The Pain, The Problem and The Cause

The body functions at 100% with what it has available. Problems and pains arise when parts of the body stop functioning the way they should, usually due to previous injuries or the person not having fully used that body part in a long time. For example, if the hip stops functioning effectively, another body part will have to compensate; for example, the lower back. The back then starts to hurt as it’s doing too much trying to be a back and a hip. The problem (the hip) very rarely hurts and so people focus on treating the pain (the back). This is why you shouldn’t chase pain but chase what is not moving properly.

The main exception to this rule is if the area of pain has had direct trauma, for example after surgery or a shoulder dislocation after a fall. You would need direct rehab to the area as the trauma would have stopped it moving properly, which can lead to pain. In the case of the fall, you would also want to assess the other areas affected by the fall but are not painful, such as the wrist, elbow and shoulder blade. They may not hurt but the fall could affect their movement and subsequently cause compensations elsewhere in the future – ironically probably the shoulder once it’s been rehabbed.

Rather than looking at pain in isolation, you want to start thinking of it as a whole-body problem.