Its time to stop treating your pain when injured!
Before you stop reading this because you think I have completely lost my mind, take a moment to hear me out…
You need to stop only treating your pain. You are fine to continue to treat your symptoms to calm them down, but you also need to start treating the cause! You can ‘spot treat’ the symptoms and apply a ‘band-aid’ to the areas all you want, but that really isn’t going to get you anywhere. Until you start treating what is actually causing your pain – the mechanical issues that created this injury – you will never fully resolve the pain and get back to training how you want to.
What do I mean by mechanical issues? Glad you asked!
Mechanical issues are comprised of the postures that we maintain and movement patterns that we move in and out of on a regular basis that are not using our muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints at their best mechanical advantage. The longer we move, train, and compete with these faulty patterns, the more stress, strain, and forces we are putting on our body. Eventually, the body gets fed up and creates pain symptoms.
The problem is, the pain isn’t always where the fire is located. In fact, the pain is rarely where the actual fire is. For example, weakness in the foot can create pain anywhere up the leg and into the back. Or mobility issues in the hip can create pain anywhere in the leg or up into the back and shoulder. You can treat the area of pain all you want, but until you fix whatever is contributing to and/or causing the pain in the first place, your pain with either never go away or it will go away only to return again at a later date.
How do you figure out what is causing the pain? This is where having a movement specialist take a look at things can help, preferably someone who knows how to look at the body as a whole rather than as just a ‘joint’ or ‘extremity’ when they treat. This can also be the tricky part. Being a physical therapist who networks with many physical therapists, chiropractors, and coaches, I see the disconnect many clinicians have when assessing movement and the tunnel vision they get when treating an injury. I also find many of these clinicians don’t actually know what proper movement looks like and/or how to look at the fine details when assessing normal functional movements, such as squats, deadlifts, and lunges. And then there is an even bigger disconnect when it comes to a clinician working with athletes and knowing how to assess and treat the higher level movements.
How do you figure out who the right person to work with is? Ask questions! Interview the individual before you work with them. Find out what an assessment would look like. Find out what percentage of people return to their sport at 100%. Find out how many people of those people return to therapy again for similar injuries compared to how many they only see again because of some traumatic injury. In my opinion, the fewer people who return with recurring injuries, the better that clinician is.
Not ready to dive into working with someone yet? No problem. You can start here…Pick up this free informational guide, Top 10 Daily Life Hacks To Minimize Leg And Back Pain, to give you some simple things to do on a daily basis to address the common causes of many injuries.
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