Pain -- What is Wrong, What is the Problem?

January 18, 2014

Everyone has told you what is causing your pain.

The reason for the pain during or after golf, running, tennis, the gym program or walking program, even pain experience during the cardiac rehab session or wellness program has been identified.

Pain is attributed to:

  • Arthritis
  • Aging
  • That old injury, “I beat my body up so much in sports and it is catching up with me now…..”
  • Heel Spurs
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Shin Splints
  • IT Band Syndrome
  • Chronic Tight Hamstrings
  • Bursitis
  • Back Discs
  • Degenerative Discs
  • Epicondylitis
  • Chronic Tendonitis

The problem with naming the cause of the pain is that the pain is now accepted as inevitable and activity is modified to accommodate the pain.  Also, the identified cause of pain could be incorrect.  In either case, identifying, “What is Wrong, What is the Problem”, will not make the pain go away.

For example, osteoarthritis is not necessarily the progressive, debilitating  “disease” that is attributed to it.  Pain in a joint that is arthritic can be treated and painless movement restored, even aggressive movement such as skiing the difficult slope or running a marathon.

A specific patient at CHC Physical Therapy comes to mind.  She came to CHC for treatment of back pain.  She had a 20-year history of back pain. Prior to the onset of her first episode of back pain she was an avid golfer.  The ER doctor that treated her first episode of back pain told her that she should never play golf again because of the arthritis in her back.  So she never did play golf again!  She never sought out a second opinion.  She was told arthritis in her back was the cause of her back pain.  So she never played again!  After two weeks of therapy at CHC Physical Therapy she was back out on the course.  She still had the arthritis but it was not the cause of her pain.

What is Wrong, What is the Problem?

The real problem could be:

  • The incorrect naming of the cause of pain and focusing treatment on it.
  • Or, accepting the diagnosis and the belief that painless function is not a realistic goal.

Physical therapists at CHC Physical Therapy perform a comprehensive, mechanical evaluation to determine the cause of pain.  Treatment is then focused on the identified, specific cause of pain.

Treatment of Pain:

Another common mistake in the treatment of joint pain is the belief that one stretch, strengthening, taping or endurance program “fits all”.  This is not true and is a common reason painless function is not restored.  Treatment has to be focused on the specific, identified structure that is the cause of pain and each tendon, ligament, muscle and nerve responds to different types of movement.  Movement that helps one structure could injure or irritate another structure.  Treatment is not all about the muscles.  It is not all about stretching the pain away.  Treatment is about correctly identifying the cause of pain and the appropriate movement to restore painless function.


The Results...Amazing Outcomes!

"Thank you so very much for teaching and training me to have a stronger, more upright, realigned body. Thanks for giving me a more optimistic attitude about aging and keeping strong and healthy. Thanks for the encouragement and laughs.
I appreciated the friendliness, helpfulness, and encouragement offered by all your staff. It was a pleasure talking and working with them! I was also impressed by the cleanliness of your office, and the respect of privacy offered by curtains at each station.
May God continue to bless you so you can touch many more people with your strong determined positive teachings and therapy.

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