By: Anthony Campo
The body is an extremely complex system. There are thousands of combinations of physical and chemical imbalances that can be causing dysfunction. It is nearly impossible for one individual to know the diagnoses and prognoses for every possible outcome that could occur. This is partly why most individuals end up seeking advice from an expert in a specific field for their issues. Even seeking advice from an expert specific to a field can be tricky. Many experts fall into one of two categories. Either they can be stubborn in their ways and fail to use the best and newest research possible, or they are too quick to jump on the latest fads and fail to see patterns and relationships. When trying to assess an issue, it is important to not only use all of the information and research out there, but also to draw from personal and anecdotal experiences. Once you have collected all of this information it is important to organize it all and put it in its place it accordingly. Once this is done you can create of system for addressing issues; a hierarchy to follow in order to assess dysfunction in the most effective and efficient way possible.
With this being said, thinking back to everyone I have ever worked with in both the personal training and physical therapy setting there are 3 areas that I have seen over and over and over again that attribute pain and dysfunction. When somebody comes to me complaining of pain or dysfunction in the shoulder/neck, hip/abdomen/groin, or knee the first thing I do is jump to specific areas to see if it indeed is a trigger point for their symptoms. Although these areas are not ALWAYS a contributor to the symptoms, they have been shown to be in a number of individuals. It is highly efficient to check these areas first before moving on to more specific things.
It is also important to note that the causes of these trigger points usually relate to repetitive poor mechanics over time. Neuro-muscular imbalances and improper motor plans placing improper stresses on the body can wear down joints and cause injury over time. I have addressed these mechanics in great detail in the book Do This, Eat That available on Amazon.com, the Riverwalk Athletic Club and www.CampoTrained.com. This article instead will address the immediate corrective work you can do in these common trigger areas that can help reduce the intensity and frequency of pain and dysfunction. If you can do this short term it will help you long term to really work on getting stronger and correcting imbalances to illuminate the true cause of the pain and dysfunction along with preventing it from ever happening again.
In Part II I will address the first one of these common areas that can help you Stop Hurting.