The human body is amazingly complex. If you really stop to think of all that your body does to keep itself alive (in spite of the habits most of us have that prevent us from being our healthiest), it’s pretty awe-inspiring. It’s true that life is fragile, but it’s also true that our bodies are resilient and tough! After more than 15 years of clinical experience, I continue to be amazed at what the human body can do.
If you pay attention, you will see that your body is constantly sending you signals, letting you know if all is well or if it needs something in order to function more optimally. The more you learn to pay attention to these signals, the healthier and happier you will be.
Pain is one of those signals. When something hurts, you are hardwired to avoid it. If you touch your finger to something hot, it hurts, and you pull your finger away. That is the purpose of the pain sensation: to stop you from doing something that will harm you.
The tricky thing about pain, though, is that this mechanism (it if hurts, stop doing it or change how you’re doing it) is intuitive for acute pain with an obvious cause such as a fracture or a burn, but the answer is not always so obvious when it comes to chronic or complex muscle, joint, and nerve pain caused by a combination of poor posture, repetitive movement, heavy lifting, and/or poor lifestyle habits.
I say this to my clients all the time: Pain is a great motivator. Unless something is painful or uncomfortable, we tend to keep doing it. But when we start to feel noticeable pain and it interferes with our life, we become motivated to change in an effort to eliminate it. When a client is at the motivated stage, they are usually the most open to my help.
So what is your pain trying to tell you? I help my clients answer this question every day through ergonomic assessments and individual health coaching sessions, and the answer is different for each of them. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is out of balance in your life. It can take some investigation to figure out what combination of factors is to blame. But once we do, you will feel empowered to take control of your health!
The solution is generally a combination of lifestyle changes and specific ergonomic modifications at work or at home. The solution could be as simple as using a different keyboard that puts your hand and wrist in a better posture or as complex as making lifestyle changes that reduce inflammation.
If you need help figuring out a solution to your pain, contact me to schedule a session. Together, we will figure out what your body is trying to tell you!
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