Alright, I’m really excited about this one, this is going to be a fun one for you guys! And it’s the answer to a question that I still hear a lot: how long is this pain going to last? How long am I going to be in pain? Well, what if I don’t do this? How long will it last then? Or what if I do this? How long would it last then? Everybody just wants to know how long it’s going to last, and what they can do to make that time as short as possible. How do we get the pain to go away as quick as possible while doing the least…right?
I want to back this up and tell you a story that relates to my little brother. He plays baseball for college now and really everybody in my family thinks that I’m just tela-doctor. You can call me and say, hey my x hurts and assume I can be fix them over the phone with a finger snap. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. I have to be able to know what’s causing the pain and what I can do to fix it, and if I can get in front of you, that’s a lot easier than if it’s over the phone. But they’re family and I will help them over the phone because that’s what I’m here for and that’s what I do. So I do this thing to my brother that really, really irritates him because he thinks I’m messing with him, but I’m not. It’s really important and here’s what it is:
So he called me the other day and says, Hey Tyler, I’ve got shoulder impingement. I’ve got a lot of pain in my shoulder, what do I do?
And I said, well, what do you mean? What have you been doing for it? Give me a little bit more background.
And he’s like, well, I’ve got pain in my shoulder and I go to the ice bath and that helps for a little bit. But then I have pain when I throw the next day.
I say, okay, why do you have pain in your shoulder?
He’s like, what do you mean? I just told you I have shoulder impingement.
I’m like, okay, why do you have shoulder impingement?
He’s like, I don’t know. I just have tendonitis in my rotator cuff and that’s what impingement is.
I say, okay, why do you get tendonitis in your rotator cuff?
He was like, I don’t know. Why are you trying to mess with me?
And I’m like, I’m not trying to mess with you. That’s a really important question! If you’ve been watching me for long enough, you know now that I referred to a pain trigger as biting the lip, (or picking the scab), but if you’re biting on your lip, it’s going to swell up. It’s going to be inflamed, it’s going to be irritated and it’ll keep being swollen until you stop biting. If you gnaw on it for forever, it’s just going to keep swelling up, swelling up, swelling up. But if you leave it alone, it’ll go away. So it’s really important for both me, the physical therapist, and you, the patient, to understand what is biting that lip. What is causing that bite. Simple pain relief is EASY. If you don’t believe me, go to my blog post on which treatments are best for when you’re in pain. But if I’m not coming in doing something that will solve the problem afterwards, your pain is going to last for forever or at best until your body adapts around it to get away from it and then it’s going to cause you some more problems down the line somewhere else. Your body is miraculous at doing that and it will figure out a way to get you out of pain, but it will cause you issues later down the line. For example, have you ever noticed that people that sprain their ankle either really severely or not that bad, are still limping around about six weeks after they sprained it and after the pain’s gone? We’ve all met that person if not yourself. Your body just picks up a pattern after you sprain your ankle and says, “hey, avoid that ankle,” and then there you are limping around everywhere you go. And then you come in to me five months down the line because your opposite hip is firing you up and it hurts a lot and you can’t run, walk, squat, do whatever.
A little sneak peek inside of my Ultimate Guide to Healing Foot/Ankle Issues (link here) is that there is no such thing as a small ankle sprain. Now, I’m not going to take this to a ridiculous level where I’m going to say if you have an ankle sprain, you need to go to a physical therapist for three times a week for….no, that’s ridiculous [to make that kind of broad sweeping statement for EVERY ankle injury]. You don’t always have to do that, but what you do have to do is you have to either yourself or have somebody else make sure that you are walking evenly again or that you are using that leg that you’ve been favoring for a while because if you don’t, you’re going to develop issues down the line.
I’ve met a lot of people that come into me with hip problems and the first injury that they recall that got this all started was when they sprained their ankle, or when they tore their Achilles ,or when something else happened down the chain [in the foot/ankle], which caused them to completely favor that leg and go to the other side, and just pound the absolute heck out of that hip. So it’s really important to understand what is causing that lip to be bitten. If my brother was asking me that stuff, it would have been completely irresponsible for me to have just been like, “alright, here’s what you do: you go get a massage, you do this, you do that, just to make it feel better and then go keep throwing.” No, we have to do something [AFTER the pain relief] to get the movement strategy that is causing him to bite his lip to go away. Let’s say that he’s not stabilizing through his core while he’s winding up to throw the ball, and that’s causing his muscles in the back to tense up because they have to hold onto his shoulder. If I don’t change that, it’s going to keep gnawing away on his “lip” until his body adapts around that pain and maybe freezes up his thoracic spine, or maybe it freezes up his shoulder blade, or something happens to where there’s less movement in one area and he loses mobility in another area. Then his neck starts hurting him all the time, which he notices when he’s studying at school, he can’t concentrate cause he gets really bad headaches because these muscles cause tension headaches. It can go in all sorts of directions.
In case you’re reading this and are suffering from sciatica – here’s one more example that you may relate to and understand as it pertains to your suffering. The question is: how long is my sciatica going to last this time, right? Because it’s gone away on its own in the past before and the back is a miraculous set of joints where you’ve got joint, after joint, after joint, after joint. But what’s happening to your spine is the exact same thing that I just mentioned in my brother’s shoulder. You have a problem in one segment until your muscles decide, nope, no more. And they freeze up and that spine segment doesn’t move anymore (or moves significantly less). And then the areas around it have to take up what that area is not doing anymore, whether it be your hips, whether it be up your back until you’re walking around feeling like you’ve got a 2×4 in your back because you waited for it to “go away on its own” every time.
If you don’t want that cascade of events to happen, if
you’ve had back pain in the past and it went away and then it came back and
then went away again – it doesn’t matter the severity because symptoms can be
all over the place…sometimes it’s worse the first time. It’s not as bad this
time, but then it’s even worse than ever the third time, or sometimes it’s not
that bad at first and it’s terrible and then it’s not bad. It doesn’t really
matter. This stuff happens in the spine all the time and it definitely happens
with sciatica where somebody’s symptoms hit that breaking point – you need to
get help for it. Somebody has to guide you. It’s such an easy fix, you guys.
It’s such an easy fix when you’re talking to the right person and no, I’m not
saying go get just one massage or some needles and it’ll be done. It’s not that
easy. [I’m also not discrediting that the pain is not “simply” pain – it can be
excruciatingly debilitating and the solution
is easy when you talk to the right person – please don’t mistake this for blind
arrogance, we have helped so many people with this issue and we are so
confident we can do it for you too!]. But if somebody can guide you through
both getting the pain to go away, and then following with movement correction….
BAM, like that, you’ll be moving around and not worrying about sleeping,
sitting, standing, walking, and just enjoying
When somebody asks you if you want to go on a walk around the neighborhood, you’re going to think, where are my shoes? Not – can I handle that far of a walk? If you guys are going to go on vacation, you don’t have to worry about “do I think I can hike that far?” Again, where are my shoes?
I know the caption How
Long Will Your Sciatica Last? and I didn’t give you a specific answer, but we’re
all different people and everything’s going to be a little bit different for
each of us, but just understand, as long as something is picking that scab, as
long as something is biting that lip, that pain is not going to go away, and if
it does go away, it’s just waiting to come back somewhere else down the line.
If I’ve said anything in this post that resonates with you and you’re ready to start finding the solution you deserve, I’ve got the perfect book for you:
9 Secrets to Solving Hip Pain and/or Sciatica (click this link to fill out the short form and we will email you the E-book immediately for FREE).