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  1. In some recent studying, I tried looked into different definitions of pain. I stumbled across this illuminating paper (full pdf is free). it is really worth the read, i found... In the paper, Cohen et al define pain as "A mutually recognizable somatic experience that reflects a person’s apprehension of threat to their bodily or existential integrity." (2018) It also discusses limitations to the much-used IASP definition of pain from 1979: "An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage" The critique is that this definition has problems like: 1) priviledging the outside observer of pain because objectivity is required 2) compulsory linking of pain with "tissue damage" (which can disenfranchise people experiencing chronic pain with tissue damage) 3) "described" priviledges verbal communication, whereas most communication (in general and around pain) occurs non-verbally. 4) even though it seems to emancipate us from body-mind dualism, the Note of Usage talks about pain arising for "psychological" reasons which can perpetuate the erroneus belief that pain is either "real" (in the body) or "imagined" (in the mind). Would do you guys think about the problem of defining pain? Any thoughts on the Cohen-article? Peter Ps attached the pdf. painreports-3-e634.pdf
  2. Hi, I have a pain in my hamstring around this reigion where it says hamstring tendon: The pain is most easily activated doing the "elephant walk" stretch from one of the stretch series. The pain is on my left side, and when I do the stretch shifting my hips to the right to stretch the left, it is easily felt. Also when doing a stretch like this: And front splits as well, mostly near the bottom ROM. This is not the first time I have had this pain, I have recovered and had it re-injured a few times now. What frustrates me the most about it is it always takes several weeks to months to heal and at the time of injury, I feel nothing. There is not sign of injury like a pull or snap. I always stretch to what I feel is within my boundaries, and there is no excruciating pain/discomfort during the session prior. I guess what I would like to know is what exactly have I injured, what can be done to rehab it faster, and what can then be done to prehab it in the future.
  3. Hi Kit and fellow members, For the past year I have put my handstand training on hold because I wanted to address some foundational issues. Firstly my thoracic spine is rather tight and I struggle with overhead mobility. This is not a major issue and it would probably improve with handstand holds against the wall to help open up my shoulders. The second (and more significant) issue is that I occasionally get a pinching feeling in my upper left trap. I am quite conscious of my traps feeling tight and have eliminated all weight lifting since the start of the year to help overcome the issue. Unfortunately when I try to do a handstand hold against the wall, it feels ok at first, but after a second or third attempt, I feel a pinching pain. It's at this time that I stop because I don't want to aggravate it any further. I have actually stopped dong any handstand holds against the wall because I don't want to make the injury any worse. In my day-to-day life I work on the computer. I use a saddle chair with a sit/stand desk. I vary my day between sitting and standing to help prevent being in one position for too long. I am surprise that my left trap has the issue because I am right handed and if anything, would expect that my 'mouse hand' would be causing issues on the right side - but that is not the case. I don't typically feel the pain, but I do feel that my shoulders are quite tense. My instagram account (@JasonFitDad) is probably the best way to get an idea of my posture. At the moment I am not too fussed with my training routine because I want to make sure that I address any issues in my body to prevent them getting worse from bad form. I know there are a lot of very knowledgeable people within this community. If anyone can offer some advice / suggested exercises it would be much appreciated. Kind Regards, Jason
  4. Hi all, New here and sincere apologies, but I have not been able to find a post that relates to the above. I'm happy to be directed to a relevant post or thread if this has already been covered. I've been working on handstands and tumbling since about a year and a bit. Prior to this I was mostly doing yoga, with a middling level of skill. In addition to handstand and gymnastics classes twice a week, I recently signed up to Emmett's online programme at the Handstand Factory. I also purchased the previous edition of Overcoming Neck and Back Pain and Kit's Shoulder Mobility Vimeo Video's a few weeks ago. I'm doing the shoulder stretches as well as exercises recommended for lower and upper back pain in Kit's book. For years now I have had intermittent soreness in my rt. inner upper back - roughly middle traps, rhomboids area which radiates a little to the neck. Usually it's not a problem, tends to flare up for a few weeks in a year. It seems like it is coming back now as a result of all the overhead work that I have been doing. Aches in that area (sometimes spreading to left side) soon after my handstand practise. Pain seems to go away when I rest and don't train. I have a good physio who did some miraculous trigger point release work and has recommended thoracic stretching (quaduped side stretches, lying back side stretches). Since I've started handstand practise he seems to think that my thoracic and shoulder mobility is reasonably good (been working with Kit's programme), but I should continue to improve it as the range required is greater. He has also said that he thinks that my shoulder strength/stability in an overhead position is not that good for the volume I am doing and this is the main reason for the pain. He's recommended that I do overhead shoulder strengthening exercises e.g. single arm kettlebell carries pronating/supinating forearm whilst walking and also lying on my back/side I work out for an hour twice weekly at the classes. Plus once a twice a week for half an hour at home. At best can hold a freestanding handstand for about 10 seconds before I lose balance. Slowly improving this and happy with my progress. Would love to know what you guys think of the above. Also something to relieve the sore upper back after my workout would be good. I do some lat, neck and shoulder stretching afterwards but no dice. Perhaps I am being too impatient and should just persist with the above, maybe reducing the load?
