Recently I saw a physio for lower back pain. I was hoping her release work meant I would be free from pain the very next day. I was happy for her to go as hard as needed, and told her I would deal with the pain of the moment and the ensuing soreness on the same night, please just fix me asap.
She told me it would take a week for my muscles to relax and only if I did some exercises on my own.
I left disappointed, my lower back as stiff as before the session. I was despondent over the days as the pain persisted. Still I continued the prescribed exercised and within a week, as she predicted, the pain was gone.
I am still doing the exercises that target the immediate issue and source cause.
When we develop a trigger point, the surrounding connective tissue is affected.
Developing a single trigger point and not getting rid of it fast accelerates the formation of the second and third and so on. And then you find your entire leg is a series of trigger points and the pain has spread to your back and hips.
As anyone who had the courage to go on a foam roller knows, this process is one of pain and maybe you're only motivated to do what's needed for now. You just need to manage the most pressing symptoms of pain. You roll and stretch and the immediate area is released. You can breathe again.
But if the original trigger point still exists, this whole process of tightening up will start again. The secondary knots will return sooner than you think or manifest in other ways.
Because the biggest knots won't dissolve on their own. They will impede you from achieving perfect form. Years of habits, patterns and beliefs have led to their formation and you need consistent, targeted corrective treatment to undo them.
Recovery is a two-step process. First you must stop whatever unwanted pattern, then you must undo the damage it had already caused. For example, if you want to lose weight, first you need to stop consuming new extra calories, then you need to burn off the pre-existing extra calories. You cannot simply say I've stopped over-eating and expect the extra weight to disappear.
As individuals, we all have a history of emotional trigger points.
Pain will continue to turn up until we strip away every single thing inside your body that doesn't have a place.
So get on that foam roller, release what you can today and every day. Undo the debt. Clear the yard. This is your body, your life.