Self Correction From a Painful Experience

We all have the ability to self correct our body when we are experiencing pain. Self correction is the natural healing process the body undertakes to recover from an injury or painful event. You may be experiencing pain at this time or even over a few years, but can you remember an injury or painful event in the past that you completely recovered from?

We all have, some of us may just have to look in the distant past to remember and that is okay. It is important to understand that you still have the potential to recover from your pain, whether you have experienced unsuccessful treatment from various health professionals (including myself), unsuccessful surgery, have a long history of pain, fear of movement, or feel hopeless.

We are now going to focus on what you can do about your pain based on current scientific research. Before proceeding, it is very important to understand a few of concepts:

1. You are in charge of your body to promote self correction.

2. What you understand about pain may change as you learn about pain science.

3. Forcing movements into pain may increase pain.

4. Your response to the promotion of pain science may be immediate or it may take a while. Everyone is unique and will respond differently.

In the upcoming sections, I will share concepts with you to tap into your own body and mind to promote healing. What I am about to explain is not new science, some of these theories have been present since the 1800’s and some have been around for 10-15 years. It is one of my  goals to share this information in order to make it common knowledge.

Let’s begin with a few concepts of self correction that will be discussed in upcoming sections.

Breathing: In many societies, diaphragmatic breathing has become a  lost form and many adults may have increase tension throughout the body as a result.

Graded Motor Imagery (GMI):  A rehabilitation process used to treat pain and movement problems related to altered nervous systems by exercising the brain in measured and monitored steps which increase in difficulty as progress is made.

Ideomotion: Motion or muscular action induced by a dominant idea in the brain rather than by reflex or volition. This may be a new concept for you even though it was discovered in the 1800’s

Direction of Ease: Movement into positions that promote fluidity without forcing into tightness or discomfort. This may also be a new concept.

Motor Control Exercises: There are various forms of movement to promote improved functionality of the brain and body. You probably have heard of Yoga, Pilates, Awareness with Movement, and many others. Each have been proven in research to be effective. It turns out that there are common factors that promote self correction even though the exercise itself is different. Some of these commonalities include the following:


Novel movements to stimulate the nervous system

Paying attention to how you move to improve brain control

Variability of movement to stimulate the nervous system

Alliance of the patient or client with the health care provider

When we believe we will improve there is greater improvement

There is a positive environment

We give our body the opportunity to improve

I will occasionally have a patient who is so surprised that they improved and they think that I have magic hands or that exercise cured their pain. I would like to think that my hands are special. But all I am is a catalyst for my patients. They are one ones promoting the change themselves.  So now, let’s give your body a chance to improve!!!

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