Current belief: Pain is giving us the message of limitation, or that something is broken.
Our entire acute care system is set up around this belief. This misconception creates a treatment system that does not work. The most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain are drugs, surgery, and manipulation. All these treatments are aimed at relieving the symptom, but do nothing about the reason why the symptom appeared. When we assume that something is “broken,” then there is something that has to be “fixed.” This leads to the use of surgery to fix the herniated disc, shoulder impingement, or bunion. And then we assume since we “fixed” the broken piece, we are healthy again. This is not true however. The reason why the herniated disc, shoulder impingement, or bunion showed up in the first place was never addressed. This can lead to the symptom reappearing later.
New belief: Pain is telling us that something is not happening that should be happening.
Our back hurts because our posture is compromised. Our backs have lost their S-curve, flexibility, and proper support from the pelvis. When we restore our posture our pain will go away and our intrinsic healing power will take over and heal our herniated disc. Surgery to fix something is no longer needed and even if we do have surgery, we still need to correct the faulty posture that caused the problem in the first place.
Current belief: We are healthy if we do not have pain.
Our societal belief that we are healthy if we do not have pain, leads to treatment focused solely on symptom relief. As in the previous examples, surgery does not make us healthy again; it only “fixed” what was falsely considered “broken.” Pain killer drugs are a multimillion dollar industry based on our misconception of what it means to be “healthy.” None of us believe that we have an Oxycodone deficiency when we take Oxycodone. And we all know that taking pain medication is doing nothing about why the pain is there. The medication only masks our pain, allowing us to ignore the real problem.
New belief: We are healthy when we are free of pain AND limitations.
Before pain comes limitation, which is usually attributed to aging. We frequently hear people say: “I used to run, but now I walk” or “I used to climb the stairs, but now I take the elevator” or “I used to play with the grandkids on the floor, but now I can’t. But, that’s ok because I’m 50, 60, 70 years old.” These limitations are not normal and are not age related. Learning to recognize these limitations allow us to take our focus back to the cause: our posture. When we correct our posture we are at the same time restoring optimum function to the body and we are preventing future problems from occurring.
Current belief: The solution to our problem rests outside of ourselves.
In many cases, we believe that something external to us caused our pain – our bad genes, our computer, improper footwear, a car accident, past injury, or previous surgery. This allows us to pass all the responsibility for becoming well onto someone else. This is why we use so many external fixes: massage, manipulation, ultrasound, surgery, braces, drugs etc.
New belief: We must take personal responsibility for our health.
Responsibility means we have the ability to respond. Total health and wellness is not possible until we take responsibility for our own health. When we take responsibility for our health and take action we become empowered and allow our bodies to do what they do best – thrive. We have a tremendous capacity for healing and renewal if we allow it. Reminding our bodies of correct posture and function will take stress off the affected areas and allow our intrinsic healing power to take over. You can see and feel the physical changes that take place as a result of your efforts. Associated with this is an increased feeling of confidence that accompanies the improved health you are responsible for.