Why ignoring your little recurring pain(s) could be trouble.

Do you have recurring pain in a particular area? What about recurring tightness brought on by stretches or a specific posture? Do you have a limited range of motion when doing specific stretches or posture(s)?

It does not matter if this restricted movement is due to recent injury or a previous injury; you need to take steps to get rid of it before it turns into a bigger issue. These little aches and pains start off small, but they are your body’s way of asking you for help. Pain or restriction of movement that occurs repeatedly or continuously in the same spot may take many years to resolve through regular stretching, foam rolling and exercise. It is when we ignore these signals from our body that we create more costly, difficult issues to fix. Sometimes all it takes is one small, unfortunate incident.

Depending on the type of injury, there are different ways to support and stimulate our recovery. Acupuncture, massage, physical therapy and osteopathic therapy are all excellent options that can be explored.

Acupuncture therapy, though, is uniquely suited to treat highly specific muscle and joint injuries because it is the only therapy that can go directly inside the body to reach and heal the exact site of the injury. 

Years of practice have led to the conclusion that just sticking a needle into an injury is rarely enough. Here is where our style of tangible acupuncture treatment starts to differentiate itself. The way we practice aims to create distinct sensations of warmth, cooling, throbbing, pulsing, spreading, gathering or dispersing – all of which have specific therapeutic benefits.  We then go even further to make sure the blood is flowing strong enough to heal the injury. Treating the areas above and below the injury or doing bodywork like stretching, massaging, pressing, or rubbing  the affected areas. The combination of all of these things is what leads to the precise, effective and quick results offered by Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center. We are set apart by the unique training that allows us to properly manipulate the needle and combine the various techniques mentioned. This is the only place to get this style of practical, results-oriented acupuncture in Raleigh, NC.

Here is a personal example to illustrate what I have discussed.

All throughout my youth and young adult life I played hockey, baseball, lifted weights and skateboarded.  Unfortunately, I hardly ever stretched.  I had a few significant and numerous minor injuries that all more or less healed. As I progress through my adult years, I consistently notice more tightness and resistance, especially in my hamstrings. I now realize the importance of stretching and have done that daily for years.

Health care practitioners are often the worst in putting off their own health needs and I am no exception. I get so busy in my day to day life that I forget to treat my own minor aches and pains. I stretch consistently and my range of motion while stretching has increased significantly, but there is always an underlying tight, resistant feeling.

I ignored my own advice and didn’t listen to these small signals being sent by my body. Remember how I mentioned that one small incident can can cause significant injury? I had a pair of shoes that were worn out yet I continued to wear. I started getting small amount of pain on the outside bottom of my left outside of the foot at the Abductor digiti minimi but this would go away quickly so I ignored it.  Two to three weeks later the pain became consistent and much more intense.  It would hurt when I woke up or sat for a long time, and then went away with movement. Overall, it caused a great deal of pain.

I finally started give myself acupuncture treats. I used only two acupuncture points for my first treatment. Upon pressing on GB35 on the outside of the calf, I felt a strong radiating achiness in the area of my foot that hurt.  Also on ST41 on the top of my foot, I needled and did a technique to elicit a strong cooling sensation.  I got immediate relief from my pain, but it returned later that day when I sat for an extended period. I used similar points for the next two treatments and also included points directly in the foot where the actual pain occurred.  Each time I had immediate relief, and then it would come back.

I was incredibly frustrated that two weeks later my pain was only marginally better. I was stretching one morning and, as always, I had all the same pesky tight spots. I had an epiphany that perhaps this was connected to my foot pain. I gave myself a acupuncture treatment putting needles into only the spots on the hamstring that I felt restricted when stretching.  I did this one time, got immediate relief and I have not had the pain since!  I write this 2 months later pain-free. I was not giving myself the same personalized attention that I give to my patients. Otherwise, I would have taken all of my symptoms into account and would have achieved these results much more quickly and efficiently.

What little aches and pains have you been ignoring?

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