We see a lot of people in pain and often the people that we see are keen to understand why that’s happened. The good news with your body is that it’s really, really strong. So in order to damage it, you normally have to be doing something pretty big, you normally have to be going very fast or there has to be a lot of force involved and it normally has to be forces that are outside of your own body, for example falling down the stairs and landing on your leg and breaking your leg.
Most of what we see is pain that doesn’t have an incident, or it has lots of incidents along the way. Why you get this type of pain is much less likely to do with damage in your tissue and more to do with the system that we all have inside us trying to protect us from things that might be bad for us. If you think about how much you can handle, how much work and load and all those things lives in a cup. All of us are different and all of us have different things that fill that cup but the biggest three things for all of us are not necessarily the amount, but certainly changes in how much load we have to handle. Workload and the physical demands that we place upon ourselves, how much sleep we get and if it’s enough, and then how much other stress we have on our system. This could be things like sickness, being busy and having to think about a lot of things all the time, this could be emotional stress or worry. All those things they have a demand on us and when that demand exceeds our ability to handle it, what happens is our cup overflows and that normally results in pain.
What often happens is that people have lots of stuff in their cup or when they do things for instance, start a new job particularly if they haven’t done that for a while that doesn’t mean that they’re not strong, but it just means that the load is different, it changes and it’s the change in the type of load that often causes that demand to increase. Something like that can be on top of things that are already there and often it just takes one little thing like bending over or going to reach to pull something or throwing something, one little thing that is normally fine and isn’t fast or hard enough to damage you and it tips it over the edge and things get sore.
When we’re looking at trying to make it not sore, what we have to be aware of are the other things that are in that cup. If your cup is full to the brim with other stuff and we’re concentrating on that last little thing, we’re probably not going to be very successful in making it go away. We have to be aware of everything else that’s in your cup. If we do that what happens is the level drops and when the level drops you feel better. Now this is temporarily, we could say for instance, change the workload a little bit, but it doesn’t mean rest is a good idea. I think it’s a bit of a myth that when things hurt, you need to stop. If things are broken,I think it’s good idea to stop, but remember to break things, you really need a lot of force and if you haven’t had the big incident to do that, then it’s really, really hard to break anything.
In the absence of really bad damage movement is always a good idea and movement actually makes things feel better. The other thing that we can do and this is where you come in is that we want to try and eventually give you a bigger cup. If you can get a bigger cup than you can handle more stuff and the point where your cup overflows is further away, that comes down to more physical activity not less, better sleep, being more able to manage the demands of your life and that’s something we can help you with. We certainly can’t do it for you so that’s something that we have to think about, how you’re able to fit that into all our busy lives, but more activity over a longer period of time is always better for you. So hopefully that’s a simple explanation, and hopefully it gives you a bit of a clearer picture about why things can hurt and what’s the best thing to do about it and it’s definitely not rest it and stop using it. In fact, that makes your cup smaller, it’s often the reverse, it’s gradually doing more and being able to handle more things, fit more things in your cup, become more resilient and then get back to everything that you want to do in your life without it being painful.