I - Myofascial Trigger Points
Trigger points are tiny micro-spasms in your muscle. They are part of a natural mechanism in your body that switches on to protect you - then doesn't switch off.
The fascinating thing about a trigger point in your muscle is that it causes pain in predictable pattern - and this pain can sometimes be far from the site of the trigger itself - and it can at times be quite severe.
Fascia is the glue that holds all the joints and muscles of your body together. It smooths out movements by coordinating the individual muscles into groups which pull together. (And it stops your insides from falling out onto the road.)
Trigger points are a neuromuscular dysfunction. This means that the pain and stiffness they cause comes from the interface between nerve and muscle. It is quite possible to switch the trigger off using simple techniques you can learn to do yourself. Find out more....
II - Mind Body Connection
A group of people can have the the same underlying problem on xray or MRI – for example damage to the disc in your spine. However one of the most fascinating things is that everyone presents with their own unique blend of symptoms.
So one person will wake up free of pain and the pain increases over the day- they need to lie down to relieve it. The next person will be pain free during the day and will be woken at 2 am with excruciating pain.... & so on. The patterns of pain are all different and all unique to each individual.
So therefore there must be something else which is more important in causing pain than the disc, the joint, the muscle, ligament. What can it be?
Click here to explore this concept further - because understanding this is the key to understanding, managing and curing chronic pain.
III - Restorative Sleep
Sleep is a vital part of getting out of chronic pain. However, when you do have pain, solid natural sleep can be difficult to come by.
There are several things you can do to increase your likelihood of getting a good night's sleep. This practice is known as sleep hygiene.
The first important thing is to make your preparation for sleep a habit. This means you do the same things at the same time every day.
Firstly, you need to make sure you've done some exercise during the day. If you are recovering from an injury or have a disability, this exercise can be as gentle as walking to the post box and back. Doing some for of physical activity during the day will mean that your body is more primed to rest at night. It's best practice to have no tea, coffee or caffienated drinks after lunch.
Start your preparation about 1 hour before you are due to go to bed. Click here to find out more...
IV - Exercise & Endorphins
Endorphins are our body's natural painkillers. Producing them is a crucial part of overcoming chronic pain and decreasing the reliance on medication for pain.
Endorphins are produced naturally when we exercise. However, if you have been in pain for months or longer, it can be difficult to exercise. This produces a downward spiral. The pain prevents exercise, which then leads to poor sleep, less endorphins and more pain. Which in turn decreases exercise and so the cycle continues.
Fortunately there is a way to break out of this negative spiral. It involves creating an aerobic incremental exercise program.
What does this mean? It means that you do gentle aerobic exercise, and gradually increase it each day. Until you get to the level where your body will be naturally producing endorphins again.
Click here to find out more...
V - Posture & Workspace
Poor posture is a major cause of muscle pain that can last for weeks, months or even years.
Why do so many people get pain from their posture? One main cause is the rise of the office job. Sitting for 8+ hours a day is a very new thing in human culture - and unless you take some precautions back, neck and shoulder pain is quite common.
One of the common mistakes with posture is the 'head forward' position. This causes tension in the neck and shoulders, and can also influence breathing. Stress breathing is also a common cause of tension in the shoulder girdle. Click here to find out more about this common posture mistake.
There are now many tools you can use to make your workspace a better and safer place to work. These include ergnomic mouse & keyboards, standing desks, specially designed chairs and back rests. Click here to find out some of the better options.