Friday, August 12, 2011

The Ticking Time Bomb



People worry that imperfect movements create patterns of strain that make them a ticking time bomb to be struck down with pain at any moment. But will they?

I have 3 questions:

1) Why don’t people with cerebral palsy hurt constantly at every joint?
*Cerebral palsy is a condition where movements are difficult to control and where movement and postural asymmetry are common

How do you explain why so many people display these imperfect and asymmetrical movement patterns but have no pain?

But maybe they are all just ticking time bombs whose time has not yet come. But if that’s true…

2) Why are so many of us walking around with herniated discs, meniscus tears, rotator cuff tears, and/or arthritis without knowing it?

Strain has resulted in actual tissue damage in these people and yet they don’t hurt. The research documenting all of these findings in people without pain is robust.

And lastly…

3) How’s that sit with phantom limb pain? More specifically, how’s that sit with congenital phantom limb pain?

Lorimer Moseley, pain researcher and blogger Body in Mind blog, posed this excellent question during a lecture I attended. These folks have no limb to move incorrectly and in the congenital cases, never have. Yet they hurt. How can faulty mechanics explain their pain?

Now you are asking (if not yelling), “Oh sure, Mr. Smarty Pants. Then why do I have countless stories of how I’ve cured pain by changing mechanics and posture? ”

Because when pain appears, everything changes. --> Please read this companion post.

I’m not saying that mechanics are not important or useful (as you’ll see in the other article). But, I do argue that we are not doing our patients, clients, nor ourselves any favors when we convince them that their body mechanics make them ticking time bombs. This is clearly not the case.


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