  5. Hello everyone The problem is outside ankle pain when I land forefoot in running. The pain is localised about an inch or less in front of the outside ankle knob thing. A bit of context, I used to do a lot of running and have had sprains. I went to a physio a while back who pointed out that my ankles are very stiff and that the arch in my left foot has dropped to compensate. I've been stretching and rolling it for a long time now and it has improved slightly but it's always there. I feel like I'm missing something that could help it. I don't even understand what is occurring to produce the pain. From my own searching it doesn't seem to be a very common problem. I would very much appreciate any tips Thanks and all the best, Gareth
  6. Nice meeting you all, this is Czon from Hong Kong and this will be my first post! I have this pain at the back of my leg close to my hip for about 5 months now, the sensation is like something tearing apart inside, I can pinpoint the position of the sensation. Now I cannot get to front split, pike and pancake due to the pain. Pain also appears when i bend over and lift my leg up (less when the leg is bent) I have been trying with different stretches, and needle work, but so far without much success, and the condition fluctuates. I dug into some older posts and I will add to my routine: "sit on the floor, and get that lacrosse ball in the right spot, and then do the one-leg bent-leg hamstring stretch (hold the working leg's foot; pull body onto thigh, slowly straighten leg; other leg folded out to the side). As soon as you even begin to stress that area (at the front of the ischial tuberosities, I am guessing) the ball will target exactly the fascia that's needed. As soon as you feel that, stop, and simply stay there. You can add small movements too, if you want (will distract you from the pain AND work the fascia)." , and report back on my progress. This bothers me quite a bit and my judgement on what to do, how much i should do maybe clouded by my eagerness to get better soon. If there is any comment, suggestions or recommendations please feel free to let me know!
  7. Hi everyone, It's my first time posting here. I'm a male in my mid-40s and have been weight training for more than 20 years. Throughout much of that time I have had pain in my shoulders, mainly in the front of my shoulders, and mainly from working my chest. I've been able to minimise this pain by changing the exercises I do and using lighter weights. Recently however I have also started getting pain in the rear of my right shoulder, mainly when working my back or shoulders. The other week I had to stop in the middle of doing shoulder press as I was getting a very sharp pain in my rear right shoulder. (I can also get a milder pain sometimes when holding the bar doing squats. My right rear shoulder becomes really tight all of a sudden and I have to stop.) One thing that I have noticed is that I have limited external rotation in my right shoulder: Suppose I stand with my back against a wall, my upper arms also against the wall and parallel to the floor, and my forearms bent at a 90 degree angle. If I now try to externally rotate my arms so that my forearms also touch the wall, it's harder to do with my right arm and near the end position the rear of my right shoulder hurts. My right side also has reduced external rotator strength: If I lie on my side and do the standard rotator cuff strengthening exercise, my right arm becomes fatigued more quickly than my left. Currently I am doing Kit's long stick external rotation stretch which feels pretty good and may be helping. Other things I have tried include - the two standard external rotator cuff exercises - face pulls - various band exercises - pec stretches against a wall All of these cause pain in the front of my shoulders, either fairly immediately, or later in the day. (I tried all these before I started getting rear shoulder pain and hence I don't know if doing them now would also cause rear shoulder pain.) In addition, any stretch that involves placing my arms across my body tends to lead to front shoulder pain. In the past I've also used a ball to massage the rear of my shoulders, my shoulder blades, and also my chest. I am not really sure if that was helping or not. I'd really like to improve my shoulders. Any suggestions on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.
