I do not care if you think your injuries from 15+ years ago are irrelevant. Just trust me when I say, ‘’They are relevant!” When it comes to the body and injuries you are dealing with, everything matters! That injury you experienced when you were a teenager is just as relevant as the injury you experienced last year. All injuries can create restrictions, weaknesses, compensations, movement pattern changes, etc. without you realizing it.
I have two stories for you, one is mine and one is someone I know:
I had ankle surgery in 2004 due to an ankle sprain that resulted in three significant ligament tears. After that surgery, I went to physical therapy, but never regained full motion of that ankle. (This was while I was still in physical therapy school, so I did not fully understand what was possible for my ankle.) Due to me thinking that was all the motion I was going to get, I continued on with my life. It was not until at least 10 years later that I discovered I could gain more motion in that ankle if I worked on it. I still do not have as much motion in that ankle as I do in the non-injured ankle, but it is better than what it was.
Why is that relevant? Because last year my shoulder began to give me problems. Working with a colleague of mine, we discovered my shoulder issues were likely the cause of the ankle restrictions. I realized when I was in the bottom of an overhead squat or the catch position of a snatch, my body rotated slightly as a compensation to my ankle restriction. Doing that week after week, month after month, year after year, resulted in issues in my shoulder.
My ankle mobility still is not perfect, but it is continuing to improve as I continue to work on it and I can tell I do not rotate as much in the upper back…as long as I loosen up my ankle before I lift.
My friend’s story
A friend of mine occasionally tweaks her shoulder with different things at the gym, especially when increased stability of the shoulder is required. It happened again several weeks ago and is still giving her problems. She realized that if she loosened up her neck, the pain was less in her shoulder. As she has continued to work on her neck, the shoulder continues to feel better.
She shared with me during all of this that she injured her neck when she was 14 years old and since that time it will occasionally stiffen up on her to the point that she can barely move her head for a week. She told me it has not stiffened up for several years now, but the issues have instead been consistently in the shoulder.
Whatever scar tissue, restrictions, or instability issues are going on in her neck are triggering the issues in her shoulder. Only by making that connection is she able to now finally take the steps that are necessary to resolve her shoulder issues.
If you feel like your injury is not improving or that you have a lot of injuries that do not make sense, I encourage you to start digging deeper into what might have happened in your past that is contributing to your issues now. Without doing that, you may never improve. Want some help with that deep dive? I would love to help you. Schedule a Discovery Call with Brianne to begin your process to recovery!
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