Compensations are often a difficult concept to explain to people. While in the past we thought that the site of pain was the problem area, now we understand that we often have to look well beyond that area to determine where the real problem arises.
A simple way to understand how compensations work is to think of our bodies as we would our cars. When the wheel alignment of the car is “out” the car will pull to one side. This over time puts more load and pressure on one tyre two of the tyres and the tread on those tyres wears at a rate that is faster than the other side. In this situation we could simply change the tyre which will remove the danger of wearing tyres. This is the same as looking only at the site of pain to correct a problem.
It is quite obvious that if we simply change the tyre, over time the same problem will recur. However if we look beyond the tyre and correct the wheel alignment to make sure that the pressure on all wheels is equal, we can stop this from recurring.
The same goes for our body. If we look beyond the site of the pain we can find the deeper problems and reduce the likely recurrence of the pain. So the next time you have a problem area, try to consider if you are merely “changing the tyre” by taking pain killers or using heat, or if you are correcting the underlying issues that overloaded your tyre in the first place!