If one of my patients is experiencing joint pain, I like to tell them that a structure needs either strength or length. It’s a gross oversimplification of a convoluted musculoskeletal health knowledge base. Besides that, there are actually other reasons in which you might be in pain that don’t have to do with your muscles, ligaments, tendons or nerves. Please consult with your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort. Physio Logic’s Dr. Michael Vanchieri, DC, provides 4 ways to determine if your joint pain is unrelated to your joints.

What is the root cause of your joint pain?

There can be a number of reasons for your joint pain that have nothing to do with the joint.

1. You’re Chronically Underfed or Overfed

Whether you like it or not, being in an overfed state is stressful for your body. It’s harder to breathe, pump blood, and generally exist. Being overfed also puts excess load on a joints and coincides with lower activity levels. Overfed patients typically eat a high volume of refined, processed foods which contain anti-nutrients that cause inflammation. Inflammation causes pain. Excessive load on a joint causes pain. With that said, being underfed is no better as you’re robbing your tissues of the building blocks they need to repair themselves from daily life. Unless you’re at a healthy body composition and consuming 80-90% of your foods from whole, unprocessed sources, your feeding habits could be causing joint pain.

2. You’ve Got Multiple Sites of Wandering Pain

One day, your left lower back hurts—the next day, the right side of your neck hurts—then you go for a walk and your ankle hurts, but everything else feels great. On a day to day basis, your pain is never in the same spot, but it’s always somewhere. Outside of having extremely bad luck and having multiple different sites of acute injury (in which case it’ll just compound as opposed to wander), it suggests that the joint pain is not a result of an injury, but rather, emotional tension. Find the root cause of the emotional tension, and you will find the cure to your pain.

3. You Have a High Stress Lifestyle or Job

You’ve got a meeting at 3:00 but, the kids need to be picked up from soccer practice at 3:30 and your spouse is away on business. Johnny wakes up sick and there’s no one to babysit, so you’ve got to “work” from home the days leading up to a deadline. The mounting pressures of running a department are bugging you out. You wake up the next morning, go to pick up a piece of dust off the floor, and you throw your back out. Is it because that dust was just too heavy, or was your mind trying to distract you from the stress you’re experiencing? Your stress levels can be the source of your joint pain. Perhaps meditation is the solution.

4. You Don’t Feel Refreshed Upon Waking In The Morning

When was the last time you popped out of bed, ready to tackle the day? Sleep isn’t just something we do when we’re bored, it’s largely when most of our tissue repair happens. Settling into deep sleep produces growth hormones so we can repair our tissues. Sleep also helps to consolidate and catalog mental processes. The fastest way to throw someone into a disorganized emotional state is to deprive them of sleep. We’ve all been asked if we’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed after a poor night’s sleep. If you’re not waking up ready to tackle the day, it may be causing your joint pain!

If you’re experiencing joint pain, there may be a root cause you’re not aware of. At Physio Logic, we aim to treat the root cause of pain. To get started, fill out the form below.