A fresh look at pain and injury?
Change is inevitable in our modern lifestyle. Just think how much has changed in your lifetime already. If you happen to be of my generation we didn’t have a mobile phones or personal computers when younger and the internet was science fiction. But nowadays, not to have these things is almost inconceivable.

But for a very long time the medical perspective of the human body is that it is viewed as a rather inert and simplistic biological machine and pain and injury are a result of damage or disruption within the structure. This is still very much the traditional standpoint that most therapists and surgeons come from. The main concern being finding the structural problem and fixing it.

This belief is very deeply entrenched and although looking at the body structurally is not completely wrong, it cannot give us the full picture as there are several problems associated with this viewpoint

  • The major predictor for injury is previous injury. So whilst we think that you are better, you probably aren’t.
  • There are a lot of people without structural problems that have severe pain.
  • There are a significant number (up to 55% in studies) of people who have significant structural problems but no pain.
  • There are people that have had their limbs removed but still feel pain in them.There are a significant number of people that do not respond well to ‘correcting’ structural problems

Over the past few years there has been an explosion in the understanding of the brain and nervous system and how it controls and co-ordinates every system in the body and this is beginning to give us some answers to these questions.
We now know that our brain uses programmes to tell the muscles and joints what to do in a controlled and co-ordinated way, this is known as motor control, and uses feedback from nerves in the surrounding tendons, ligaments and connective tissues to make sure that it is doing it as efficiently as possible. This is constantly sampled and changes to allow us to adapt to almost any eventuality.

We are highly adaptive and not always in a good way!

Past injury, poor posture, bad habits and general inactivity can lead to disrupted information coming back to the brain that can corrupt these programmes causing disruption and changes to efficient movement. This is known as movement dysfunction that can abnormally load muscles and joints leading to painful conditions. There is even some discussion that this could be a significant factor in premature joint degeneration and osteoarthritis, which is extremely prevalent in our society.

To quote George Bernard Shaw:

“Progress is impossible without change and those that cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

We need to change our minds in the way we look at the human body to progress.

We have to consider the structural issues as representing hardware problems, with the motor control problems representing the software. We need to address both these issues, if we are to solve the conundrum of why certain patients may not be doing so well.

If we help you with the structural problem but you are still running poor movement programmes, abnormal stresses will still be there, so it is unlikely that your problem will ever completely resolve or even if it does not give pain at present, there is a high risk that you will re-injure the area as you work harder.

There is little point consistently mending or replacing a computer keyboard if you have a software virus!

Our specialist exercise rehab coaches look at your Motor Control to help you restore healthy movement, correcting posture, resolving injuries and giving you the perfect foundations for any activity. It ensures that you feel how you should, not how our sedentary society dictates.

If you have any questions or comments or would like to book your movement assessment to find out how well you can move give us a ring on 01273 725667.

We look forward to helping you to Move how you were born to!

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