Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A New Look at Treating Injuries

During Hurricane Irene, over 6 inches of water fell in Central Park in just over 24 hours.

For the most part, NYC was spared the worst of the storm, but certain low-lying areas in NJ, CT, and other Northeastern states certainly received more rain and wind damage.

I certainly remember the storm, because it played quite well into a simple analogy that I've used to explain movement to clients and friends alike.  

You see, my ceiling leaked.  Quite a bit, actually. Had to place a bucket underneath it in order to catch the water.  Such a mess!

Afterwards, with the sun shining and Irene on her way North, I was tempted to patch the hole with some spackling, mop up the water and drywall chips, and call it a day.  

Looking at it from the outside, that would certainly make it look better.  

Looking at it from the inside, however, is a different story.  Because two weeks later, during another thunderstorm, the ceiling leaked again. 

My awareness of this, and why I chose not to patch the ceiling (and instead placed a call to my Landlord to fix the actual problem) is actually due to a strength coach and physical therapist's recommendation (Mike Boyle and Gray Cook), who famously said not to fix the 'ceiling' before you fix the 'roof'. 

If you were keeping track, the analogy is simple: when pain strikes, most people, including some physical therapists and doctors, will aim to fix the 'ceiling'. 

They'll prescribe an anti-inflammatory (spackling), recommend physical therapy, with electrical stimulation, ice and ultrasound (mopping up the water), and treat the 'ceiling'.  If it gets worse, cortisone will soon follow. 

However, a movement specialist knows better; because eliminating pain, which is a clue to a bigger problem, is the same thing as patching the hole in the ceiling, mopping up the water, and painting over the spackling.

But the movement specialist attacks the root of the problem, fixes the roof (dysfunction in movement or alignment), and takes the client or patient to new levels of of pain-free function.  They can now enjoy movement without pain (or a ceiling that doesn't leak).  

As a Personal Trainer with an extensive background in Sports Medicine (1200 clinical hours in 3 years working with Division I athletes), I usually start training new clients around an injury of some sort (most common are back, knee and shoulder pain).  As a result, I can't emphasize enough the difference in these two approaches, and how they have helped make a significant impact upon my clientele.  

If you have pain, make sure to fix the roof.  Not just the ceiling.  That way, the next time you have a big workout, are stressed, lift something wrong, or overdo your weekend warrior activities, the ceiling won't leak.  

Your neighborhood roof specialist,

Coach Kev
P.S. For specific movements designed to mobilize the ankle, hip and thoracic spine, be sure to check out My Youtube Page.

No comments:

Post a Comment