Over the last few weeks, we’ve been flooded with people asking for help and answers about aches and pains that they are noticing and becoming a source or worry or limitation.
And we’re so thankful for everyone who is reaching out and we were able to help.
Since being quarantined at home and off their regular routines, people are noticing more back, knee and shoulder pain(these have been the top 3-with sciatica especially seeming rampant) because they are either sitting more – or because they are DOING more, and things that their body is not used to.
The people who have been sitting more have been complaining more about back pain and stiffness, tightness in their hip flexors, hamstrings, and knees, more tension in their neck, soreness in their shoulders, and even an increase in headaches and loss of sleep.
While, the people who have been doing more are noticing increased or new aches and pains in their knees, muscles and joints – and are wondering if it’s “normal” and they can just “push through it” – or it’s something to be concerned about and the sign that they may get injured or have to slow down because of it.
For some, the aches and pains are quite harmless– and it’s easy enough to ice or stretch out on your own at home. If you have been more active lately, because you are bored or have more time and need to escape outside for fresh air and movement, these could be symptoms of “good” pain. It is common to have a little more soreness in your muscle and joints with increased activity or exercise. But this soreness should be able to resolve within a day or two, some gentle stretching, self massage and ice. If it persists you are really overloading your body right now and your current fitness and body are not able to withstand the demands on it. This will lead to “bad” pain and an injury eventually if not corrected.
For many others- these symptoms could be a sign of an underlying problem, weakness and imbalance that was already there and perhaps for quite a while – and is now surfacing because the intensity, frequency or the duration of the activity or inactivity has really increased beyond what they can handle.
Here’s how to know the difference
One way is to look at how your pain behaves, changes and what brings it on. Does it get worse? Or does it get worse, but not for a while after? Does your pain move around, changing locations? Does it feel like one area of pain then leads to another? Does it get better and STAY better the more you move, stretch or massage it? Or does the stretch or massage only provide temporary fleeting relief, and your pain just keeps coming back?
Understanding how your pain behaves is how you truly know whether or not you’re doing the right thing or wrong thing.
And how your pain behaves is not as simple as “getting better” or “getting worse.”
There is a lot of confusion about pain because it can be pretty subjective, relative to each person. Which is why so many people will live with pain, and “bad” pain for so long and it causes more and bigger issues later. Then it FINALLY stops people in their tracks and they have to face and fix it.
Pain might seem like it’s going away, but then comes back again.
So, does that mean you’re better?
Or is the problem still there and you may be a ticking time bomb until the bottom falls out?
Sometimes as the pain changes and moves, a lot of people will see this as improvement. This is probably most classically the story with back pain. Where the pain may start in your back and be sharper, but then seems to travel to your butt, hip, or thigh and is more achy or sore but not as sharp. So, people will think and convenience themselves its improving – when in fact it means your back problem is getting WORSE and serious.
With so much information out there, it is very easy to find the wrong information or listen to the wrong advice. I see it all the time when friends and family “share” their old PT exercises or default to YouTube for answers, exercises and the answer they want to believe. If you get it wrong, it will certainly lead to a lot more problems later, that then take longer to fix and you will definitely not be able to fix on your own from home.
The BEST way to figure out if your pain is normal – or if it’s the sign of something more serious- is to talk to a Specialist.
That is exactly what we’ve been busy doing with the rising need to deal with the aches, pains surfacing from lock down. As Movement Specialists, we have been on the phone – or on VIRTUAL calls– to help people figure out what is going on in their backs, knees, shoulder and necks or somewhere else. We are helping them figure out if their home desk setup is right, their exercise routines are appropriate and really taking a closer look into all the extra activities they may be doing with the kids, in the yard or on the house that could be a factor.
It is totally free to talk to us 🙂 We’ll let you know if what you’re feeling is “normal”…and if what you’re doing is safe or could lead to a serious set back in your health.
If you want to get on our schedule – and talk to a Specialist for free – just fill out this quick and simple form.
You can talk to us in person if you’re comfortable leaving your home or VIRTUALLY if you’re a little nervous but are serious about getting help. People are loving either option and both are equally as effective!
Just please, don’t try to figure it out on your own, just ignore it or try to wish it away, and definitely don’t just try to dull it with pills. This definitely will lead to problems down the road.
Unfortunately, if you let it get bad enough, you may be forced to go to Urgent Care or the ER – which are the two places you really don’t want to be right now.
Instead, get on top of your pain and learn how to fix it the right way, as quickly as possible so you can be healthy and pain-free for the remainder of the lock down. Don’t you want to be able to get back to work, enjoying time with friends and being active once it’s lifted?
Wouldn’t that be the worst to have to extend your quarantine because a bad back has laid you out?
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