One common term we like to throw around with members of the #PremierFamily is “compensation pattern.” The term is used to describe an improper movement pattern that places more stress on parts of the body than normal (for example: for a number of reasons, bending over can put more stress on the back than it should).
Before we dive into the technical side of compensation patterns in the body, let’s first look at a few types of “compensations” that we are more used to seeing in day to day life (unrelated to the human body or back pain).
In each of the above examples, there was a team responsible for completing a task. When one team member stopped doing its job or did not perform adequately, it placed more stress on the remaining team members, leading to potential consequences.
The human body works in a similar way. The nervous system and muscles in the body are the team responsible for creating movement. For instance, the act of putting a glass on the top shelf requires the nervous system to direct the muscles in the hand, arm, and shoulder to work together to complete the task.
If nervous system is not performing optimally, a muscle is not activating properly, or a muscle is too weak to perform the task, the other muscles involved take on more stress than normally required.,
If that added stress is severe enough or happens over a long enough period of time, injuries and chronic pain can develop.
This may be exactly what’s going on with your back pain. Too often, we associate back pain with a damaged spine, which sounds irreparable. It’s why we are so quick to believe painful surgeries and potentially addictive painkillers are the only solution (they’re not).
In many cases, back pain is caused by compensation patterns that can be corrected without surgery or painkillers. For a variety of reasons, muscles in the legs or back stop working correctly, we change our movement patterns accordingly to create compensation patterns, and more stress is put on the spine. Over time, this added stress on the spine starts to become painful.
Relieving back pain is simply a matter of identifying the compensation patterns, what muscles caused the compensation patterns, and getting those muscle to activate properly again. When the entire team is working together again, the additional stress on the back is removed, and you get back to living the pain-free, active lifestyle you enjoyed before back pain.
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About the Author
Evan Lewis is a nationwide leader in Neuro Therapy and founded the Baltimore area's only specialist Neuro Therapy facility for people who want to stay active into their 40s, 50s, and beyond.
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