When clients come to see me, it usually has to do with painful muscular, tendon and ligaments or limited range of motion of the joint. I’ve heard clients say “I just learned to live with it and didn’t think there was a way to get better.” But I’m here to tell you there is! They have been to Sergeant’s, Doctors, Physical Therapists, Chiropractors and Acupuncturist. You name it, they have tried it. Unfortunately most professionals don’t agree and very rarely refer to an experienced therapist like me. Although I’m probably one of a kind in my field, there aren’t many ways people can look me up besides the website that I’ve created. To make matters worse; they don’t know what to look for. I can help educate you. Type the word “painful muscles” into Google or any other search engine, what comes up? There is everything under the sun listed out there. Spending hours looking for the right combination could be irritating. Here’s what I would do.
Self-examination start with unraveling the story of what happened and understanding which muscles have pain in them. Become aware of what is going on because you must do something before it gets worse! What should you do? Take a pill or hot tub, go for a relaxing massage, stretch, ice or heat the area. All sounds good but if the pain or restriction of the muscle is still present, what is next? I say, cut out the external feel goodies and get into what’s really causing the pain. The first thing I suggest is to understand where the pain is coming from.
- What part of the body?
Locate the area: Neck; upper back; shoulders; forearms; hand; wrist; finger; hips; lower back; thighs; knee; lower leg; ankle; foot or toe? Was it an injury that recently happened or an older sports injury? Was it occupational or a car, bike or motor cycle crash? Is it coming from your posture? Can you find any imbalances when you’re working out, one side feels stronger than the other? When you walk, does your feet turn in or outwards? Does your knee hurt? Or do your feet/ heel bother you? All these questions are worth thinking about because they give you information and help you to pin point the problem areas. Can you reach your arms up? Does it hurt to stretch; can you touch your toes? When you look into the mirror, do you look like your neck is sitting correctly onto the shoulders?
- Was it a sports injury?
For instances: If you’re playing golf and swing at a golf ball into the side of a hill where your wrist gets jammed, ice it immediately because playing through the whole game will make matters worse, including lowering your score. Most golf carts come with ice, stop and ice it! When you get home, continue to ice for the next 72 hours, if it still swells. After three days after the swelling goes down, push your other thumb into the painful area of the wrist and find the Trigger Point that just got laid down into the wrist. Use moderate pressure to release the pain and if it refers to another muscular area then you’re doing well! The ligaments may be still healing a week later so don’t play again until it feels better! Too many times people go back out there and play again too soon! Try to stretch it slowly and if it still is sore then don’t use it, rest it. When the wrist no longer hurts then go to the driving range first to monitor if it feels better. Most people think they can work through this type of injury but ligaments take longer to heal.
- Postural Alignment
Look into the mirror, what do you see? Does your posture look straight or is it a bit leaning to one side or another? How can you tell? When looking at yourself: Take notice if I drew a horizontal line across your shoulders, would they be even and level on each side? Does your neck pull to one side more than the other?
Then stand sideways, does your hips point down to the floor (butt sticks out or beer belly is pulling your hips forward?) or is your back and butt flatten in the rear? What about your upper back? Is it hunched over? Is your upper back straight as a board? Is your head leaning forward or is it sitting perfectly on your shoulders?
If any of these situations apply then chances are you’re having pain somewhere in your body. You’ll need to get to a specialist who can straighten you out as soon as possible.