Really Interesting Stuff about your Body’s Clever Abilities! (despite chronic pain!)
The nervous system can be compensating for the effects of an injury long after the tissue has completely healed.
In fact, we see this with almost all our chronic pain patients.
People often accept living with chronic pain because an MRI scan or X-ray has indicated structural abnormalities, or funnily enough they show no changes so everyone says there is nothing wrong with you. The important thing is, are you compensating and if so why and how?
Compensation often occurs as a threat response.
If something is causing you pain, your body will subconsciously do everything possible to get you out of that pain, including changing movement patterns to avoid an area:
- bend away from it
- hitch up to protect it
- turn towards it or away depending on the feel in your body
- turn out a hip
- slouch forwards
- anything is possible really
This can lead to some areas working more, and others less, areas stretching or contracting more then others.
These postures done every day eventually become your norm, or your body’s perception of normal. It’s simply adapting to make your body more efficient by avoidance and compensation. However, making one habit more efficient can lead to other tasks becoming more strenuous.
AiM treatment is about helping YOUR body return to a balanced state. Things like previous injury, stress, lifestyle habits can all make slight changes to how you move or stand. Our job is to help identify and correct these changes to help you return to balance…it’s like pressing a reset button.
So how do we help?
We observe your walking pattern known as your “Gait cycle”, break it down into manageable sizes to decipher your adopted posture, your unique compensation pattern.
Through a sequence of movements in the gait cycle, we explore where the body feels safe from previous injury. The brain automatically learns this new movement, it wants to in fact. It’s easier than the old movement, and it’s more efficient.
Ironically this is how you got the imbalance as well. You tried to avoid a position due to pain or discomfort/stiffness, it felt easier so the brain adopted it, it just never let it go when you had gotten better. We are just undoing that pattern.
Dr Elise Fuller & Dr Katie Willy are qualified with this method called AiM (Anatomy in Motion). Our experience with many pains has enabled many to explore why their pain existed and experience movement to free their compensations. This process is liberating. It not only justifies your painful experience, it empowers you to be a major part of your success while we navigate the body map called the “Flow-Motion-Model”.
If you would like to read Katie’s story about her own chronic pain experience, click the link below: