Most people have had pain because they have overdone an activity, had some sort of trauma, or “did something stupid.”
But, it is also common to have a patient show up in pain and not know what has caused it. Of course, in this discussion we are staying confined to musculoskeletal causes of pain, because there are disease processes/ pathologies that can cause pain which fall outside the realm of joint dysfunction.
The top three common causes of pain that “happen for no reason” are from:
- Bad posture. Yes, it is true that bad posture can lead to pain. This can be low back pain or neck pain and even headaches. This type of pain is felt either after sitting (with bad posture) for too long or when trying to stand up after sitting for too long (with bad posture). After moving around and walking for a while things will start to feel better. The most common times I see this happen to patients is after they have been sitting at the computer, sitting on a couch or sitting on the floor.
- Sleeping position. This will be pain that either wakes a patient up while sleeping or the pain will be there almost immediately upon getting up in the morning. There is an in-depth description of proper sleeping position here. There should be a sense of being well rested after a good night’s sleep, not pain.
- Repetitive movements with improper form. Activities that require repetitive bending and twisting are usually the culprit, most commonly yard-work and house cleaning (sweeping/mopping/vacuuming). This type of pain usually has an onset the day after the injury has actually happened. That is because inflammation has slowly built up in the injured joint over the 12-24 hours after doing the activity.
To sum it up – posture matters… most patients give a low grumble and roll their eyes after I tell them this, followed by “I know, I know.” It is common knowledge, however not commonly practiced. Through an examination, we can help you get to the bottom of your unexplained pain.