Getting to the 'why' of your pain - The Explorer: El Sol

Getting to the 'why' of your pain

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Posted: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 12:00 am | Updated: 1:27 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

Now, more than ever, people are taking control of their health. The economy is challenging us to become more frugal. Health insurance is questionable. But, we still need to be able to carry out daily activities, balancing work and play. We need to continue doing the things that we enjoy.

Chronic pain can put a damper on both. One of the biggest reasons for chronic pain and muscular imbalance is lack of blood flow to the muscle.

Neuromuscular Release Therapy addresses this problem. NRT restores basic physiological function to alleviate pain.

NRT is a comprehensive "hands on" pain relief and performance-based therapy that quickly and easily identifies painful areas within the body's muscular system. It is designed to balance and stabilize the relationship between the central nervous system and the musculoskeletal system. Once balance and stability are achieved, the body can become the self-sufficient, healing machine that it is designed to be, thus eliminating painful, re-occurring conditions.

The answers to pain relief are often so simple, and it is so easy to make it more difficult than it needs to be. The one question that would seem most logical to begin with seems to elude most traditional approaches to pain relief, and is the one question that should be asked first … why?

Why does that area hurt? The entire basis for neuromuscular release therapy is based around this question.

Causes of pain are based on neurological laws that have been proven for decades. Basic Physiology 101. The main focus of NRT is to identify the fundamental cause of someone's pain.

Interestingly, this is not the main focus of traditional approaches to pain relief. This may be a confusing statement due to the fact that there are so many things available to us that are designed to identify and diagnose our condition. Things such as MRIs, CAT scans, and X-rays are used to pinpoint specific conditions within our body, and are the most commonly used methods of identifying painful conditions. Not to be misunderstood, while these methods are great at telling us what condition we are presently in, they tell us nothing about what got us there to begin with.

When diagnostic testing comes back negative, it can be very confusing and frustrating to the patient, as well as the doctor, when there is still a painful condition present. The answer is typically found buried deep within the muscular system of the body, and NRT will find it.

When muscles are perfectly healthy and balanced, signals are sent effortlessly through the neural "highways," and motor functions are easily accomplished. If a muscle becomes injured in any way, the brain will immediately protect that muscle from further imbalance. This is called compensation and is one of the biggest, components of the protective phase. It literally allows us to function in chronic pain.

Compensation is actually an imbalance to our system. The longer we remain imbalanced, the more permanent the protective patterning becomes. While the compensatory pattern allows us to remain functional throughout the healing process, it can, at the same time, ingrain future problems into our muscular system.

The internal environment of a muscle is vitally important when trying to establish balance. The three primary elements that a muscle needs to be healthy and balanced are blood flow, strength, and flexibility.

Blood flow is the foundation for muscular health. Without it, strength and flexibility can never be maintained. You cannot build a multi-story building by beginning on the second floor; you must first build a solid foundation. Establishing blood flow to damaged muscle tissue provides that solid foundation for successfully eliminating pain.

Some of the most difficult cases have been completely fixed by simply allowing muscles to "breathe" again, getting good oxygenated blood flow to them. Compensatory patterns are eliminated, neural pathways are retrained, and proper strength and conditioning can be maintained.

Neuromuscular Release Therapy is not a new, miraculous "cure all" invention; it is simply the most logical place to begin. It identifies the "why."

 

Cyndi Hyatt is a certified neuromuscular release therapist. She presently works at Vitality Medical and Wellness Center in Tucson.

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