When the Sight of Your Pain is Not the Source of the Problem

5 Common Pains Explained

Here we pull out our magnifying glasses and investigate “who dunnit” to find the root of some common aches and what to do about them. To help understand, your body is a giant strategically placed wad of connective tissue paper. This tissue paper is connecting your legs to your neck, your front to your back, and so on. It’s called “fascia”. Fascia is very thin and envelopes your organs and muscles and is exchanging information through your whole body. Some research suggests this is how acupuncture works, and why perhaps the needle in your foot treats your sinus issues. Many body workers will understand to look above and below your source of pain to see where the root is.

Here’s some common examples:
Eye strain/neck pain:
This often comes from tight neck muscles. How exactly are you positioned right this minute reading this? Slumped? Neck forward? Skipping breaths? Your eyes have muscles in the back of the base of your head. The feedback loop between your eyes and your stiff neck can strain either or both. Massage therapy and acupuncture can help break this up, releasing tension in the neck and shoulder muscles to bring instant relief for both your eyeballs and your neck. Cheepers, my neck is hurting talking about this. Sports massage Burwood the professional health care centre providing Chiropractic, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Naturopathy and Nutrition services.

Elbow pain:
Once again- posture. Leaning forward or folding our chest inward to focus on the small screen on the phone, read the computer etc. tightens the pecs which yanks on the back muscles, AKA the traps, rhomboids, terres etc. Your referral pain can manifest in the elbow. Trigger point acupuncture or
massage in the shoulder or upper back muscles can release that tension and alleviate the pain in the elbow. Getting work on the pecs to free up the front is also important. Always get up and walk around periodically when working- and rotate the shoulders. Here’s a fun test: lay down face up. Place your arms by your side, palms down. Do your hands touch flatly on the surface? If not, you may have some shoulder or upper back tension pulling on your arms.

Lower back pain or SI joint pain:
Broken record- posture, posture, posture. Once again, humans are sitting way too much. Sitting is the act of folding at the waist which means shortening the psoas and the illiopsoas muscles. These guys attach from your lower back and cut through your lower abdomen to attach in the front. Sitting shortens them and the act of sitting keeps your back muscles rounded and “stretched” while the muscles managing the back-to-front are kept in the shortened position. This leads to back pain once they are tasked to lengthen, ie stand, lie down flat, or move. I am always encouraging people to do the “cobra” yoga pose or quads stretches to get the whole front lengthened. Working the trigger points in these muscles can alleviate back pains caused by this. Sometimes, front hip pain is caused by these shortened muscles too.

Plantar fasciitis.
Oooo this is a biggy. This can be caused by a number of things up the kinetic fascial chain. One can’t ignore the gastrocs AKA calf muscles, but why are they tight? I often see weak glutes here or tight backs. When the glutes are slacking, there is more duty put on the ankle and foot to stay aligned. That
tightens them and/or collapses the arch and creates tension in the plantar fascia. If there is a significantly dominate side that hurts, the opposite side mid-back may need to be released. Your jacked back can literally cause foot pain. Cupping therapy can help release the large fascial planes in the back
and gua sha (called Graston therapy by PT’s or chiropractors but the therapy is rooted in gua sha) can scrape out the “rice” knots in the foot. Trigger point acupuncture can take care of the rest to smooth out circulation. If the glutes are weak- a good personal or athletic trainer should be employed to get them back in shape so you aren’t “cheating” and promoting the existing problem when working out.

Bonus round:
Improved Immune System = Reduced Sick Days
While not “pain”, getting sick is painful in its own right. So listen up! Tap tap tap…turning up the loudspeaker on this one. Those who have gotten regular acupuncture through the flu season have had a massively reduced rate of actually getting the flu. According to my very semi-scientific, semi-serious small study of my own clinic, off the cuff I would venture to say 99% of my regulars did not get the flu. Acupuncture boosts and maintains your strong immunity and keeps your lymph flushed and active. Elderberry syrup has also be shown to be extremely potent against this years flu strain. Prevention really is the best medicine.