  8. I think it might be useful for me (and maybe others) to illustrate a problem I have; it's a painful sensation I feel only at times, so I always forget to seek professional help about it. It almost inevitably comes up when I sit on a stool, or in general when I have to keep my torso erect for long periods of time. I am kinda clueless about anatomy, so I can't be really precise about the location, but I try to explain the best I can. To put my finger exactly on the painful spot, I have to grab my right shoulder with the left arm so that the scapula moves accordingly and then move my right arm to reach the area between the left side of my spine and the shoulder blade: the pain will be close to the edge of the scapula (that is now removed from its rest position). Touching the area I feel only soft tissues and ribs, I suspect the pain might be linked to a mobility issue, but I'm not sure. Yesterday I felt it for the first time after a while and I immediately linked it to this spinal breathing I performed one hour before, which is essentially an exercise for thoracic mobility. I want also to add that apparently my yoga nidra practice helped alleviate the issue. What do you guys think the problem is?
  9. I have come across a very interesting issue that may be of interest to stretch therapists here (stimulated by reading about pain in Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, following the experience of a friend with the syndrome). It is discussed in this video on Youtube (and probably in many other places - this is the one I am working through at the moment; it needs a lot of detailed thought as there is a lot in there): It deals with the issue, that in some cases of chronic pain, it is a "brain pain" problem, otherwise known as centralised pain. In these cases, it is the brain itself that is generating the pain - maybe following an initial trigger in the body such as damage to the spinal cord, or an infection, or inflammation in the brain's glial cells, or maybe just genetics. Unfortunately, the symptoms are general and shared with many other conditions, and include things like general malaise, fatigue, pain in multiple body areas, "brain fog". Pain of this sort needs quite different treatments from other sorts of pain - for instance, morphine may be completely ineffective, yet other drugs devised as anti-convulsants may be effective in stopping the pain. Many doctors will not know about this condition, and provide ineffective treatments. It is quite possible the some people with chronic back pain have pain of this sort. Exercise by the way, can be helpful with this type of pain. Anyway, I think any one who works with body therapy needs to know about this type of pain (even if they cannot do anything about it), so they can guess what might be happening and refer the patient to an appropriate medical practitioner. Jim.
  10. Hello everyone. I am posting a question that I posed and Kit answered, (on the recent AMA Reddit thread), regarding residual pain after shingles (post-herpetic neuralgia). Better late than never! (That was over a month ago now, I think). The happy news is that I am no longer experiencing this pain and haven't done so for a few weeks now. I hope this info may help anyone else who has the unfortunate experience of trouble with nerve pain. The full thread and Kit's response is below, but just to summarise the problem: - I had a bout of shingles 18 months ago - Apparently out of nowhere, in my mid thoracic area on the left side, the pain flared up very dramatically - for several weeks I could not bear to sit, even for 5 - 10 mins. It was sometimes stabbing, sometimes throbbing, sometimes itchy or burning, and very intense, like I had been in a traffic accident. But not made worse but activity - in fact, it was worst when sitting, and I felt relief when moving around. The major turn around for me was going to see Danny G who I met at one of Kit's Into the Stretch classes in York recently. We did a few stretch sessions together which helped, but the real 'light bulb' moment came when he suggested that I watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwd-wLdIHjs - a 15 minute Ted talk by Lor Moseley on the topic 'Why things hurt'. (basically, the answer is, 'because we think they do.' In other words that the experience of pain is a matter of perception.) Soon after that, I attended one introductory Pilates class with a 1-1 teacher, who walked me through some exercises that I found very difficult, though they would not appear so to an outsider - subtle movements I had not tried before that required intense concentration to execute. I was amazed when afterwards I realised I felt no pain at all and it did not return for about an hour. I surmised the reason that I felt no pain was not because the Pilates was a magic bullet (though I'm sure, Pilates is helpful for back strengthening), but rather because I was focused on something so intensely besides the pain in my back that I didn't notice it was there (much like a tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it). From then I started practising two things - one was Danny's suggestion and also in the talk, that I try focusing on the pain and trying to articulate what it really felt like. e.g rather than catastrophising every instance of pain, I noticed sometimes it felt less painful than other times. Often it wasn't really pain at all, per se, it was more a sense of 'wrongness' or