Being sagacious as well as solicitous when it comes to injury and exercise
I have a client in her mid-50’s who started seeing me to get moving again. She had a knee injury 20 years ago that has caused her continuous pain since. The pain comes and goes but has been constant enough that she has been challenged by stairs for decades. She came to me to get moving again and really to lose a little weight. The challenge is that when we have pain we have bodily dysfunction and neural circuitry challenges that cause us to reinforce the nature of the injury and put the rest of our body under unnecessary stress.
So what did we do? We worked on correcting some of the bodily dysfunction. She met with a physical therapist for consultations and additional exercises for her knee. Instead of hammering her with cardio and weights we used bodyweight exercises, TRX suspension training, and corrective FMS movements to deal with the muscles that weren’t engaging properly or were overly tight. After eight sessions with me, a couple with her PT, and diligent work on her own, she was able to take a three week trip to India. She reported hours of walking and doing many activities that should have caused her pain. She reported no pain; her knee was doing well.
The point is that many of us feel that when we have pain or tension that has built up over the years, we have to accept it, “live” with it. This isn’t so. The body wants to be healthy and pain free but injury and maturity tend to get in the way. And we let it. We learn to compensate with injury. We limp, twist, limit, and guard all in an effort to avoid the pain stimulus. It works for a little while and the area heals but we keep up the protection and begin a whole new set of problems in other areas of the body. Often the new challenge is nowhere near the old one but because of body mechanics the dysfunction trickles down to another location.
So how do we correct or repair these injuries and challenges? We let the body heal, often under the care of medical professionals. We perform our therapeutic stretches and exercises even when we think we don’t need them. We realize our physical limitations are really keeping us from full enjoyment of life. And we make a conscious effort to change the current path and get to a point of healing and expanding our range of motion. We choose to enhance our lives and not let the injury become an excuse to become or remain inactive.
Become injury free. Take action. Be judicious in what activities you engage in but remain active. Stave off anxiety that’s keeping you in your current “rut” of pain and immobility. Talk to me about regaining functional movement, expanding your range, and unleashing your life.