So far we’ve learned that the body is injured as a result of sustained and/or repeated submaximal loads.
These submaximal “applied loads” are higher, if your body isn’t moving with proper form, or if it’s in a poor posture position. When the applied loads are higher, the amount of time it takes for the tissue to fail is shortened.
In other words,
the worse your movement and posture is, the quicker you’re going to get hurt.
Knowing this information will arm us with the knowledge of which movements/positions trigger our pain.
Deep breath, we’re almost there…
Now that we understand what causes tissue failure, let’s talk about how we figure out WHY those movement faults are occurring.
Here’s another non-negotiable in my opinion: you must look at the entire body and how it moves in order to figure out why you’re in pain.
Aside from being a completely pointless diagnosis, sciatica is probably one of the more common low back pain diagnoses people see. Sciatica refers to pressure being put on the sciatic nerve causing pain anywhere from the low back, all the way down the leg, even to the bottom of the foot in some people.
Here’s why I call it pointless –
Here are some of the movements I’ve found can trigger sciatica symptoms:
- Bending forward
- Bending backwards
- Laying on your back
- Laying on your left side
- Laying on your right side
You want more specific? Fine:
- Lack of ankle mobility in both ankles
- Lack of ankle in only one ankle
- Lack of hip rotation
- Pain in one of your knees
- Lack of core strength, leading to lack of hip mobility
- Tight upper back
- Weak upper back
- Lack of big toe mobility (no seriously, I’ve seen this)
The heck does that do for me? What good does it do for me to slap a name on my symptoms? I know it comforts some people to know that the expert they’re talking to has seen your symptoms before, and by putting a common name on it, can give you some relief.
But that’s about it.
If all I did was meet you and say hey, you get pain when you bend forward at the spine, I’d be doing more for you than saying “you have sciatica.” At least in my scenario, you get the sense that maybe bending forward at the spine is no good for you, and you should stop doing it for a bit.
**steps off his soap box**
The broader point here is this: all back pain is different. No one has back pain because of the same reason. It’s specific to you. The same can be said for the rest of your body.
Of course there are certain general movement mechanics that are more likely to cause an injury, but the accumulation of microfailures that lead to the ultimate tissue failure is specific to you and how you move.
With all of the different ways you can be injured, the only way to catch all of them is to look at how your entire body moves.
Respectfully, this is where I think it’s out of your hands, and in the hands of an expert.
But this expert has to spend time with you to figure out why you’re in pain, observing you through a full battery of movements.
To give you some context, we spend a minimum of an hour with our first timers, taking them through 7 foundational movements, each with roughly 10 micro-movements for further assessment if deemed necessary. Then we do 9 more complex movements, all in 3 separate postures. If you’re a golfer or tennis player, on top of the aforementioned movements, you also go through 12 more foundational athletic movements, each with 5-10 micro-movements needed for further assessment if one of the original 12 throws up a red flag.
After this type of assessment, not only will we know what you’re doing on a daily basis to cause the repeated microfailures, we’ll know which parts of your body are contributing, and what needs to be done to fix the problem.
If you’re interested in learning more about a specific body part or issue you’re experiencing pain with, I highly encourage you to check out our growing body of online workshops and YouTube videos (as of this writing we have a back pain and golf workshop, but are close to releasing knee, neck, and shoulder).
If you’re done with the guessing and just want answers, let me make it easy for you:
Click this link here, fill out the form, and someone from our clinic will reach out to you to chat about what’s going on. No cost, no obligations, just answers.
Congratulations! You hung in there through possibly one of the more boring posts I have, but I can’t overemphasize the importance of the points I’ve made in this post, and if you have any hope of achieving a pain free life, you need to understand what I’ve written.
Thank you very much for giving me your time! I hope this has been helpful 🙂