When an injury occurs, it is normal to get hyper focused on that area and do ‘all the things’ to resolve the pain – ice, heat, stretch, massage, strengthen, etc. Many times, if you go see a clinician, the same thing will happen – the symptoms get treated. Very rarely will a medical professional or a coach look further to figure out what is actually causing the symptoms to occur.
Don’t get me wrong, the ‘cause’ of the pain is being addressed in the sense that you are calming down the irritated tissues. But those irritated, tight, restricted tissues are often not the actual cause of the problem. Sometimes it is that simple, but those instances are very rare.
A super easy way to tell if you are addressing the symptoms or the cause is to ask the question ‘Is the problem going away?’ If you are simply addressing the symptoms, the injury will stick around, either not resolving at all or if it does resolve it comes back once you get back to training. If you are addressing the cause, the problems will resolve for good!
Let’s use Achilles Tendinitis as an example…
When someone has Achilles issues, it is common practice to stretch the calf and maybe the hamstrings, massage the muscles, do heel raises, do some eccentric work, and maybe some balance work gets thrown in there. From the people I talk to who use these methods, they continue to have pain months or years later.
Here’s why: The Achilles pain is simply a symptom. That symptom is giving a lot of information if you know how to interpret it. The location of the pain tells what part of the calf is impacted. The location of the pain also tells if the pain is due to an elasticity issue or more of a technique issue. And we can’t forget the fact that foot strength plays a huge role in what happens up into the leg and that there is a big connection between the hip and foot/ankle complex that also needs to be considered.
The same thing goes for almost each and every injury; there are a few outliers. The location of pain is not what actually needs to be addressed. It is simply information tell you that something needs to be addressed. You can do all the self-treatment you want, and maybe even get lucky with what you choose to do, but most often the pain will remain or continue to return until you address the actual cause of the pain.
Sick and tired of dealing with your unresolved injury? Ready to do something about it? Let’s chat to help you determine your best next steps! Schedule a FREE DISCOVERY CALL with Dr. Brianne Showman to figure out what you need to do to live and train PAIN FREE.
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