- Have you ever hurt yourself, lets say you slipped and fell and although the injury was not serious, suddenly, you felt an old injury rearing its ugly head? You might ask, “Why am I feeling this old pain, I thought it was healed a long time ago?’ And in truth, it may well be the case that you haven’t felt this pain for years, until this incident occurred…
Old Injuries Flaring Up Can Cause Hidden Compensations
Here’s an explanation which illuminates the idea of ‘hidden compensations’ in your body. Imagine taking a hit to your left shoulder. That blow has a certain force and direction to it. This vector of force enters your body at the shoulder and travels through your body.
Then, three important things happen To You
Some of that force is transmitted through your body,
Some of that force is absorbed by the tissues of your body,
and some of that force is reflected backwards in the opposite to the direction of entry.
Your Healthy Tissue Will Easily Transmitt A Force
The tissues of your body, if they are healthy and resilient can transmit a lot of this force, reflecting and absorbing little of it. So, for example, if two bones (vertebrae) in your lower back are compressed from alot of heavy lifting and there is little movement between them, then a blow that enters your body, will transmit little of the force but will absorb and reflect back most of it. Imagine a ball hitting and denting a wall as it bounces backwards. If the wall doesn’t have any give to it, then it reflects back most of the force and may also get dented in the process.
Things That Don’t Move In Your Body Get Rattled
Waking up an old injury is just like that. Your old injury that is not fully resolved remains rigid, less mobile and your tissues become more dense and hard. Many things occur as a result of this, but what’s important to grasp here is, that when a force strikes a dense, hard and previously injured zone, it absorbs and reflects back most of the force and transmits little of it. In other words, your old site of injury gets rattled, ergo ‘Pain’.
Your Body Heals Itself By Dissipating Absorbed Energy
The principle can be summed up as follows: As a force enters your body, some of the force is harmlessly transmitted through your body and some of it is absorbed by your body. Injury occurs when your tissues absorb a force with certain tissue changes occuring. The extent to which the body can ‘dissipate’ that absorbed energy is the extent to which your body is able to heal itself. The extent to which it cannot, determines the degree of injury.
Old injuries are these repositories of absorbed energies that have changed (increased the rigidity) of the tissues and although by themselves are not necessarily symptomatic, are vulnerable nonetheless, to shocks and disruptions that remind you of their existence.
What Can I do?
The good news is that your body is capable in many instances of healing itself if given half a chance. Things that are rigid, compressed or in spasm in your body and do not move are not only vunerable to shocks and trauma but, are also less perfused by blood and lymph weaking the tissues and making them vunerable to disease and infection. Here is where the Art & Science of Osteopathy comes in. One major goal of treatment is to mobilize all structures in your body be they bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, organs etc.. Once this is accomplished, your bodies natural healing processes take over and resolves the problem.
Patients really appreciate when old reoccuring problems are finally resolved. And frankly, helping patients to reslove chronic problems is one of the most gratifying things for me as an Osteopath.
Some Great Advise
Even if you are doing great, go see your Osteopath once or twice a year for preventive work. It’s amazing to me and you the patient how often I am able to find those ‘Old Sleeping injuries’ as when I’m told, ‘Oh ya, I remember that one, that happened more than 10 years ago when I fell off my bike. »
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