We are told movement on a regular basis and exercise are both great for us, physically and mentally. And then eventually you end up with some sort of ache or pain somewhere in your body – joints, muscles, and/or tendons. When things get bad enough, your physician then tells you to stop exercising like you are – essentially to stop doing what you love – because it is bad for your joints. That response naturally causes a lot frustration inside you. Things feel hopeless. It seems like a Lose-Lose situation.
What gives? If exercise is so good for us, then why does it cause pain and injuries?
Movement and exercise are definitely better for you than sitting all day in one place and/or never getting any sort of exercise. The thing that no one told you through all this, though, is that how your body is moving can be detrimental to you over time. How your body is moving is often due to the many years (perhaps decades) of poor posture, sitting too much, habits you pick up, simply not moving your joints through their full ranges, and never being taught how to move properly with the different activities you do for exercise.
Poor movement patterns due to the reasons mentioned above contribute to many of the injuries you experience, including shoulder pain, back pain, hip pain, knee pain, and foot/ankle pain. Being that many of these pain issues you experience are due to things that are modifiable in your live, it means that many of your injuries are things that can be resolved once the root cause is addressed appropriately. You can treat the symptoms all you want with various methods of physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, and self-care, but until you correct what is actually causing the issue in the first place, your issues will remain.
This fix for these poor movement patterns begins with analyzing your movement. It is important to assess where your asymmetries or muscle imbalances are, where you are compensating for something else being weak, tight, or stiff, and/or where you have faulty movement patterns because either someone taught you incorrectly or you never had anyone teach you what proper form is. Once you know how you are moving you can begin to correct the patterns.
Correcting the patterns is the more difficult part in the process. Doing exercises to address tightness or weakness issues is involved, but that is the simple part of the process. The difficult part lies in retraining years of habits your body views as normal. Breaking The Brain and Resetting The Brain can be frustrating processes. It requires you to force your body to move in what feels to be very unnatural ways even though they are the proper ways to move. It takes consistent work (on a daily basis) over a period of weeks (and possibly months) to fully get your body and brain to learn and feel natural with the new, proper movement patterns.
Once you correct the patterns, I can’t say you will never get injured again, as things do happen – life and accidents happen – but I can say the chronic, nagging, or recurring injuries you are used to dealing with will likely be a thing of the past.