If you suffer from chronic aches and pains then stay tuned because this will be the best thing you read all day. I will tell you why you need to stop ignoring your aches and pains and why you need to start addressing them.
Pain is not normal. Pain is a signal that something is wrong.
We like to ignore our aches and pains. We try to be some tough guy that thinks the pain will just go away miraculously.
I mean I don’t know how many times I have been told “just walk it off”
Instead of addressing the issue we let it develop into something more serious.
Outside of a freak accident (like a 1,000 lbs tire dropping on your knee) addressing your aches and pains early can go along way to preventing serious injuries from happening.
For instance non-contact ACL injuries.
These kinds of injuries are 100% preventable and make me mad to hear that this happened.
It’s not like these people just made one bad cut on the field and the ligament tore. There are warning signs that this injury can happen.
Do your knees collapse in toward the body?
Are you pigeoned toed?
Are the inside of your legs tight?
Do you feel pain and tightness in your hips?
All of these are signs of muscle imbalances that cause our joints to move incorrectly; which leads to unnecessary pressure on our joints, resulting in pain and ultimately injury.
Most aches and pains are a result of muscles being tight or weak. This leads to improper movement patterns.
The the tight muscles over power the weak ones causing these imbalances to happen. These imbalances can cause Bones to move and twist out of position.
Imbalances can occur between the muscles in our front, back and either side of our body.
All of the above can cause serious wear and tear on muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones that make up our joints. Once they get so worn they will just give up.
Ever have an itch somewhere and when you go to scratch the area it doesn’t take care of the itch?
Pain works the same way. The area you might feel pain may not be the location where the dysfunction is.
For example people who feel knee pain might be in the knee, but that’s not where the issue is.
Often times it is imbalances in the hips that cause the leg to either be pulled in to the body or away from the body putting pressure on the knee.
What can you do to correct these imbalances.
The simple answer is stretch what is tight, strengthen what is weak.
Here are a few ways you can accomplish that
Massage the areas where you are tight. This will help to release knots that form in our muscles that restrict our movement and cause pain.
Our muscles can shorten when they are in a contracted state for a long period of time. The most common one tends to be our hamstrings from sitting.
Stretching is a great way give length back to your muscles and help eliminate pain and prevent injury.
Stability holds are a great way to build strength in our joint because it put our Bones in proper alignment and force.our muscles to hold them in position.
For the lower body I love single leg exercises that force me to balance.
Balancing causes the lower body to align into the proper position and activate the correct muscles.
If we didn’t use the right muscles and align the joint correctly we would feel umbalanced and would fall over.
Start simple with just balancing, then progress to adding in different movements (lunges, single leg deadlift) while balancing.
Work faulty movement
I typically love using resistance bands for this. It helps provide feed back on where my faults are in movement.
When I warm up for squats I love using g mini bands. The resistance from the band tries to collapse my knees in, providing me with the necessary feedback to fight to spread the band.
This helps me train how my hips and feet should feel when my glutes are activated properly in the squat.
It’s developing the motor patterns that will keep us safe from injury as we move.
Thisis why I work a lot of yoga and strength training with my clients. These two training methods are great ways to stretch, strengthen and develop proper range of motion to help you move better and eliminate pain.
None of this will work though if we continue to be the tough guy and ignore the signs.