One of my Myofascial Release mantras is “Start at the site of pain then work outwards to find the root cause”.
If I am feeling pain in my body, I want to work out the cause, not simply mask the pain and carry on as if it were not there. Pain is the body’s way of calling out there is an issue to be resolved. Similarly, if I was to take my car to a mechanic because the “check engine” light was on, I would hope my mechanic would not just put a piece of black tape over the light.
If pain is the end of the story, the cause is the start. A colleague, Ed Ley of Absolute Health, Bristol, has illustrated the point as follows:
The lady walked gingerly into the clinic
she had injured her foot. She sat down
and waited for her treatment session.
“Ok, how did it happen?”
says the therapist. What the patient thinks
is happening is that they are telling the story
from the beginning.
In reality, they are telling it from the end.
The pain is a request for change. What led
to there being a need for change is the start
of the story.
The sitting down job that created instability
making the foot have to create more stability
and work extra hard when she is running.
Or the sprained ankle from 10 years ago
that wasn’t rehabbed sufficiently.
The end of the story in 97% of cases has
absolutely nothing to do with where the pain
is. The pain is more often the cry of
something that is being strong, something
that is being ask to do a job for which it is
In fact, the foot is the least likely source of
the problem. Treating the foot might ease
the pain but to fix the problem you need to
check everywhere else. To find where the
Pain is not the start of the story.
Where does your story start?