Through the last couple of years, I have found out that I am good at getting rid of other people’s pain. I see many clients and 90% of them are in some kind of consistent discomfort or pain throughout the day. When they come to me, most just want to get into some kind of good physical shape, and others just want to feel a little better. Most of my clients usually leave the session feeling much better then when they walked into the door. In fact, most feel little pain at all. I am not a miracle worker. I do not claim to have the “power”. I am not a religious nut that looks to a higher power when worker on my clients. (Apologies to the religious nuts reading this blog)
Most of my clients ask me afterwards “how” I did it. What did I do to send their pain away? I have had clients tear up because their pain is finally gone. Some have had constant pain for years, and I was able to rid them of it. I tell them usually that it’s just some techniques I know to trick the body into working the way it should. That answer is not far off from what I am doing. What is the real answer? Well for each person and situation, it is different, but it simply revolves around really understanding human anatomy, and physiology. You also have to truly understand injury, pain cycles and different pathologies (I can thank my sports medicine background and seeing 1000’s of injuries for that understanding), but it really comes down to understanding how muscles, tendons, joints, nervous tissue, etc… all interact. Once you understand that, you can better appreciate what to do, to get those areas functioning normally again. When there is normal function, most pain goes away.
Sometimes however, to get to this point of “freedom”…where tenderness or pain no longer exists and function is optimal, I have to put people through a lot of discomfort. Getting spasms to go away, stretching knotted up tissue, and strengthening areas that have not moved well in months or years can and will be painful. Sometimes EXTREMELY painful. I always try to let the client or athlete know ahead of time that relief is right around the corner, but the pain that will come first is necessary and must be dealt with. In the beginning, these people think I am nuts and just trying to torture them, but once they move around without any pain, or any restrictions, they begin to “get it.” These people realize that sometime pain is necessary and sometimes you have to bring the pain on to get the long-term relief.
Starting a training program is not much different. I have heard a ton of excuses to why people do not continue to work out. Some do not have time, and others have said it’s because they are too sore and it hurts too much. “I can’t stretch because it hurts!”, or “I would foam roll, but it hurts so badly, I am not doing that again.” It’s too bad that these people never give feeling good a proper chance. Instead, they continue to walk through life feeling like crap because they are afraid to feel temporary pain. If they only realized that relief is right around the corner. I am thinking that is where “No pain, no gain” really started. The person that coined this term really “got it.”