Convinced minor aches are normal? Think Again.

by Craig Faeth, PT, ATC, CSCS, FAFS(FMR), 3D MAPS, FGS

When you suffer with pain, it is common to want to find the source of pain and how it got started. You can probably point to it, press on it, and confirm, “Yep, that’s the spot!” Determining how it got started is another matter

If not an obvious accident or injury episode, determining how, or when, your pain may have gotten started can be challenging. Maybe you didn’t really think of it as pain at first, just soreness.  During those times when you had no signs of the soreness or discomfort, you assumed it was “gone.”

In both cases of a well-defined injury and relatively vague soreness onset, the pain and dysfunction increase over time.  Rest and exercise help some, however neither of these efforts seem to really take care of the problem. It continues to exist on some level, and you have most assuredly developed some level of

What is most perplexing about this is that you may have no knowledge of your inability to move without compensation. It won’t be painful.  Your body is incredible at compensating! The most sophisticated design ever created! When we are talking about how you move around this earth, doing whatever it is you are doing, the vast majority of the planning of how to do this takes place subconsciously for you.

So why is an understanding of this so important? To be blunt and to the point, you can’t trust your body sometimes. The absence of pain, soreness, or stiffness does not always suggest good movement health or efficiency.  If you don’t know how your compensations are affecting you, you will likely accelerate their negative effects with your attempts at exercise.

Knowing how you compensate is the game changer! Knowing your movement signature, your secret code for functional mobility, is the difference.  Get the book Move Better, Feel Better, Live Better:  Your Secret Code to Effortless Movement, Enhanced Performance, and Aging With Ease, and start your journey to your best health (

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