you stretch them in a quick movement repetitively they can get pulled and cause pain. It is beneficial to stretch slowly and breath while stretching.
Over compensation for a painful area or ignoring either the pain or non-painful side can cause more problems like a domino effect throughout the body. Taking care of your body through stretching, chiropractic, acupuncture and massage, will help keep your body pain free and healthy in the long run.
Written by Emily Hiiva, LMT
D’Vida Injury Clinic & Wellness Center in Beaverton, Oregon.