Waiting for the other shoe to drop

A great article from our Santa Monica clinic director, Paul Schell:

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop
The origin of this saying goes back to a funny story like this:

A guest checked into an inn one night was warned to be quiet because the guest in the room next to his was a light sleeper. As he undressed for bed, he dropped one shoe, which, sure enough, awakened the other guest. He managed to get the other shoe off in silence, and got into bed. An hour later, he heard a pounding on the wall and a shout: “When are you going to drop the other shoe?”

And so the definition of “waiting for the other shoe to drop” is something to the effect of: waiting for an event to happen that is expected to happen, based on a causal link to another event. In the world of chronic pain, we see this all too often. People have back, neck or some other pain and after a little rest or popping a few ibuprofen (or stronger), the pain simply goes away. Or does it?

In the years of listening to clients describe their pain, there are always warning signs — shots across the bow so to speak. It may be a tweak in the neck, spasms in the low back, chronically tight hamstrings, declining energy levels, or other aches that tell you that something is going on. Many of these symptoms are often ignored only to show up as debilitating or severe down the road.

In many cases, these “mild” symptoms are the first shoe dropping and it’s a waiting game for the second to hit the floor. If the cause of the symptom is not identified, it is only a matter of time before the body uses another means to let you know that it is serious and needs attention.

I’ve worked with a number of clients who knew something was going on but waited til it became so excruciating that it became a much longer process of getting back to pain free. Don’t let this be you. Get ahead of the curve by taking care of your pain now. Living in fear waiting for the other shoe to drop is no way to enjoy freedom of moving about and enjoying activities. Achieve peace of mind by taking action today!

Get some help with your plan of action. You can get started by reading one of Pete Egoscue’s books. I recommend “Pain Free” if you have symptoms. You can also get started with the exercises on Egoscue.com or, better yet, call to set up your free consultation and find out what the best path is for your personal condition at 310-450-2549 (that’s the Santa Monica number, for Austin, call us at 512-527-0030).


“I’ve never met a sport, workout routine, or piece of gym equipment that I didn’t like. It doesn’t matter what your favorite physical activity is. If it’s bungee jumping-okay. But make sure you come to the activity with a fully functional musculoskeletal system; otherwise the repetitive motion involved in the sport or workout will end up strengthening your dysfunctions and destabilizing your body.”

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