What Is Causing Your Pain?

by Paula Allia PT, DHSc, MTC, OCS

by Paula Allia PT, DHSc, MTC, OCS

We are into the third month of 2016. Many people started with a resolution to get into shape. People may quit for many reasons. Others have realized that exercising is as important to each day as brushing the teeth!

I frequently ask my older clients, “What is the key to your longevity?” The common answers of those who persevere are:

  • Drink plenty of water each day
  • Get at least eight hours of sleep per night
  • Staying strong
  • Keeping weight under control
  • Physically MOVE….just move…

As Fitness Together is completing its 12th year in business in downtown Naples, those answers continue each and every year. We are happy to say that in all of our time in business, our clients come in with issues and improve their health with us. We are proud of this! If they gets kinks along the way we figure out why and adjust our programs. You see, using an eclectic approach to fitness and everyday life is our key to success.

What we do hear, on occasion is about aching joints and arthritis that affects many people’s lives.

What is actually causing the pain? Whether you exercise or not is important to figure out the cause of you pain so that then you can do something about it.

Last month we discussed osteoarthritis that is a degenerative process of the joint where one may experience pain and stiffness. You may rise with stiffness and as you move around the stiffness dissipates and then later in the day once you are sitting for a period of time, you may go to get up and once again have stiffness.

The overall key to understanding pain and dysfunction is to figure out if your pain is being caused by an active or passive structure. Many connective tissue structures can cause pain. In addition, some pain can actually be a referred pain caused by an organ dysfunction.

If you are experiencing pain in a joint, recognize if the pain is familiar or differ from what you have already experienced. For example if you suddenly have pain in your right shoulder but for no known reason, it may be associated to your gall bladder. Your
left shoulder and scapula pain may be caused by your heart; The low back may be cause by kidney or liver issues. Again, the first key is to notice if this pain is familiar or not and rule out other medical conditions.

Once understanding that your pain truly is coming from the local area and not referred from elsewhere, now do your due diligence with allowing yourself to pay attention to what you feel, what makes the pain worse and better.

If a joint has breakdown and degeneration of the bones, bone pain can be strong and a deep ache. Ligaments check motions and contribute to the joint’s stability. Usually a ligament that is causing pain gets painful when there is stress on the structure. The menisci of a joint help to make a joint congruent. If there is a partial tear in this structure, for example, in the knee, pain can occur if the cartilage is lodged in the joint wrong the joint could lock. These anatomical parts are inert structures….Pain can be elicited from passive movements of the joint.

Other connective tissue structures that cause pain are tendons and muscles. These structures become painful when actively moving or being tested. For example, if you raise your shoulder using a certain muscle and there is pain and this pain worsens
with added resistance to that movement, chances are the muscles are involved. If the movement does not hurt with active motion but pain is worse with passive movement, chances are the structure cause the pain is not the muscle or tendon.

As a Doctor of Physical Therapy, patients come in for evaluations with assumptions of what is painful because a friend had the same problem.

Never assume what the problem is and get checked out so you have a better idea of the cause. Treatments vary depending upon the structure hurt and one should never assume. Treat your body right and if you have pain get checked out sooner than later and take a proactive role in your health care.

To Your Health!

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