Aches, Pains, and Injuries: Root Cause
No matter the activity there is always a risk of injury; flag football, adult softball league, disk golf, walking, jazzercise, etc. Injuries that occur in the gym can and do happen as well; however, if we focus on mechanics, consistency THEN intensity we should limit our risk of injury. When those aches, pains, and injuries do pop up they usually don't stem from the 1 hour in the gym but coming from somewhere in the other 23 hours of our day.
We are creatures of habit and habits can be very good things and very bad things. Habits and repetition can start to build imbalances and imbalances can lead to injuries.
If an ache, pain, or injury pops up, the first step is to stop doing anything that causes pain. The second step is to find the root cause of the issue. The final step is take measures to correct the root cause.
Below are a hand full of examples of members at Equity that where having issues and finding their root cause. The names have been changed.
The Sleeping Shoulder
Mike was having shoulder pain whenever he was going overhead. This had been going on for a number of days. Finally Mike talked to one of the coaches about the issue and how the pain was not going away. The coach asked when Mike noticed the pain and Mike mentioned that he noticed the pain for several days when he would wake up. The coach then asked how Mike slept at night and if he happened to sleep on that shoulder and the answer was yes.
Once Mike stopped sleeping on his shoulder for multiple hours every single night the pain went away and he has improved his sleep and shoulder mobility.
There are countless desk jobs with individuals sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day. There are also countless active individuals that have "tight backs" while working out or leading their everyday life.
"These front squats, kettlebells, handstands, deadlifts make my back so tight." In general the issue is not the lower back. The lower back is over compensated for the real issue which is the hip flexor. The hip flexor while seated it not being used so they tighten like any other muscle that is not used through its full range of motion. The tight hip flexor tilts the hips and forces the back to take the extra load.
To help prevent this issue try to limit sitting time and hit some stretches throughout the day (flamingos are a good one). Spending time properly warming up and spending time in the couch stretch can help increase flexibility and mobility in the hip flexor.
Ilia likes video games and started having an issue in his shoulder similar to Mike. After telling Ilia Mike's story we started looking for an underlying issue. After about a week Ilia's shoulder starting getting better and the culprit was while playing video games in a chair Ilia was constantly leaning to one side, the side of the shoulder pain. Once he stopped putting that constant pressure on his elbow and shoulder the pain started to dissipate.
The gym and working out does not cause injuries, it exposes weaknesses and imbalances. Without working out these underlying issues would have kept getting worse and worse until a major injury occurred.
If you have a limitation talk to an Equity coach to help find the root cause and work towards correcting it. Sitting on the couch all day is not an option. Stay active, stay healthy, have fun.
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