This post was written by Donna McMurtry Registered Massage Therapist
Have you ever wondered why all of a sudden your body starts to hurt? You haven’t fallen off of your bike, or crashed skiing but you just kind of ache all of a sudden. Why with no trauma does your body all of a sudden develop pain in your neck, your back or your shoulder (you can add any body part here as it’s all the same reason).
Most often this is caused by an imbalance in the forces that keep us upright and allow us to move and do all of the activities we participate in as part of our daily lives. Most of us think of our skeletons as the structures that support our bodies and allow us to move, but in actuality the bones of the skeleton never actually touch each other unless the joint is completely arthritic and then they will cause constant pain. So if it’s not the bones that keep us upright, what is it? It’s the fascia.
Fascia is a type of connective tissue that can be found in many different layers of the body. It covers bones, muscles, organs, it forms ligaments and tendons and it is continuous from our heads to our toes. Our muscles attach onto the fascia and pull on it to make us move. Our organs are encapsulated in it and suspended from the spine by it. If you think about the body as a multi-layered, three dimensional structure, it is these interfaces of adjacent fascial layers that must slide on each other to allow us to move. Sometimes these layers get stuck on each other. Normally, there should be enough “slack” in our fascial systems to allow us to move but due to injury, habitual postures, overuse injuries or even self esteem issues those fascial interfaces get stuck and act like a spot weld and now the body has to move around them. If all of this adaptability is taken up by these spot welds, then we develop pain. This pain is usually at a vulnerable spot that is unique for each of us. That may be the chronic neck pain, knee pain or back pain or even pain some where else that we all feel from time to time.
So what can you do about it? Move. It is important for us to move our bodies in as many ways as we can as this forces us to move those layers in three dimensions and help keep them mobile. We can fascial roll, using rollers, balls, sticks or other tools to help iron out our fascia and break up those spot welds. If we are really stuck and are in pain, then we can seek help from a massage therapist or a physiotherapist. Sometimes it is very helpful to have a trained professional assess our bodies and our movements so that they can give us some insights into how our movement patterns affect our bodies.
If you are experiencing pain, come into Reach for an assessment. Together we can develop a treatment plan to meet your goals. In the meantime, if you’re curious, stand in front of a full length mirror either in your underwear or naked and look at your body. Is one shoulder higher than the other? Is your head tilted or shifted to one side? Does one shoulder come forward or down? Do your knees look the same? Just notice what looks symmetrical and what doesn’t. Don’t worry, none of us are truly symmetrical, but in that asymmetry you will start to see how your body is unique in how it moves and how it can move. And remember, if you all of a sudden have developed pain, then this pain can quickly disappear with a little rebalancing of your fascial system.
Wanna learn more about Donna McMurtry? Click here to visit her Bio page. Book an appointment by click on the right hand side of the screen where it says “Book Online”.