something that will be familiar to nerve pain sufferers that I can only describe as 'sensation'. The other, (and this may seem contradictory) was endeavouring to be very mindful about everything else, from brushing my teeth to doing the dishes, so my brain would be too full of messages about the tasks that I was engaged in minute by minute to pay any attention to my back. Finally - and I believe this also had a big impact, though I can't know for sure - I bought a Teeter hanging device and anti-gravity boots http://www.amazon.com/Teeter-Hang-Ups-Inversion-Gravity/dp/B000M83J5I- hanging upside down is great, but I think hanging in the usual way (hands, overhand or underhand grip, in various different poses, but mostly just plain old hanging) has made a great difference. This I got from Craig's excellent hanging series. It just feels great. I now hang several times a day. I have no real routine. I just hang on my bar every time I walk by, much like a kid on a swing set. I can't rate this enough. I did also have a few sessions of osteopathy and dry needling, also helpful. But not, I feel, the cure. One more 'finally' - all this I believe has changed my attitude to movement in general. I try to do some movement nearly all the time. Rather than thinking of 'working out' for an hour per day and then 'the rest of life' the rest of the time. I think of my body communicating with the world and vice versa, all of the time. So can be found stretching at bus stops, in shopping queues, sometimes working in a squat with my computer on the floor... etc etc. I do a lot of things just because they feel good. Danny, at one point, said to me 'Free your hips and you free your mind' and that has really stuck with me (it's true! Though my hips need a lot of work!) Kit, if you are reading this, I am afraid I cannot tell you that I have cut down my work yet in any drastic way, but I have turned down various commitments on top of this, and avoided taking on a second job... hah. I have been doing far more relaxing in the past 3 months than I have the last 3 years, and a lot of getting outdoors (hiking, climbing, kayaking...) Thank you to anyone who has read this far! Hi Kit :-) it's Ngaire. I was going to do a bit more research on the forums (have done some) before posting there but since you are here now, asking. Today I've been diagnosed with post-herpetic neuralgia. I had shingles about 18 months ago and pain has flared up without rash. Mid-thoracic area left side. The skin in that area feels numb and pain there varies from stabbing to itching to tingling to throbbing and sometimes feels like I've just been hit by a truck in that one place. I believe general flexibility and strength will help so working on daily 5, hip flexors and strengthening glutes. I use a standing (adjustable) desk and have very frequent movement breaks (or move and work). Also practising mindfulness and relaxation to help with pain management. Sometimes it feels like a fire engine siren is going off on my side. It has the quality of being exposed to a loud constant noise that won't turn off. I want to avoid prescription meds for the moment. Wondered if you can suggest any stretches that relax nerves? (Or if I do the stretches that feel "neural" is that a good start?) I just put up a chin up/hanging bar in my flat and am practising Craig's hanging series which helps. Thank you!! Very grateful for all your teachings. I also do lots mobility work with resistance bands. Movement seems to help. permalink [–]Kit_LaughlinKit's the Tits[S] 1 point 1 month ago Hello there! N., the #1 route for you is to very significant reduction in your frankly insane work load (I am sure you knew I was going to recommend that!), if you haven't already. Shingles is the common term for the original complaint (adult chicken pox, one of the herpes viruses, and in many people the body remains overly sensitive following a severe episode (the "post" part). What I will suggest (the lying meditations) are not fast cures; what is needed is to calm the whole system down over time. In my direct experience (I have had the same problem) time will fix it and gentle stretching (lateral flexion, rotation, and having someone rub some nice smelling skin balm on regularly over the affected area, very very gently) will all help desensitise the area. So will naps in the afternoon. Strong stretching likely will set off the wrong neural reactions, so wait until the body indicates that this is tolerable. All this will take quite some time. Please post this (and my reply) over at the Forums; it's a more common problem, I suspect, than we think. permalink parent [–]NgaireW 1 point 1 month ago Thank you Kit :-) am going to sleep now but will post to forums. Really appreciate your response. Well, I finished writing books now but then was promoted in my day job so I am working less but still working a lot. I am about to tune in to one of your relaxation recordings (which I used to listen to in Canberra 2004 and still works a treat!). Will move this topic to forums. Thank you :-) permalink parent [–]Kit_LaughlinKit's the Tits[S] 1 point 1 month ago still working a lot The problem you describe is the residue of much stress for years; this needs to be 'exorcised!'. What you are doing is, IMHO, the fast track. And try to cut down how much you work—give a long hard think to 'how much do I really need?' and make adjustments. No one should do full time work, I feel.
