I’m coming out of an acute debilitating pain issue. I’m coming out of it because I understand it. But I’m only understanding it now…pain made me stupid.
It all started over a year ago…in Utah. I started wrestling but I lost a function. All of the sudden, my KB work was pain provoking.
A short time thereafter, running started testing well. More recently (approximate 2 years afterwards) I was gaining more ROM in my wrestling and could even BB front and back squat…until the squatting became painful. Then the pain started to spread and generalize.
My SI joints hurt as well as my right hip. Shortly after the onset of pain, I started feeling the pain almost all the time: when I walked, sat down, and laid down. It was starting to get scary.
This was how my original chronic pain started – a generalization of pain. Was it all happening again? I was so certain I knew why it was happening before…how could the same thing happen again?
Was my pain something less about my movement and more about some sort of organic disorder? Had I done all this work, had it made it this far only to be able to go no further? Were things going to get worse than ever before?
I started approaching my pain superficially. I didn’t want to have to think any more deeply about it than necessary. The squat hurt.
What movements made up the squat? When I did the opposite of (some) of those movements (protocol explained in THE PAIN PRESCRIPTION), the pain was lessened…but certainly not resolved. I had to go deeper.
What other movements was I doing that was similar to a squat? I did a Barbell High Pull (which I very infrequently do). What movements make up a high pull that don’t make up a squat?
The story was the same with the high pull. When I found moments especially those shared with the Squat (Protocol explained in GYM MOVEMENT ADVANCED ASSESSMENTS), I got additional relief but it wasn’t complete. What was I missing?
Those movements were a part of this acute pain process, but there had to have been another set of movements that were contributing. Unfortunately, I needed to go deeper. And when one is in pain, it’s hard to think deeply.
I was fortunate to have already done the work. I proceeded to use the most detailed protocols I’ve developed from the BIOMECHANICS III course (Pain Resolution). It’s very much a fill in the blanks kind of approach. The problem is that there’s a lot of blanks.
It’s often necessary to start at the beginning. My pain issue started after I was following a physical therapy protocol that had me putting 11 vectors of force through my body. Most pain issues only have a handful of vectors of force and far less of those forces are actually dispersed into the body. I have varying degrees of function regarding these movement vectors.
Whenever I am practicing other movement disciplines, many of these movements are utilized. The more of these movements are involved, the riskier the practice. And the more often, or the longer, or the more these movements are loaded, the greater opportunity for there is for a return to pain.
And yet, to get out of pain, these movements must be restored…in a very precise and progressive manner. Somewhere along the way, I broke the rules. Have you figured out where, yet?
My acute pain started with wrestling. Wrestling didn’t put me in pain, but kettlebell work after beginning wrestling did. And recently, with greater ROM in wrestling being practiced, wrestling itself didn’t put me in pain, but BB squatting, and BB High Pulling did. Now, none of these in isolation have or likely would put in pain, so why did they in combination?
The likely answer is redundancy of motion, either hip, knee, ankle flexion (with possible thoracic and lumbar extension, and anterior pelvic tilt contributing, as well). How would I find out the answer? Let’s recall a function that returned after wrestling.
Why was I able to start running after I did wrestling? Being in a wrestling stance is staying largely in triple flexion (hip, knee, and ankle). But running has an extension phase in it…and extension is what I needed…which points to a possible answer.
I can test all of the redundancies by trying a degree of the opposite motion in each implicated joint area….in insolation or combination. With most people, it’s one motion that relieves them of pain and they’re on their way to forgetting it altogether. With me, it’s going to be a bit more complicated.
I have multiple movements I have to balance. I also have to take into consideration the original 11 vectors that put me into pain. But there acouple things I garnered from all this that I haven’t written about yet.
The first has to do with the movements I was doing in the beginning of wrestling versus the ones I do now. Can you guess what’s the difference? In the beginning I was far more defensive which entailed more sprawling (hip and spinal extension). As I gained competency, I was doing a lot more changing of levels (flexing) in defense and offense.
The second is the major take away was a more specific practice of contra specifics. Whatever positions and motions I was in and had been doing…need to balanced. It was the lack of balance that brought about the acute pain…and it’s the same balance that will relieve pain…and that’s how pain is decoded.