Chronic Pain and Inactivity

Friday afternoon while putting away laundry I watched a few minutes of Dr. Oz and two guests who were from New Jersey.  He wanted to talk about the fascia (the sheath around the muscles all over the body) and chronic pain.  It was SO interesting I actually just laid everything down and waited until the end of the segment.  New research suggests that when people have chronic pain that cannot be resolved it may be from tightness in the fascia.  While this was previously described as “musculoskeletal” pain, it could truly be the fascia which tightens from inactivity since humans were meant to be mobile. 

This made SO much sense to me.  I have never been a big believer in fibromyalgia and there is a very large number of people on disability for chronic pain who are pretty immobile.  Continued immobility makes the fascia tighter and movement improves the pain and eventually their overall health.  Even more interesting – people with the most complaints of pain and discomfort had “back pain” that was resolved with activities including walking, swimming, water aerobics and yoga.  Loosening the fascia takes pressure off the muscles and reduces or eliminates pain. 

Hopefully physicians will latch onto this research and get people back to a reasonable quality of life and off prescription narcotics.  Ed’s back pain was always hard to diagnose and only responded to very specific forms of treatment.  I always thought he didn’t want to get better, after all, it is VERY easy to lay around, watch tv, play on the computer and talk on the phone.  This knowledge about the fascia also explains how patients will improve during therapy or massage and then have problems once they return to a sedentary lifestyle.

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