2 Reasons You May Be Experiencing Unexplained Pain
By Cassidy Cooney, PT, DPT
AzOPT Buckeye Physical Therapist
I often hear the question – “what caused this?” – when chatting with my patients about their unexplained pain. Unless there was a specific moment or injury that preceded the symptoms, the reality is we are often unable to truly pinpoint the exact cause. When symptoms randomly or slowly develop, our best option is to use the best clinical reasonings based on a thorough evaluation.
Most of us, if not all, have dysfunction in our body that is problematic whether or not symptoms are present. I liken this to our symptoms being ticking time bombs that are one straw away from breaking the camel’s back. To understand better, let’s dive into the two basic premises behind why we may experience physical symptoms.
Two basic premises behind why we may experience unexplained pain:
The first premise is less than optimal posture. In my opinion, it is the most prevalent and basic dysfunction the human body experiences. Poor posture can be the root, underlying cause of many other dysfunctions.
The human body, by design, should be at perfect equilibrium with structures effortlessly and effectively maintaining functional and upright status. One dysfunctional change can create a cascade of other changes that affect other regions of the body and constantly wreak havoc on us physically.
Positions of comfortability are a major influence for postural changes. We all enjoy being comfortable, and most people know the exact position in which they are most comfortable. This is almost always a position that goes against optimal posture. The body is amazing and adaptable, for the good and the bad – in this case for the bad. We also are guilty of adapting our posture for work and hobbies. Adapted posture can make things easier, but by doing so, attaining normal posture during functional use becomes more difficult and problematic.
Limited movement patterns are the second most common dysfunction. The body should be moved in ALL anatomically available motions, with good VARIETY, all day, every day. This is ancient history in our current society. We tend to move through the same repetitive movement patterns day in and day out. Whether for work, hobbies, or sports, we lack a complete variety the body needs to stay balanced.
Conversely, we try new activity without incrementally progressing into it and create faulty adaptations. We develop over-activity/under-activity in certain tissues and excess strain in certain structures that create our symptoms. The body is composed of opposing/opposite muscle tissues and disbalance is a common maladaptation.
The overlying premise is tissue strain and structure stress. Any change away from the optimal status causes constant stress and strain. It is almost always there in almost every person.
Understanding Your Physical Status
Do you understand your current physical status? Are you aware of the symptoms you are susceptible to simply given your posture and common use of your body? It is worth investigating. The longer faulty adaptations are present, the more persistent and problematic to other regions they become.
AzOPT offers FREE Functional Movement and Wellness Screens. During this 15-30 minute assessment, you will meet with a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy who will examine your strength, range of motion, and flexibility from head to toe to determine whether any dysfunctions exist. Based on these finding, your physical therapists will recommend next steps, which may include home exercises, physical therapy, or an orthopedic referral.
Our goal is for you to live your best life, experiencing maximum function and a pain-free life. Experience the Live Better change in your life; we would love to help!