Pain can be a complicated liar. Many times where it hurts is not the direct cause, and the only way to get the root of the problem is to look up stream or down stream for the culprit.

When we are in pain, we’re convinced that the injury is precisely where we feel it. While many times it is initially related to tissue injury, sometimes the pain persists even after the tissue has healed. But when your nerves continue to send signals to that your brain repetitively translates into pain, it doesn’t matter. Pain is pain is pain, regardless of the cause.

But what do you do when the imaging shows no injury and the doctor or physical therapist has no solution for your seemingly independent pain?

You need a better solution. This was reinforced for me on a recent visit to Kinesis in Culver City, home base for Dr. Dawn McCrory. Dr. Dawn is not only a Physical Therapist and Yoga Tune Up® instructor, but she is also a magician, detective, and ninja badass. I have had experiences in the past where a PT insisted they could not help a patient who was not in pain. What I’ve learned from Dr. Dawn is that is simply not the case.

I had been dealing with recurrent left ankle pain that was no longer responding to rolling and stretching. It was time to call in the big guns. The day I went to visit Dr. Dawn, my ankle felt fine, of course. In the same way that whenever you finally get a customer service person on the phone, your issue is miraculously solved. Even though I was pain free, Dr. Dawn determined that I had no eversion in my ankle (think opposite of how you sprain your ankle), which was probably causing some compensation/overuse pattern to develop. Part of her assessment also included a single leg squat, which was super embarrassing, as I couldn’t do it on one side! (can you tell I’ve been systematically avoiding pistol days?) It revealed some other issues upstream that I am still working on, but we’ll save that for later blog ;)

I came to Kinesis pain free, left pain free, and remain pain free – although I’m now paying much closer attention to how I move and carry myself, even more than before.

Part of my homework from Dr. Dawn included releasing tension in the front of my shin. If you do any movement with your feet (walking, driving, standing, skipping… you get the point) or wear shoes, then stiffness may be lurking in the anterior muscle of the shin, the anterior tibialis. If you’ve ever suffered from shin splints – you KNEAD this. Try this terribly wonderful shin release with the ALPHA ball in the video below!