Pain like sensation is always real. An amputee’s “phantom” pain is real. Why is this? Because pain is felt or experienced in the brain rather than the tissue. We can be tricked to feel more pain by high levels of threat like thinking we stepped on something sharp or believing we are more injured than it turns out we actually are.
This is how “the hurt you feel becomes the feeling you hurt”. It’s called Central Sensitization. And, is why “if you want your body to feel better, feel your body move better”. When we expose ourselves to threatening movements & the result is we are no worse for wear it changes our perception of threatening activities. The new interpretation can be as simple as my pain is not just due to damaged or arthritic tissues, but to lack of normal movement. This is why we often return to “the motion is the lotion” as a metaphor for keeping our joints healthy.
Now imagine you have pain in a certain area which is severe or not improving over time & you get an MRI and are told you have a herniated disc, arthritis, torn rotator cuff or torn labrum? This will generally confirm a threatening interpretation of why you have pain. But, did you know that nearly everyone has what are called false positives on MRI for coincidental structural pathologies? We now realize that most pain is due to lack of normal function. Certainly, MRI findings are relevant, but they are only part of the pain & disability story.
At LA Sports & Spine we say “function better to feel better”. We want to empower you about your infinite potential for self-improvement & heightened performance. This is why we promote an agile, upstream approach by giving you as many tools as possible to control pain & improve the quality of your life. We want to bake into your lifestyle a positive message of what you can do for yourself so you can improve your functional independence to pursue activities of most value to you.
The great surfer Laird Hamilton says “that which enhances performance prevents injury”. My goal is to help you realize how resilent you are so that various injuries & stressors not only don’t keep you down long, but make you stronger. Sustainability of physical function weather it be running, lifting weights, playing golf or avoiding a fall in our 70’s or being able to squat & this live independently into our 90’s is achieveable with the right mindset.