Pain is an excellent guide. It tells you how to sit, walk, sleep or run; it takes your body through the paths of least resistance until time, medicines, or both, manage to heal you.
These days I am discovering the uses one particular set of muscles on my right neck - the Splenius Capitis. It is a broad band that stretches from the mid-shoulder to base of your cervical vertebrae, behind the ears.
I have now become aware of how exactly this strip of muscle helps in tilting and turning my head; of how it stretches out stretches out when I am lying on my side, without a pillow, and the amazing way in which a simple sneeze sends a stab of pain somewhere deep inside my shoulders.
I am not quite sure how I managed to hurt it - was it an unintended turn of the head while performing the Shirshasana? or did it get damaged when my son pounced on my shoulder while I was bending down to pick something on the floor?
Whatever its origins, I now feel like 3-CPO of Star Wars - that dazed, surprised look of having to turn my whole body to see what is happening behind. I now find lying down distinctly uncomfortable. Even while sitting or standing, raising my right arm eases the pain.
The strangest thing about the guiding pain is that requires me to sit, stand or walk to follow the path of least resistance. Lying down is distinctly uncomfortable, and each morning, I have been waking up with my head tilted to the right. Trying to set it straight is like holding a barbed wire fence marked "No Trespassing!"
It seems Mr. Splenius Capitis is just one of the 70,000 muscles in the human body. While its great to know he is well connected, I am not looking forward to meeting his friends any time soon!
* Inner Body - Splenius Capitis Muscle - http://www.innerbody.com/image_musbov/musc41.html
* Pain Mgmt - http://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/pain/maxillofacial/splenius-capitis-muscle-syndrome