My son and I were recently studying the Revolutionary War and the events leading up to it. We read about the Stamp Act, the Townshend Act, the Quartering Act, the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. After studying these events he asked me why. Why did these things happen? I told him because the King of England wanted a debt repaid.
I explained that several years earlier the colonists were threatened in the north by the French and local natives, who attacked them and tried to conquer more land. The King of England sent military forces to the colonies to protect them. This cost a lot of money which needed to be repaid. The king tried to get his money back by taxing the colonists, but the colonists had other ideas.
It is very important that we study history in order to understand where we find ourselves today. I relay this story because it is very similar to when a person develops pain in their body. There is always a reason for pain. It does not just appear on a whim. It is a reaction to some action.
I had a man come see me who had been suffering from lower back pain for almost two years. He had tried several approaches to addressing his pain and although some helped there was not one thing that was truly successful.
We began with making a timeline of all of his injuries, significant illnesses, accidents, etc. Trying to get an idea of what occurred before the back pain which might have led to where he now finds himself. There was a basketball injury to his left leg thirty years ago, back in his high school days. That was followed by a left knee surgery to repair an injury he sustained while playing baseball not long after the first injury. The were some other episodes like a broken finger and impact to his right shoulder but the high school injuries were what interested me the most.
When we captured his gait on video we could see quite easily that he was not wanting to place much of his weight over his left leg. Even though his injury had occurred decades ago his body was still moving like it was yesterday. This was causing the muscles on his right side to undergo a lot more work to support him with every step he took. It also meant that his spine was having to adjust to living over his right leg and was never given a chance to experience what life was like over the left leg.
Could this gait pattern have been created thirty years ago and never went away? The answer is yes. Unless proper movement patterns get reestablished the strategy the unconscious mind develops to stay away from pain and future injury will continue. Remember, it took 13 years after the French & Indian war ended for Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence. It might take thirteen years for pain to develop from an early injury.