18 Apr Changing Habits to reduce Pain
What is a Habit and why do we have them?
Habits help the brain and body be more efficient. It means we don’t have to think about absolutely everything we do. Often we don’t even notice habits until they are pointed out to us.
All movements are habitual. They change with every injury you ever have. Your body compensates and protects the injury site until you have forgotten about it…that is until another site gets injured because it is doing the work the injured site used to do.
In this instance the habit formed ceases to be helpful, and is in fact harmful. This is where an experienced Physio can help you identify any movements you have picked up from previous injuries.
What Habits generally respond to change?
- Posture – correct your alignment so you are more comfortable.
- How you walk – produce less force through your joints
- Sitting – we spend so long sitting, what is the optimal way for your body?
- Bend over efficiently to avoid, relieve or stop pain.
- Breathe well- this can affect whole-body tension, pain and even your mood.
How To Change:
- You have to be motivated – Want it badly enough.
2. Remember to do it. Link the change with a regular activity like cleaning teeth, walking through the front door, and getting out of bed.
3. Practice daily many times – don’t miss a day!
4. Congratulate yourself. This sends messages to strengthen the neural pathway for change.
Your brain can change – we call this Neuroplasticity. This can be applied to any habit.
Neuromuscular retraining is a technique A-J uses as a physio to change movement Habits – read more here.