Injury history is trauma history

Everyone falls victim to a minor injury here or there (stubbed toe, finger jams, bumps, bangs and falls). Accidental injury includes ligament strains and muscle tissue strains. Burns are as common as cuts and bruises. Sometimes injuries accompany one another as accidents unfold. Although they seem small, these minor insults are traumatic in nature.

Webster’s Simple Definition of trauma says:

a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time.

medical : a serious injury to a person’s body.
I have found it to be a confusing issue for most people that it equally means both injury medically (physiologically), and emotionally (which people assume is only mental and not physical).

Most people’s awareness of trauma is connected to a major life changing event or associated with PTSD. Unfortunately this creates a stigma around the word trauma that doesn’t acknowledge the small stuff. The small stuff adds up and it is downplayed as wear and tear and old age. While it is true that the body ages, I have found time and time again that many limitations people live with and except as unchangeable can be changed. Most people can regain function they thought was lost forever.

Receptor dysfunction

My two year exploration into P-DTR showed me interweaving systems of neurological dysfunction that coexist with physical ailments. Structural or orthopedic problems such as arthritis or disc herniations can become asymptomatic with the right level of intervention.

Receptors gather all of information the nervous system uses to learn about the environment.  To explain the effect of mechanical trauma on receptors I use this analogy: if a scale is calibrated to 250 pounds and you put 400 pounds on it, what will happen to it? The scale will most likely no longer be calibrated properly. As a result, it will give you inaccurate information. On a physiological level, overload to the tissues overloads the receptors who’s job is to measure  all signals the body is aware of. The physiological experience of overload is synonymous with acute trauma. Whether it is “big” or “little” by personal association (how we choose to see things), trauma disorganizes the nervous system. The brain responds by turning off muscles. This type of confusion stresses the central nervous system and slows the brain and peripheral nervous system’s processing speed.

Sweat the small stuff

“Oh yeah, I forgot about that” is something I hear all the time. Client history is important twhen you need help with pain. Usually there is some direct cause and effect behind pain and injury that sends someone for help from a doctor or Bodyworker. Sometimes it is hard to find the source of an injury. It’s often the “little” things that people downplay that have a significant bearing on their current physical state. I often find that after we address the neurological dysfunction related to these injuries or traumatic events, that the symptoms go away or the body can easily receive manipulation, movement instruction and strengthening without resistance. Then the autonomic function of the body becomes balanced and the systems that repair the body itself can become more efficient. This ultimately means less injury down time and faster recovery in the future.

Injury and self awareness

The more we normalize these common “small” traumas, the harder it gets to be aware of what is really going on in your body. The brain will always compensate to try to shift away from painful stimuli. The more the nervous system is dealing with multiple “little” traumas, the less bandwidth you have for compensation and the slower and less you bounce back with each injury. This is what I think people believe is the cause of the old age.  People turn the blame on their bodies or a “bad knee”. Don’t blame your body, it’s doing its best with what it has. Appreciate every body part you have (even if painful) because the one you were born with is the best one you will ever get.

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