Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Pain and Pain Free Manual Therapy Paradigms

Last night I had my first baby class.  My wife and I are expecting our first kid in April.  One of the topics covered were pain, fear and tension.  It got me thinking about how this triangle represents well the manual therapy and coaching paradigm.   The picture up top diagrams two sets of paradigms  The top, shows how fear brings tension, tension brings pain, pain brings more fear.

Now, the second triangle shows how knowledge leads to intervention, intervention leads to being pain free and pain free often brings more knowledge.  Now as a coach or manual therapist our role is to bring knowledge to the patient or athlete.  The intervention is what happens, whether it's and adjustment, soft tissue work or homework of foam rolling.

Probably the most important aspect of this triangle pain free paradigm is the Knowledge.  Knowledge can be things such as "Hurt does not equal Harm."  Just because it hurts does not mean you're damaging anatomy, can be a powerful affirmation.  Explaining what exactly Degenerative Disc Disease is and what it is not.  Learning how to breath correctly and what it can do.  Why sitting is bringing about the low back pain.

One of the big things that was covered in the baby class was breathing.  Again, this thought process aplys greatly to the manual therapy and coaching world.  Proper breathing is a great example to use.  Tension, brings less oxygen to the muscles.  Less oxygen leads to more pain in the soft tissue.  Faulty breathing can also lead to decreased thoracic mobility.  Knowledge.  Intervention (practice belly breathing), Pain Free,less pain in the Scalenes as an example of the Pain Free Paradigm.

1 comment:

Scott We Go said...

This is a great point. Personally, it wasn't until I dove in head first into anatomy (and basically found Kelly Starret's mobilitywod) that I began to solve my issues. It's a symbiotic relationship though. You sound like a great PT, but I think too many PT's either don't think people will be able to understand what their issue is and how to treat it effectively on their own and/or don't think their patients care to hear the details.

Patients, on the other hand, probably need to press for more info, and be more proactive in solving their issues.

Great stuff cheers.