when painkillers Just take
It sounds simple, but no less true, “Nothing in nature stays the same.” It’s either getting stronger and more vital, or it’s (slowly or quickly) getting weaker and less healthy. If that abnormal muscle contraction is not relieved, the body begins to physically shorten the muscle(s) with scar tissue. Adhesions begin to glue the muscle layers together. It begins to feel like “shrink wrap” around the involved area. This process of deconditioning and maladaptation must be reversed to achieve any long lasting pain relief and healthy function. Otherwise it leaves the muscles even weaker and more easily injured each time they are overtaxed.
Typically (not always) pain from muscle contraction (spasm) is present first thing in the morning, but subsides to some degree as you begin to move around. Then it becomes increasingly more painful as the day progresses. Why? The capacity of the muscles to do work is less than even the daily routine demands of them. Then what? They contract even more in response to being overtaxed. Over time, the body responds by infiltrating the contracted muscles with cobwebby scar tissue, and sticky scar-tissue adhesions start to glue the muscle layers together. Adhesions HURT. The muscles become weaker still, and more easily overtaxed as time goes by.
No matter whether the injury is to the muscles alone (strain), or to the ligaments (sprains), or to the bones (fractures)… no matter what tissue is injured, the muscles, being the most FUNCTIONAL tissue responsible for protecting the deeper, more sensitive structures… no matter how deep the injury goes, the muscles are always involved. Always.
The Downward Spiral
Pain hurts. To avoid more pain we use the parts that hurt even less. Even more weakness is the result of less demand. The muscles lose endurance (we can walk for 15 minutes, but not for 3 hours). The muscles are more easily over-taxed than they were before the injury. When muscles are overtaxed, they contract, they get (involuntarily) tight. They get tighter and tighter. They hurt. The body responds by shortening the muscles with more of the same scar tissue. Adhesions form between the muscle layers because they’re not being used throughout their full length. Adhesions hurt. The limb is used less to avoid pain. The decreased use results in more weakness, & less endurance. More pain. Less use. The muscles tighten even more. The contraction hurts. We do less to avoid the pain. The less we do, the weaker the area becomes. The weaker the muscles become, the more they contract. The more they contract, the more they hurt… the less we do… the weaker they become… the more they contract, the more they hurt. And on and on.
Our Bodies (and Minds) Take Shape According To The Things We Do Routinely!
The ONLY fix is to first eliminate the contraction (Trigger Points), the spasm within the involved muscle groups, and then to systematically bring the strength and endurance back up so that the capacity of the muscles is greater than any routine demand. This will restore the functional capacity to the involved area so that it is no longer the weak link that always fails first. This is what I focus on: giving you the tools to keep the problem from coming back on you.
It’s a lot more than relief from pain. It’s about being able to enjoy the things you love to do; things you may have given up, just trying to keep the pain at bay.
Pain is a miserable companion. Enjoy what you love with more vitality and renewed mobility!