This Book Can Help the Reader:

• Learn about the nature of pain and the timeline of healing. Not knowing what to do or how long it will take to recover from injury can lead to strong emotional reactions to pain. Fear, anxiety, and depression add to the sensation of pain. The current opioid epidemic and the use of prescription opioids for orthopedic pain reflect this lack of understanding about the psychology of pain.

• Understand that taking medications or going to a health care practitioner (physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, etc.) can’t completely fix a problem. We need to take personal responsibility. Self-care and using practical mindfulness is the basis of The How of Ow.

• Develop awareness that poor body mechanics makes us weaker and hinders recovery. Using good body mechanics with everyday activities makes us stronger and more flexible and gives us pain relief.

• Learn how to strengthen and heal deeper muscles that have been weakened by injury. These are the deep muscles of the neck, low back, shoulders, and hips. Using good body mechanics and doing simple postures and isometric exercise during the day uses these muscles and strengthens them.

• Gain awareness that stretching sore muscles without strengthening them is ineffective for pain relief. People often think they just need to “stretch out” something for pain. Over stretching painful areas often increases our sensitivity to pain making our perception of pain worse.

• Understand that the body compensates for limited movement in one area by having more movement in another—explaining how chronic pain conditions “spread” to other parts of the body. Regaining movement of painful joints and flexibility of surrounding muscles relieves stress and strain in other parts of the body.