  11. Hello all, Yesterday, I was working on some bent leg variations of hamstring stretches to improve my pike. When I did a retest of the pike, I got a strong, sharp pain on the lateral side of my left knee (think top of fibula). The best way I can describe it is by saying it was like an electrical impulse that started lateral side of knee and traveled down to the lateral side of my ankles (pain intensity decreasing the closer it got to my ankle). The pain was intense, so much so that I immediately stopped the pike and began rubbing the affected region. Has anyone ever experienced a similar sensation before? Does anyone have any ideas on how I can prevent this from happening again in my pike stretch? Thank you all
  12. Dear Kit, I have a shoulder niggle that I am hoping you could help me with. I am currently working through your "Master the Squat" series to complement the gymnastic bodies foundation course that I'm also working at; my flexibility is pretty shocking, which is severely limiting my progression through the gymnastics. The most concerning aspect of my mobility to me is my shoulders: I experience a very specific click with pain through certain movements; not a normal joint click, but a more soft tissue pop which is quite uncomfortable and becomes more uncomfortable with repetition of the specific movement. Before I provide you with more detail, I think it might be useful to give some information on my background and the series of events which I believe has led me here--please bear with me! I am a 30 year-old male, and like most men, have a few years of unstructured weight lifting (especially bench press!) coupled with no stretching under my belt. At the age of about 25 I transitioned to bodyweight training, specifically progressions on the rings with the help of Christopher Sommer's "Building the Gymnastic Body" along with a lot of pull-up, dip, and press-up variations, again with no mobility. About 2 to 3 years later I had to stop such a regime due to the development of left shoulder pain (deep in the side of the deltoid, but not the one that now gives me grief) which was diagnosed as trigger points in my rotator cuff and treated with soft tissue work; this has largely disappeared, but if it gets sore then I know what to do. After all this I decided to start from scratch and develop the desired strength with some direction from someone who knew what they were doing. I managed to find a children's gymnastic coach who was willing to give me one-to-one sessions; he correctly identified my severe lack of flexibility as a major issue and set about helping me rectify this with various mobility drills and stretching. However, one of these drills was shoulder dislocates on a stick; he pushed me pretty hard on these and even manually helped me if I couldn't get round at a certain width of grip. Needless to say, after a few weeks my right shoulder began to hurt during the movement and soon after it was accompanied by a kind of click. I came to the conclusion that he was treating me like he treats his much more flexible and mobile 8 year-old students and so I stopped going, and instead started Sommer's foundation course which was specifically geared toward adults. I did have a few months rest before starting GST and went to see a physio, but the rest didn't cure it and the physio didn't really have any ideas. That brings me up to the present, where, in any motion in which my right arm is behind me--for example, trying to do as wide an arc as I can with my arm--as I'm coming back round I get that painful pop, it seems to happen on the front of my shoulder on the boney part. The exercise which really highlights my issue, however, is the so-called "Stiff Leg Windmill" ( ); somewhere near the bottom of this movement reliably makes my shoulder hurt and click, so reliably I had to modify it greatly to progress! Sorry for the rambling, but I hope it gives you enough information to help me if you have the time, any advice would be most appreciated. I would also like to hear your thoughts on courses such as GST as it doesn't seem to be helping my shoulder; there are shoulder dislocates on the horizon, and to be honest, I am dreading them! All the best, Aaron
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