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Spot Treating Pain Never Works

Does this sounds like a familiar pattern for you: 

  1. You feel pain
  2. You massage, stretch, and ice the area
  3. You may rest for a week or two
  4. After some online searching, you decide to do some random strength exercise you saw
  5. Months later your pain has not changed 

Or maybe yours is more like this: 

  1. You feel pain
  2. You self treat for a while
  3. You finally decide to see a professional who treats the symptoms 
  4. The pain goes away
  5. Weeks to months later the pain returns again 

If you have been injured or are currently dealing with an injury, my guess is you can relate to one of those patterns, and perhaps both. 

The reason? Spot treating pain never works! 

Yes, your tissues in the area are flared up for a reason and need to be calmed down. And yes, those do need to be addressed accordingly. That is where most people stop, though.  

Here’s the problem with only treating the pain symptoms: Pain is simply information, telling you something is wrong somewhere. The location of the pain is not telling you the where 

Finding the root cause is where people often fall short. Without uncovering the root cause and fixing that, the pain will never go away for good. It may go away temporarily, but it will always return…and if not the same pain, it will be a different pain with the same root cause. 

Figuring out that root cause can take time and work. From fairly early on in life, we develop movement pattern habits and experience injuries in our past, compensations develop, more compensations develop, and then eventually injuries occur. Breaking down the layers of compensations to get to that root cause can take an investment of time and money, but it is so worth it to be able to train and live life like you want to! 

Speaking from personal experience, I had a colleague assess some areas on me recently. Some of the issues he found have likely been present since at least middle school because I remember being aware of the same restrictions and postural issues back then. Those restrictions likely contributed to my shoulder issue that popped up in December 2019. 

He also found restrictions in my hip that were likely a result from me being in the boot for my foot injury last summer. Those restrictions were keeping my foot from being able to work properly. Once I addressed the restrictions, my foot has not flared up during workouts. 

If you are stuck in a constant injury cycle, I encourage you to investigate why, like I did. Only by figuring out that root cause and fixing that can you break out of your injury cycle. This does not necessarily mean more time in physical therapy. It simply means working with someone who understands how the body moves, can see the compensations, and knows how to help you fix those. 

Not sure where to turn next? Let’s chat! Schedule a free discovery call with Brianne to help determine your best next steps in your recovery process. 

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Comments (2)

When you think of sports medicine doctors, you probably think of doctors who serve professional athletes. But the reality is sports medicine doctors serve not only professional athletes and Olympic athletes, anyone – professional athletes, youth involved in sports, people of all ages who love sports, and factories…

Absolutely! And everyone is an athlete in their own way. Everyone does squats if they stand up and sit down from chairs and toilets. Everyone lifts things, even if it is groceries or a child. I could go on and on…

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