Why does this pain keep coming back?? I hear this question frequently from my clients suffering from chronic pain. They come in to get a massage, and they feel better for a few days yet the pain keeps returning in the same spot!
Sometimes there are underlying problems that if not addressed, you will never get out of pain. In the massage field, we call these problems perpetuating factors.
I’m going to talk to you today about 5 of them.
#1 different leg lengths can cause chronic pain.
Even if your legs are a few millimeters different, it can cause major posture issues and pain. Most commonly low back pain.
You are thinking, but how do I know if I have different leg lengths??
Do you tend to shift to one leg while standing? Or Is one pant leg always longer than the other?
One fun test is to stand in a doorway. Make sure you don’t shift your hips when you do this. Swing one leg front to back and then the other. Does one leg swing freely and the other catch on the floor?
The fix is super simple. Get a heel lift for the shoe on the shorter leg.
#2 Small Hemipelvis
The other factor that is an anatomy anomaly is called a small hemipelvis. This happens fairly frequently and is when one side of your pelvis is slightly smaller than the other.
I know that I have this issue because every time I watch tv I feel like I need to tuck one foot up under me to level me out.
You can test it on yourself with a reader’s digest or a folded towel. While sitting on a fairly hard chair slide the readers digest under one hip, and then switch sides after a minute. Does sitting on the magazine feel a ton better on one side?
#3 is a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
There are several vitamin deficiencies that can directly cause muscle pain, but the most common is magnesium. Experts are even saying that fibromyalgia in a lot of cases is simply a severe magnesium deficiency.
About a year ago I had a neighborhood girl’s night at my house. There were about 8 of us. We were all sitting around my kitchen table drinking wine and complaining about life. My neighbor Katie talked about her fibromyalgia and how most mornings it was a challenge getting out of bed. She hadn’t been able to work for quite a while because of it. Beth spoke up and announced to Katie that she no longer had any fibromyalgia issues since her dr put her on a prescription dose of magnesium.
After a few more glasses of wine, everyone stumbled home. A couple of weeks later Katie chased down Beth while we were on a walk to tell her how grateful she was of that advice. She could function normally again and was even able to start to think about working again. She now holds a steady job as a security guard.
Epsom salt baths and magnesium sprays are excellent ways to take in magnesium. In pill form, it tends to get digested right out.
In general, it is good to supplement with a high-quality multi-vitamin as most people don’t eat enough of a variety in their diet to get every vitamin they need on a regular basis.
Believe it or not, most of us are walking around partially dehydrated.
A while back I read a Facebook post about this lady who looked 10 years younger after drinking 3 liters of water a day for a month. After I read that article, I made it my mission to drink 3 liters of water every day. I wanted to look my best! To my surprise, 4 days into the experiment the plantar fasciitis that I’d been suffering from for over a year went away!
Water really does help with the pain.
I can tell when my clients are well hydrated. Their muscles release more quickly and they are juicier.
The last perpetuating factor I’m going to talk about today is posture.
Most of us are looking at a computer or phone every day. All-day in some cases. This causes neck, upper back, and lower back problems. Looking at the screen makes our head shift forward and our shoulders roll forward putting us out of alignment and causing strain on all of the muscles in the upper back of our body. It can cause our hip flexors to shorten as well which can put strain on our lower back.
If you sit at your computer for long stretches, make sure you are taking breaks every 20-30 minutes to roll your shoulders.
A doctor was doing surgery on a patient to fix a blood vessel in his arm. The whole time the patient’s arm was laying flat with no movement. The doctor’s assistant asked him how he knew if the blood vessel was repaired. The doctor then picked up the patient’s arm and started to passively move it. Blood started spurting out of the vessel. The doctor said, “well, it’s not fixed yet”.
Anytime you do not move, blood is not flowing. Blood is nutrition to the muscles. Rolling your shoulders a few times while working will renourish those muscles and help prevent chronic pain.
Massage can help put your body back into alignment. Let’s say you’ve been walking around with different leg lengths for years and you’ve talked to your dr and he told you a heel lift is the way to go. Your muscles and fascia are so used to being out of whack that they might go into a bit of shock and get sore. Massage will help this process go smoother and more quickly by loosening the soft tissue. Sometimes the soft tissue is so bound and tight that blood has a tough time getting to the area to nourish it. Please call us to schedule your appointment. 614-604-6358