Are you suffering with chronic pain?

Lisa Austin Exercise and Form, Most Recent Leave a Comment

Do you suffer from arthritis, chronic pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis? If you do, you have probably been coping the best you can, thinking the best you can hope for is dulling the pain while being on an ongoing battle. What would you say if I told you there was a treatment option, would you be interested in learning more or better yet, feeling the difference?

Structural Integration could very well be the solution you’ve been looking for. More on that later.

facts about chronic pain infographic

(photo from

Chronic pain is considered a disease itself. When you think of all the things that chronic pain can do to a person’s quality of life, it’s no wonder that people do all sorts of things in order to cope.

Pain sucks! I know, I deal with it on a regular basis. I will also tell you that pain can be managed without medication if you choose to take the time and make the effort.  I see a chiropractor every 6 to 8 weeks, I exercise regularly to keep my bones and muscles strong, and recently, I had the opportunity to try something new, Structural Integration.

Before I talk about structural integration I have to tell you a little bit more about the body and how it works.

I bet you didn’t know that our bodies are interconnected by a giant web of nerves, fascia, skin, and muscles that span the body and that web has a memory of past traumas, injuries, or even repetitive motions that can change how our body flows through our daily motions. Everything that happens affects every other region throughout our body and over time our bodies stop functioning the way it should, optimally.

“What you do in one area of your body affects every region throughout the entire structure. As the body compensates to try and manage what you are doing with it and to it, the body’s resiliency and ability to adapt to the demands placed upon it become less effective and efficient. Long time-frames of sitting or doing repetitive tasks can cause the whole body to adjust as well as possible by shifting, tilting, rotating, and contracting throughout the whole system.”

So, in other words, your body will do what it can to protect us from pain and discomfort. It will find the easiest way of performing a motion to get the job done and it may also prevent us from moving properly. With a little thought, some mild manipulations and some practice we can reset everything in our bodies to function more smoothly and with less pain.

Pretty cool, eh?

This past summer I had the opportunity to go through the 10 series of Structural Integration.  Each week, I worked with Gwen McClean, my structural practitioner, as she systematically worked every area of my body helping my brain and connective tissue get reacquainted.

When I started it was mostly out of curiosity and the hope that we could reduce some of the pain in my neck and back. Since the car accident I was in almost 10 years ago, I have developed arthritis in my SI joints (sacroiliac joint) and I have a couple of degenerated disks in my spine that will periodically cause me pain and discomfort.

Each week we worked on different areas of the body for an hour and I followed up with some exercises and stretches.

Over the course of the treatment, I noticed very subtle changes in my body but the biggest thing I noticed without looking in a mirror was that I was developing an arch in my instep. I have always been a flat-foot and because of that, I had other issues throughout my body. My knees would hurt, movement through my hips was off, with the tightness in my hip it affected my shoulder which in turn affected my neck.

before and after structural integration

So, fixing things from the bottom had a chain reaction throughout my body.

Over the years, I have had various treatments from chiropractor, massage therapy, osteopathy, physiotherapy, and some plain ol’ regular exercise. I believe there is a place for each of them in building the body back up after an injury and I will say, I wish I knew about Structural Integration sooner.

If you have any of the following, I would suggest you take a look into Structural Integration to see what it can do for you.

Structural Integration can help with the following conditions:

  • Chronic back, neck and knee pain
  • Sciatica
  • Past injuries that still cause pain and discomfort
  • Scoliosis
  • Chronic shoulder/neck tension
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Repetitive Strain injuries
  • Cerebral Palsy symptoms
  • Dystonia and Parkinson’s symptoms
  • Uneven hips and other postural issues

Some of the benefits of Structural Integration:

  • Improved balance, coordination and athletic performance
  • Increased energy and sense of well-being
  • Improved posture
  • Greater range of motion and flexibility
  • Decreased overall tension in the body
  • Relief from repetitive strain injuries


If you have wondered if living with pain is inevitable because you are aging, the answer is ‘it doesn’t have to be’. There are things you can do to minimize or even remove pain by addressing the cause. In most cases, strengthening the overall body will address any imbalances and will also put any strain as we move on the muscles where it should be rather than our joints. Now you know there is another option if you need something more.

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