Two examples for me:
I had bad foot pain for some time, couldn’t walk barefoot on hard surfaces, very painful. Tried orthotic inserts, foot massage etc but nothing helped. Was going to go see a foot doctor but balked at the $150 to get in (not covered by provincial health care plan). Finally dug out a book I have on Trigger Point Therapy and realized that the cause was knots in the muscle (trigger points) on the sides of my calves, various causes such as sitting with legs crossed, a lot of sitting, etc. Started working the trigger points with a theracane (hard stick like a rolling pin but narrower), which was painful on the calves and within a day or so the pain in my feet went away.
I dismissed the pain because I couldn’t figure out where it was, but it was debilitating all the same. I rarely go to see the doc unless it’s really bad.
I used to do zen retreats of 7 days in length. You can’t move during the seated meditation and the activities are mandatory, formal and quite strict. I would get backaches within hours that lasted for the whole retreat. One time I took a kneeling bench instead of my cushion, and eventually the usual backache developed into something worse. I got relief by pressing my thumb into the muscle that runs from the top of the pelvic bone to the bottom rib on the side, while walking. By the time the retreat was over, I knew exactly what shape the muscle was and where it was, but had no clue what it was or how to treat it. I got home and looked it up in an anatomy book and went on the internet to see what exercises I could do for it. Trigger Point Therapy helped too (self-massage).
A lot of physical pain is referred pain, the symptoms are in one place but the root cause is somewhere else. That and my tendency to keep working through pain or discomfort is what keeps me from going to the doctor since I can’t tell her where the pain is. I did follow up on the back pain some years ago, was referred to a physiatrist (sp?) who is a doc with additional training in the body, and she did some testing and xrays and it all came up normal. She said “keep doing what you’re doing”. GRRRR I was still in pain. It took years for it to diminish and it still bites me from time to time. I take muscle relaxants and avoid doing certain things. There were certain yoga postures (straight arm cobra pose) that made it worse.
As for toothaches, I have had several sinus infections and they masquerade as a bad toothache in the upper jaw, since some of the sinus is very close to the nerves of the upper teeth. I went to the dentist both times for xrays and they sent me to the doctor for antibiotics. Next time I will just go to the doctor first.REPORT ABUSE