When we are in pain our first instinct is to withdraw into ourselves and curl up as if to return to the womb. When we are hunched over in pain for long periods of time the muscles around the joints become unbalanced; too tight on one side of the joint and too long on the other. The tight muscle causes more pain and stiffness and the long muscle is weak and therefore makes the joint unstable. This in turn will exacerbate the condition that is causing the original pain and will delay or even prevent recovery. I can hear you thinking “but it hurts when I move!” Well, it will initially as the muscles are shortened and it is going to take time to stretch that muscle back to its original length so it is important to take things slowly.
Another reaction to pain is to stop breathing properly as the more pain we are in, the more stress we feel, our shoulders go up and we only use the top of our lungs to breathe. This gets worse as we are curled forward in our avoidance position and the muscles in the chest tighten making it difficult to breathe properly.