Let's Talk About Pain


Anything in pain that I need to know about?” I found myself saying to a client I hadn’t seen in a week who does extreme things and tweaks shoulders, her back, and other things.

“Well I have this tiny twinge in my back from moving a box this weekend.”

I watch her move in some beginning warm up jogging and dynamic stretching, analyze if the back looks tight or seriously hurt then try to loosen her up through her hips and shoulders then the back so she can workout. In a few minutes she says, “oh I feel better after that, thanks the pain has gone away.” And we begin.

I always start with this question for all my clients; not how do you feel (where the usual response is OK), but do you feel pain and where exactly? A very specific question. I work with 20 or so clients every week and have found with the 100s of clients I have seen over the years, that pain, physical and mental, is the ultimate unmotivator and almost all of them including myself use it to not exercise.

The human body contains over 270 bones at birth which fuse to 206 as a 30-year-old, 640-850 muscles, 900 ligaments which connect bone to bone for stability, and 1320 tendons which attach muscles to bones or other soft tissues, and 78 organs, basically 100s of things in our body can hurt. But I choose to look at it another way----if one part hurts, like a muscle--- isn’t there lots of other parts that can help and make the body move more comfortably and efficiently with less pain? All of us have hurt parts of our bodies, but if we work on the body as a whole- then we can get out of pain and use our bodies for the physical activities that bring us joy, without pain.

But sitting in a chair and doing nothing does not build up this amazing human system we have, we have to move and work to get out of pain.