Look beyond the symptom

It is so important we begin to recognize that where we experience pain is not  necessarily where there is a problem.  Our medical system is currently set up to  treat pain “symptoms.”  If you have knee pain, you are sent to a knee specialist, if  you have foot pain you are sent to a podiatrist, and so on.  The problem with this lies  in the fact that the body needs to be addressed as an integrated kinetic chain, and  pain in one area can be caused by dysfunction in another. 

Our muscles are surrounded by a connective tissue called fascia.  The fascia  provides a protective layer around each organ and muscle.  If you take a look below  at the back and spiral fascial lines, you can see we are connected from the top of the  head to the bottom of the foot; therefore, an issue in one area along the line can  create an issue elsewhere along the same line. 

I had a client recently who was scheduled for knee surgery.  She had severe knee  pain and could barely walk into my office.  I asked why she thought she needed  surgery and she said the knee was bone on bone and there was a severe lack of  cartilage.  I asked her how she thought it got that way.  She claimed she is older and  needs to lose weight.  I reminded her that the other knee is just as old and she had a  decent amount of weight on it as well.  It’s important we look beyond the symptom  and assess what is truly causing the stress. 

Take a look at the picture below.  Can you see “why” her right knee might have pain?    Look at the torque from the foot to the knee to the hip.  Look at how the right leg is  forward and bent in each picture. 

Do you know with all the doctors and specialists she saw, she was not aware of this  misalignment?  In the session I did not massage her knee and give her knee  exercises.  I did not give her anti-inflammatories and injections.  Instead, I got her  hip flexor to remember how to extend on each side, I helped her reduce a severe  pelvic rotation and neutralized the forward lean her body was stuck in.  I got her  thoracic back to let go and her hip extensors to engage in place of her lower back, which had taken over all the work.  I reminded the knee to begin to work with the  foot and the hip once the pelvis was level and balanced.  When she left her knee pain  was gone!  Does that mean she won’t need surgery?  Not necessarily, as there has  been significant joint degeneration, but it just goes to show that when we fix the  alignment and don’t just treat the symptom (being the knee), healing can begin to  occur.  

Your body is ultimately trying to protect you, so unless you provide it with the  stimulus it needs to regain alignment, it will continue to engage the muscles and  shift the bones as necessary to keep you safe and upright. 

I truly wish I had a more simple solution and could provide everyone in pain the  same exercises to regain health and function, but this simply isn’t the case.   It is  important we take an objective view of the entire body when trying to make  corrections and not just treat symptoms.  That being said, once the proper stimulus  is introduced, you will be amazed how quickly the body can adjust and a pain  symptom will just disappear.  I have literally seen miraculous recoveries when we  remain objective and treat the posture.   

In some cases, we can fix someone’s alignment, but pain symptoms continue to  persist.  It’s important to recognize that pain can occur for a variety of reasons.  If  we address the alignment and the pain continues, or the new posture doesn’t seem  to hold, it is important we assess whether there is a structural, systemic, energetic or emotional component involved.  We are very fortunate that holistic modalities  are on the rise and the medical system is beginning to accept philosophies that  integrate the mind and body.  In all these systems, balance is a key component.   When there is a lack of balance in any area there is an increased risk of pain,  reduced mobility, a sluggish metabolism, illness, or some other form of limitation.   We must begin to look deeper than our pain symptoms for true healing to occur. 

Your body truly wants to be in balance, and the stimulus to achieve optimal  alignment is within your reach.  You deserve a pain free life free from limitation.  We can begin to alleviate most pain issues and illnesses when we just begin to look  beyond the symptom. 

Lisa Decker M.S. 



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