There are myriad reasons why your body can experience joint pain, but fortunately we know how to shorten that list to a reasonable few. Before any of this can be answered, we need more information through a directed Q&A .
I would want to know –
- When it started, how long has it been there?
- Was there a specific injury or several that precipitated the symptoms?
- Any surgeries?
- What aggravates the pain or makes it better?
- Do you medicate it for relief? If so, does that temporarily take the pain away, only to return?
- Is the pain limited to one joint or one side of the body? Or several joints at the same time? Several joints at different times that seems to come and go?
- Is there a pattern to the pain such as at night after you stop moving or relaxed in bed?
- Does it wake you up at night?
- Is it there first thing in the morning?
- Does it hurt worse with activity or is it relieved with exercise?
There are more questions that would be asked depending on the answers to these questions. All of which would lead us to patterns and primary causes.
When coming to a working diagnosis one of my old instructors used to say, when you hear hoof beats do you think of zebras or 4 legged animals? The latter being more realistic – not to mention I’m from Wisconsin. The point being, we deduce logically from the general to then get more specific. In other words, we don’t think or assume every symptom is cancer until we’ve ruled out the most obvious things first.
Structure and Function
Alignment allows the body’s movements to function with greater efficiency and less inflammation than would otherwise result from poor alignment and repetitive exercise or motion while weight bearing. The foundation for movement is under the direct control and coordination of the Nerve System consisting of the brain, central nervous system, peripheral nerve system. The body’s onboard intelligence known as Innate Intelligence (meaning you were born with it) works by way of your nerve system to brilliantly control all your body’s musculoskeletal movements (as well as the function of all other systems in the body – which is a topic for later).
This includes muscle function, coordination, and strength of nerve firing. As to not get too far into the weeds, the most important thing to understand here is that your foundation for healthy movement requires first and foremost balance and symmetry with your musculoskeletal system. This all starts with a healthy, unencumbered nerve system. Whether it be a lifestyle of heavy to moderate exercise or sedentary with long hours at a computer or handheld device, our weight bearing posture can demonstrate amplify subtle imbalances resulting in excessive wear and tear on our joints in an imbalanced manner. The local inflammation because of this stress is a natural response to the injury. Stop and think about that for a moment. Inflammation is a healthy and natural response in the body. For more about inflammation and its many causes see Inflammation is NOT a disease.
Using Anti-Inflammatory Drugs for Pain
Now, many of you are programmed to take an anti-inflammatory like aspirin, ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID’s) for the pain which actually slows the healing process in the body – albeit allowing you to continue with your destructive process with less “pain.” Over time we are speeding up the aging process by living “out of alignment.” Pun intended – yes, but also true!
Listening to your Body
Body awareness is key to getting answers in the first place with aches and pains whether it be with the muscles, joints or other. Consider how many times spraining an ankle over time will affect the movement of all the intricate joints, ligaments and tendons. How do you think that changes the mobility in the ankle? How then do you think this will affect the knee above that restricted lower foot when going through normal walking, climbing or even running? I’ll save the song here, but I’ll remind you that the ankle bones are connected to the leg bones; the leg bones connected to the hip bone, the hip bone’s connected to the tail bone…. Remember that song? Well, it is certainly true and applicable here.
Finding the Real Cause of Your Pain
I successfully solve ankle, knee, hip, and lower back problems because I apply the wisdom of the kinetic chain by testing and locating where the causes of imbalance stem from. Then, adjusting the spine or extremities specifically, there is an immediate change in the integrity of the body. The result is the nerve interference is removed, thus resetting structural imbalances allowing the body to find its balance and ultimately heal as it is designed.
The key here is to empower the patient. This is why I take a holistic approach to restoring balance. Your body is brilliant and designed to heal and function without drugs or surgery.
In summary, joints provide movement and require alignment to slide and glide properly. When we are not in alignment, our joints will rapidly wear and tear, breaking down until healthy alignment is restored. Phase one addresses the structural integrity of the body and many people can simply improve by this step alone. Chronic stress involves a nutritional component which can be determined as well. I’ve included a few questions below to help you tune into your body’s feedback.
- Where do most of your daily habits have your body? (chair, standing desk, car seat?)
- What do you notice about your movement after sitting at the computer for hours?
- What do you notice about your joints when you walk or exercise?
- What do you notice after exercising?
- Are you healing? If not, then why? What is in the way of this brilliant process?
Inflammation is not a disease