Why You're Not Healing
Updated: Mar 7
Inflammation is stubborn. It doesn't go away easily.
If you deal with chronic pain, then you know what I'm talking about. Your body has been doing things a certain way for years to get to this point. It's going to take some real time and commitment to change that. But it's also going to take using the right methods.
So many people who are dealing with chronic pain feel like they've tried everything. From Physical Therapy to Chiropractors, they have invested time, energy and heart ache searching for solutions. But a lot of people never find the healing or pain relief that they're searching for. Maybe the pain goes away for a short period of time, but it always seems to come back.
If this is you, keep reading. I've got your answers and your solutions.
Some of you already know my story, but it's worth being shared so that there's context. I was hit by a semi-truck in 2014. In 2015, my back injury relapsed and I was disabled in bed for a year. I went to Physical Therapy and the Chiropractor. No one could touch the pain that I was experiencing. And when I did start to feel better, the pain would quickly come back.
Little did we know at the time that a) I have a condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, where my body is prone to injury and instability and b) I had a pronounced Anterior Pelvic Tilt that no one was paying much attention to.
These two things made Chiropractic the OPPOSITE of helpful (it should not be done for hypermobility per the World Health Organization) and physical therapy completely ineffective.
Once I delved further into my education and became a Corrective Exercise Specialist, I was finally able to address these issues and correct my pain at its root causes.
From then on, it took me 6 months to heal entirely and I rarely have a flare up, once every 2 years or so.
Why This Matters
Sharing my story matters because I want you to see that there are real, scientific reasons why what you've tried in the past hasn't worked. And there are also real, scientific solutions to heal your stubborn chronic musculoskeletal pain. Read on to find out why you're not healing.
I preach this all the time, you guys. And I'm at it again. If you are doing repetitive motions (i.e. sitting, driving, typing, sleeping, running) incorrectly, you are teaching your muscles to malfunction. This leads to muscular imbalances which lead to ongoing inflammation and pain. If we do not correct your repetitive motions, you will not see complete healing. Even if you go to PT. Even if you visit the Chiropractor. You will just be putting a band aid on the problem and not completely fixing it.
This is why I hired Ergonomists onto my team. It is so important that we take out these repetitive motions that are causing harm and replace them with repetitive motions that are done functionally in a way that helps the body.
The biggest advice that I can give you when it comes to muscular imbalances is DON'T PUSH PAST DISCOMFORT! This is your body warning you that it is going to inflame if you don't change something. If you feel uncomfortable, take a break, move around and change your positioning.
When I was disabled, no one really told me the significance of my pelvic tilt and how it was keeping me in a pain cycle. My Chiropractor told me that it was there, but didn't mention that I needed to fix the muscular component in order the fix the problem. My PT didn't even mention it and just had me do a plank that was being done incorrectly. I was stuck. Once I trained myself to be able to fix these issues, I learned that my Anterior Pelvic Tilt was the reason why I wouldn't heal. Once I fixed that, I healed like magic. It was amazing.
We all have muscular imbalances. If you have disc or joint issues, I can almost assure you that they are involved. Certain muscles get tight and overactive and pull your vertebrae and joints out of stability. The underactive muscles allow it to happen and fall asleep. This can cause arthritis, bursitis, joint injuries, inflammation, bulging discs and so much more.
These imbalances generally form because the muscles learn to malfunction due to repetitive motions. They can also form because of trauma to the body and also a little bit because of genetics. If we correct these imbalances through Self Myofascial Release (self-led body work) and corrective muscular activation, it can lead to resolving the most stubborn chronic musculoskeletal pain. If you combine this with correcting your repetitive motions, it can lead to what seems like miraculous total body healing.
Underlying Medical Issues
Hypermobility (or being double jointed) is one of the biggest reasons why I see people stuck in a pain cycle. This is where the ligament holding the joints together have more laxity than the typical person. What people don't realize is that it is still the muscular imbalances that are causing the pain. Hypermobile people are just at greater vulnerability for muscular imbalances to occur at a high level of severity because their joints and vertebrae don't hold in place very easily.
Other chronic inflammatory illnesses are also often present when we see people with stubborn pain that won't go away. This can lead to people feeling like victims of pain and that it is entirely out of their control. And I can completely relate to this feeling. But if you're reading this today, I'd like to empower you. You do have things you can do. It is not completely out of your control. And you are not alone. There are people (like me) who understand pain and its causes and are here to support you.
What You Can Do
There are several things that you can do to help chronic pain. Here are some helpful steps to take listed below.
1) Get an ergonomic evaluation of your workspace, or wherever you're doing a repetitive motion that causes pain.
2) Always listen to your body when it is tense before it is painful. At that point, take a break, move around and change your positioning. Rest from what hurts! Never push past pain. I cannot emphasize that enough.
3) Correct your muscular imbalances through professional guidance, self led Myofascial Release and corrective activation movements.
Reach Out for Support
I am always available to support you! I believe that I survived that car accident because I am hear to help others heal chronic pain. If you ever have questions, sore spots or want support, I'm only a message away. I also give complimentary consultations which is a great resource to get an assessment of your muscular imbalances as well as tips and tools to eliminate your pain. You can message me here or join my free Facebook Community with tons of free resources here.
You are not alone and there are solutions to eliminate your pain. Don't hesitate to reach out!
*Note: To clarify, I am a big fan of Physical Therapists and Chiropractors and greatly respect them and there profession. I work in partnership with them often and have PT's on my staff. But sometimes a different approach is needed. And that's where I step in.