lower back pain

The Vicious cycle of back pain and limited range of movement

Do you find that you often suffer with back pain? You take a visit to the physio, chiro or massage therapist and feel relief, only for the problem to arise again within a short space of time? You are not alone! Many feel the same way. As a massage therapist myself, many clients often comment that they float out of my clinic room on cloud 9 feeling a reduction in pain, only to tumble back down to earth within a space of days or weeks! I am not surprised and then let my clients in to the reason for this! They as well as the rest of the population on this planet suffer with varying degrees of SENSORY MOTOR AMNESIA.

So what is SENSORY MOTOR AMNESIA (SMA)? Sensory Motor Amnesia is the expression Thomas Hanna (PhD) created to describe what happens to our muscles when we are unable to move freely due to certain muscles being chronically contracted and others not being recruited. This habituation results in pain, reduction in mobility and postural changes. When we PANDICULATE muscles - contract, release and completely relax, we break the Sensory Motor Amnesia. This starts to create or reawaken dormant neural pathways specific to that movement in the brain. Somatics is “cortical learning” and re-education to break te habitual patterns which cause us to feel trapped in a tight, painful body.

You will recall times when you have suffered with muscle pain. You will notice how surrounding and distant muscles start to compensate for the limited range of movement. In time a pattern of tightness or contraction results. But one thing we can always be sure of is that this pattern of contraction or muscle tightness has a beginning or root cause in the centre of the body, such as theback pain lower back, abdomen or pelvis. Why is this the case? It is often due to the fact that the person has had to adapt and change in their biomechanics or movements. This change can be from accidents, injuries, surgeries, major illnesses or traumas, repetitive actions such as carrying a child on one hip or physical stress.

Have you ever noticed how exhausted you feel when you are in pain? The level of muscle contraction plays a huge role in this. When muscles are partially or fully contracted, they require a lot of energy or fuel to hold that contraction. This cumulative effect has a huge influence on our body. We may start to feel very drained both emotionally and physically. Additional to this, muscles will feel sore and painful because the by products of muscle contraction are nerve irritants. This chronically tight muscle, controlled by the subconscious mind or habitual behaviour, becomes weaker with the less conscious or voluntary control we have over it.

Long term SMA creates poor movement coordination and efficiency, uneven weight distribution which leads on to poor posture with distortions and imbalances with the skeleton. Well known conditions which are affected by SMA are:

Bursitis Herniated discs Hip replacements Bulging discs
Frozen shoulder Chronic back pain Scoliosis Plantar Facscitis
Piriformis syndrome/sciatica TMJ dysfunction Altered gait

Somatics is all about EDUCATING and EMPOWERING you with a skill set to break the cycle of pain by reversing SMA. By improving the communication between the brain and the body, you can regain control and sensation of your muscles and movements which have been dormant for a considerable amount of time. You will notice how your pain reduces and you are able to move freely once you learn to release chronically tight muscles.

Allow Total Somatics to teach you how you can reduce pain and move freely again. Your SOMA has the capabilities to break this vicous cycle of pain.

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Comments (2)

  • Aaron Gibson Reply

    Hey Heidi!

    I also suffer back pain frequently so I know how painful it is. Thanks for sharing this amazing article.

    January 4, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    Hi Heidi!

    I have emailed this article over to my partner for him to read, as it is a brilliant article and hope he will join Total Somatics, as i talk to him about joining and how much it helps me.
    Thanks for Sharing xx

    June 12, 2018 at 9:17 pm

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