Something we keep seeing that we don’t understand is exercise related injuries. Perhaps this is because they don’t always occur all at once but seem to creep up over time. The thing is here is a common scenario we run into:
Potential client comes to meet us and their main interest is they are having trouble with their regular exercise because of reoccurring pain. They may or may not have attempted manual therapy intervention but the story is always the same. They go back to their regular exercise and the problems crop up again and they are left frustrated. In fact in many instances it actually seems to depress people.
Ok what is wrong here? How is the logical connection between the form of activity they are doing and the injury not being noticed?
Exercise is supposed to be medicine, it is supposed to prepare you for activity especially of a vigorous nature like playing a sport. It also is to protect you from aging. Aging is the common ‘go to’ we hear as to why the exercise chosen is hurting the person but never that the exercise is inappropriate for that individual.
You cannot get in good enough condition to do an activity which is injuring you by doing that activity…it isn’t going to get better and likely gets worse. It is the ethical responsibility of any coach to inform a client that they are potentially setting themselves up for injury.
Now here is the most important take home point:
Any form of exercise where the instruction cannot eliminate all possible negative physical effects is NOT actually exercise. What you are doing in that case is at a cost and usually the cost is you getting injured blaming yourself and quitting, getting out of shape and aging poorly.
The two main causes of injury are inexperienced instruction and even more often ‘fake exercise’ activity which is designed to look and feel like effective exercise but which is actually a fad and at heart a ‘purely for profit’ scenario.
You are never to blame for trying, exercise is medicine and should NEVER injure acute (all at once) or cumulative over time…NEVER. As for activity fun/sport choices a proper instructor will make it clear to you your best and worst choices for your body type and skill level and offer a reasonable timeframe to follow or simply recommend against.
Be well, be strong,
Andrew and Tierney