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Site of the pain is rarely the source of the problem

Posted Jul 23 2009 12:00am

As you can imagine, we see a wide variety of symptoms here at the Egoscue Method clinic. It takes an Egoscue Method therapist years to learn how to approach the body with the correct perspective. Treating the site of the pain isolated from the rest of the body rarely works as a long-term cure.

In the classic Western model of therapy, many times the symptom dictates the treatment. For example, if you come in with knee or low back pain, diagnostic tests will be done to evaluate the extent of trauma in the area of complaint. Finding out if cartilage, ligament and/or muscle strain or damage is present is the major focus. In many cases, a strain, sprain or trauma is found and treated to repair the damaged area. No damage, no problem… right?

Well, not completely. If (in the cases where the diagnostic tests actually find tissue damage) the area is treated without investigating the CAUSE of the problem, the pain will return in due time. Here are a couple examples:

1. Mary comes into the clinic after being diagnosed with an arthritic hip. After a couple of years of doing exercises to stretch and strengthen the hip, the problem has not resolved. In fact, all of the work in the hip has made the problem worse to the point that she feels pain sitting in the car and getting up from sitting. Coming into Egoscue and being evaluated, the therapist recognizes a pattern of dysfunction that has the shoulders and trunk working instead of the hip, creating imbalance, stress and pain. On the first visit, she is able to decrease the imbalance present through the WHOLE body (versus isolating the hip) and walks smoother, taller and with less pain!
Neck Pain?
2. Joe came in with neck pain after his chiropractor referred him to Egoscue. He spent years taking meds and applying heat to help relieve his neck tension. While he has seen some relief, his doctor recognizes that he can use some exercises to reinforce the chiropractic work. The goals of balancing the hips (the foundation of the spine), realign the spine to the functional S-curve, and bring the head back over the shoulders are shared goals between the chiro and Egoscue therapist as both recognize treating the neck in and by itself will not produce curative effects. The Egoscue e-cises allow Joe to not just feel better temporarily, but correct the imbalances through the body that put the neck out in the first place by tapping into proper functioning of his muscles.

“Effective therapies treat the body as a whole,” Pete Egoscue has always said. The Egoscue paradigm of treating the underlying dysfunctions and problems throughout the body will help you solve the problem and cure it versus treating symptoms only to see them return or evolve into multiple issues.

You can get started by reading one of Pete Egoscue’s books. I recommend “ Pain Free ” if you have symptoms. You can also get started with the exercises on or, better yet, call to set up your free consultation and find out what the best path is for your personal condition at 503-350-0888.

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