October 24, 2011

The Language Of The Body

The body has a way of communicating the way it feels to us each and every day. As we become more intuitive and gain a better understanding of its signals, we become better at preventing, managing and even protecting ourselves from injuries. Here is a list of signs you may feel and what they may mean. Please remember to always seek the advice of a qualified physician when you have questions or concerns regarding your body.

What You Feel…

Aching
This is dull, low level, persistent pain. Usually you feel your body is at rest, and it feels better when you get moving and the area is warmed up. Aching generally means that a muscle, ligament, or tendon is contracted, or you could have a nerve impingement. Aching is a signal that something more acute or serious is just around the corner.


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Asleep
When blood flow is restricted or a nerve is impinged this shuts down the neurological transmission to that area. If it recurs or lasts more than a few minutes, medical attention should be sought.

Cramping
A muscle is severely contracted. Dehydration, overuse or inactivity are likely causes. It will help to fire the opposite muscle and stretch the cramped muscle.

Grinding
This is the sound of bone on bone, or particles floating in fluid, or a muscle, tendon or ligament sliding over the bone. As long as there is no pain, there is no cause for immediate concern. If pain is associated, contact a physician for a medical evaluation.

Pain
This is always an indication that something is wrong. Never work through pain or take medication, but rather take time to find out the source of discomfort.

Quivering
A muscle which is firing rapidly and continuously is the result of intense fatigue. It may be a sign of an impending cramp. Stretch the muscle, and massage with ice.

Rip
When you hear a rip, it means something may be tearing. If it is accompanied by pain, have it evaluated immediately.

Spasm
The muscle is in contraction. Immediately fire the opposite muscle and gently stretch the muscle in spasm.

Tenderness
Tenderness is considered a low level of pain. Pain is always an indication that something isn’t quite right.

Tension
When the muscle is irritated it causes constriction of blood flow. Try and relax your muscles so this doesn’t turn into muscle compensations.

Throbbing
The area is constricted and you can feel the blood flow in the form of a pulse. If there is swelling in addition, you should pay close attention.

Tingling

Blood flow is constricted or a nerve has been impinged as is interfering with neurological transmissions to that area. Tingling has the potential to shut down the whole area.

What You Hear…

Clicking

A bone could be a little bit out of joint, caused possibly by tight muscles pulling the joint out of alignment. This is usually not a big problem.

Creaking
Muscles, tendons, and ligaments are tight. Loosen up. There may not be enough fluid in a joint, so it is not well lubricated. If creaking is accompanied by pain, seek medical attention.

Crunching
Usually found in the neck, hands, and feet, calcification forms around the joints at the muscle attachments. Crunches are generally not a problem, but they are early warning signs that you need to keep those joints moving and maintain good joint range of motion.

Loud pop
If a pop happens in trauma, it could mean a muscle tear or detachment, and requires your immediate attention. If it’s followed by minor swelling, it could be a ligament pull, tear, or detachment. If the tear if followed by major swelling, it could be a muscle.

Pop
An adhesion-something once torn or traumatized and stuck to bone-may be suddenly released. This would not be a problem. However, it could also be a bone breaking, hamstring pull or musculoskeletal adjustment. Since each of these require medical attention, get it checked out. Rule of thumb: if the pop hurts, check it out.

Snap
This could be an adhesion giving way-something once torn or traumatized and stuck to bone is suddenly released. It could also be a bone fracturing, a sprain, or a tendon tearing loose. If the snap is accompanied by pain, or if you can’t bear weight on that joint, check it out with a healthcare professional.

What You See…

Bruising

This is a leakage of blood from a trauma such as an external blow or an internal tear.

Redness
Redness appears when blood has rushed to the surface after hard exercise or following trauma. If exercise is the cause, then it will go away following a cool down period. If it is related to trauma and is in combination with pain, you should monitor it.

Swelling
Fluid may have accumulated when your body has not been able to flush sufficiently. This may be the sign of an infection as a symptom of trauma or injury. Always monitor swelling.


Based on Active Isolated Stretching by Jim and Phil Wharton

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