Healthspan, Injury Podcast Episode from the Lucas Rockwood Show

We chat everything from the complexities of pain, placebo, belief effect, how the belief effect that "yoga is healing" can sometimes go awry.

Today I bring you another great, free resource to better understand the distinct role of physical therapy in treating pain and movement issues, how it differs from the role of yoga, as well as how yoga and the belief effect can be taken too far. 

I was a guest on the long running Lucas Rockwood Show podcast. 

Lucas originally planned to talk with me about ankle, knee and related injuries (which he references at the top of the show), but he asked some profound questions that took our conversation toward much bigger picture topics. 

We talked about:

  • How I run my clinic and a bit about how the insurance model works in the United States,
  • Biological healing timelines,
  • Why cushioned shoes muddy the communication from your joints to your brain, 
  • Why most promises about healing pain are usually, sadly, baloney. Pain cannot be treated effectively from a reductionist musculoskeletal view point because it is a complex, mult-factorial, multi-system phenomenon, 
  • The placebo effect vs. belief effect, and how the belief effect in yoga can become harmful, 
  • How physical therapy is a bridge between "conventional medicine" that follows evidence-based practices, and "alternative / non-pharmacological medicine", 
  • Why walking is one of the most underrated health practices,
  • Why our capacity to move diversely and multiple options for movement should be our goal -- or in other words, we seek movement fluency,
  • How those with connective tissue disorders can find hope in the concept of the appropriate movement dose for you. 

Here's a gem of a quote from me (Ariele): 

"There''s a lot of misinformation out there. I'm not opposed to cushioned orthopedic shoes. But shoes that have a big cushion on them create more instability in the way people walk, so there is a confusion that is happening in the conversation between the foot, ankle and the brain that is not as clear of a communication as when your foot is touching something solid like the ground, like the floor."

And others:

"Anybody who is making promises [around] pain, or saying 'This one thing will fix you' ... is kind of off their rocker or has some kind of secondary agenda."
"The belief effect is something that [is] very strong within the yoga community. For many people yoga [can be] a truly healing practice. What can happen, however, is that it can be taken too far. And that belief effect can then start to really harm people over time because you believe so strongly that you are not willing to try the other things [like physical therapy! Or to get the needed surgery or take the pain pill at times]."

We also talk about our pet peeves in the wellness world.

True story, I was also a guest on this podcast many years ago. In fact, episode 178: Heal Your Shoulders with Yoga, was perhaps the first podcast I ever spoke on (in November 2015 -- nearly 10 years ago when the show was still called the Yoga Body Podcast). 

In case you are wondering, no I'm not going to re-listen to that old episode. I'm 100% certain that I would be embarrassed, but I won't stop you if that floats your boat.  

Here's the new podcast episode description from the show page:

Injuries can derail your best healthy lifestyle plans, and if you’re not careful, they can lead to deconditioning and loss of function. But here’s what you need to understand and accept: everyone with an active life gets injured – everyone. So rather than feeling guilt or regret about your aches and pains, it’s a much smarter approach to swiftly move into healing mode and take full ownership of the process. 

On this week’s podcast, you’ll meet a career yoga teacher and physical therapist whose work focuses on overcoming injuries.

Listen and learn:

  • Why many injuries simply require time to heal
  • The importance of things like shoes, sleep position, and lifestyle choices
  • The power of walking and how to titrate movement vs. pain
  • How to potentially get help from a physical therapist or qualified professional

Listen to episode #614 here: 

Read a review of the literature on sleep and pain here: Kourbanova K, Alexandre C, Latremoliere A. Effect of sleep loss on pain-New conceptual and mechanistic avenues. Front Neurosci. 2022 Dec 20;16:1009902. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2022.1009902. PMID: 36605555; PMCID: PMC9807925.

And the specific study that I referenced can be found here: Schuh-Hofer S, Wodarski R, Pfau DB, Caspani O, Magerl W, Kennedy JD, Treede RD. One night of total sleep deprivation promotes a state of generalized hyperalgesia: a surrogate pain model to study the relationship of insomnia and pain. Pain. 2013 Sep;154(9):1613-1621. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.04.046. Epub 2013 May 11. PMID: 23707287.

This blog post was originally published April 4th, 2024

Categories: : Chronic pain, Physical Therapy, Podcast, Yoga