One of our goals at the TWC is to assist our clients to move from pain back to life activities. So, understanding how pain works in the body, what its purpose is and what we can do about it is of particular interest to us and our clients.
Pain itself, is a signal from the brain that something is wrong and we need to do something about it. It may exist to protect us from a hot element - hand on element, signal to brain it is too hot, causes reaction for us to remove our hand.
In the case of the hot element, once we have dealt with the issues by putting our hand under cold water, checking it for degree of damage and then wrapping it up, the alarm signal starts to decrease and then as the burn heals, the signal turns off. The same applies to an ankle sprain or acute injury where the pain signal alarms, we rest, apply ice, go for rehab, and then as it heals, the alarm rings quieter and quieter until it shuts off completely.
In the case of chronic pain (daily pain, lasting longer than 3 months), however the alarm system telling us something is wrong becomes hypersensitive. Something like a house alarm that goes off because of a wind or a leaf brushing along the house. Our alarm system remains in a state of readiness to respond to something that might hurt.
The role of the alarm system is to warn the body that something is wrong or may hurt us. This causes a tightening or gripping response in the body, resulting in stiffness or a resistance through movement. Over time, we will avoid moving that area completely and state even before moving that "that movement hurts my ----". This perpetuates the problem as the area gets weaker, causing compensation in the way we move, stressing other parts of our body, creating more areas of pain.
At the TWC, our role is to put clients at ease. Make sure they are comfortable, get them to relax with breath. This reduces the tension and relaxes the nervous system. When the client begins to move, we stay in the threshold of feeling the work of the exercise, but never work into pain. The more positive movement experiences the client has, the more the alarm system starts to relax and become better regulated.
As a client progresses with these positive movement experiences, the greater the distinction is made between what is a hypersensitive alarm going off and equating it to pain or injury. They don't always equal.
Chronic pain is scary and wears us down. It robs us of our energy and limits how we live our life. Take this next piece as my "shouting from the roof top" IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY! You can live a healthy, active vital life with ease of movement. It just needs the right approach. One where you feel safe, comfortable and pain free.
At the TWC, we work gently and patiently with all clients. Everyone begins with our Jumpstart Program (3 privates) and then can go into a suitable class.
We offer gentle classes such as Restorative Pilates, Pilates for Osteoporosis and Healthy Back classes. Call today and begin a new journey of living and feeling well. 604.943.8823 .