No matter what your position in life, no matter what activities or hobbies you have, chances are you have dealt with your fair share of pain. Pain can be the underlying cause of many pathologies. Sometimes pain is misinterpretted, or ignored due to the belief that “everybody hurts”. So here is a little bit of information about how pain can affect the body in a couple different ways.
I have found, through clinical experience, that there are various methods of reducing pain, clinically used and easily purchased for home. This is not advice, merely a source of information and tools to use at your discretion. But first, let’s go over some basics about pain.
Chronic Pain Cycle
Sometimes, just healing the pain can get you out of that “chronic pain cycle“. For instance, pain causes you to use improper body mechanics (the way you move as you perform a specific activity), by creating new movements that try to prevent the pain. With improper body mechanics, your body adapts to the improper movement and your muscles become guarded. Your body stops using the proper muscles, and you develop a limp, or an unnoticeable change, causing other muscles to be overused. This, in turn, creates more pain. The cycle continues and becomes a chronic condition. By working on reducing pain, and proper mechanics, we can rid our bodies of the chronic pain cycle.
Sometimes the simplest way to rid yourself of this chronic condition, is to STOP doing the activity that makes your pain act up. I know this sounds silly and you might think “Well, duh!”, but most people believe their pain is happening due to age, and not realizing that it might have to do with an activity they are doing.
Muscle Spasm Cycle
Pain will also cause muscles to stiffen up in your body. I’m sure you have noticed tender “knots” in your upper back or wherever you may be having pain. This, in itself, can lead to another type of pain cycle. This is called the pain spasm cycle. A muscle spasm is an involuntary contraction of a muscle that can cause a great deal of pain. When a muscle is contracted, the muscle receives a decreased circulation of blood flow. This decrease in circulation prevents good oxygen from coming into the muscle to heal it, and also prevents bad or damaged cells from exiting. Our body constantly regulates and heals itself, however once a muscle becomes spasmed, it gets much less help. This build up of chemicals in the muscle with no exit, as well as the lack of oxygen coming into it, creates more pain. The trick to solving this can simply be to relieve the pain, or to solve the muscle spasm.
There are many ways to relieve muscle spasms, which utilizing heat properly, massaging trigger points, electrotherapy, foam rolling, myofascial release, etc.. Within each category, there are TONS of choices offered to you online, or over the television. The purpose of this page is to first of all, give you some knowledge on the subject, and second of all, put all of the clinically proven pain relief techniques and compile a “best of “list of clinically used devices for at home use.
Pain by body part
Arms / Shoulders
Buttocks / Hip
Ankle / Foot
To learn more on each pain relief technique, click on the links provided below.
Trigger Point Release – What is trigger point release, and how does this benefit me?