Injuries happen, and chances are good that you have experienced one at some point in your life. In fact, you may even be injured right now and not even know it.
That may come as a shock to hear, but some injures don’t cause you to feel pain — making it hard for you to know that you’re suffering from one.
This is where kinesiology comes in.
There are some key indicators that kinesiologists (and physical therapists alike) use to diagnose an injury, including:
- Poor posture
- Poor mobility
- Lack of stability
- Poor tissue quality
- And lack of muscle use… to name a few
Kinesiologists use these indicating factors to identify an underlying injury that could be hindering your movement and, as a result, affecting your fitness results. If you are currently struggling to make progress with your training I highly recommend that you enlist the help of a kinesiologist or a physical therapist, as they may be able to help you get to the bottom of why you’re not seeing results.
If you are currently injured and/or experiencing some sort of nagging pain however, keep reading.
When people injure themselves — or are experiencing pain — they typically do what most of us do – they either rest it, hoping that their injury will heal on its own. Or seek out some sort of treatment to help alleviate the pain, such as physiotherapy, athletic therapy, or chiropractic care. All of which are good options… if you see your treatment course through till the end; which most people don’t.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: you attend a couple of treatment sessions, say you did the home exercises that your physio told you to do — even though you didn’t either because you forgot them or just didn’t see the point. Or you did the drills once and felt that was enough. Despite your lack of effort your therapist is still able to successfully help you reduce your pain and improve your function, so you think, “problem solved!” and stop going for treatments.
Ring any bells?
Well here’s the problem. As I briefly touched on, feeling no pain doesn’t necessarily mean that you have fully recovered. In fact, changes are really good that you haven’t.
Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself after the pain associated with your injury has subsided:
- Have you been able to return to all your previously activities?
- Do you have weird compensations when you move?
If you answered yes to either of these questions, you’re not better, and here’s why: there is a substantial gap between feeling better and actually being able to do the things that you are supposed to be able to do physically.
To help you better understand this statement I’m going to explain exactly how to bridge that oh so frustrating gap.
How to Effectively Rehab from an Injury
Step 1: Get Assessed
The very first step to your full recovery is to be assessed by a professional. When getting your assessment ask for them to look at your current resting posture to see what patterns your body has adopted — due to life, the sport you maybe play and/or a past or present injury.
Step 2: Test Your Movement
The next step is to get someone to assess how you move. In particular you need to make sure that the right muscles are producing the right actions. In other words, are you able to move at your joints in a full range of motion without pain, and without compensation?
This is a test that can be administered by a kinesiologist. You need someone who knows how to assess posture and muscular imbalances, as well as detect any compensations that are present in your movement.
Step 3: Start Doing Corrective Exercises
As soon as you have your diagnosis, the next step is to get a corrective exercise program that will specifically address any issues surrounding your posture, core instability, and other muscle imbalances that were observed during your assessment. This program should also include the foundational movement patterns to allow you to start to reestablish your general movement and eventually start to build strength.
*Foundational movements are things like, a squat (sit to stand), a hinge (how you pick stuff up), carries, upper body pressing and the ability to pull.
The problem with most fitness programs is that they work around your injury; which is nice — because they don’t intend to make you feel any worse — but not ideal. And here’s why: it is important to make sure that everything that you do is contributing to you getting better. When you’re on a program that’s working around your injury — as opposed to addressing it — you will never achieve full body function.
In other words, you will continue to make compensations in your movement that will allow you to do XYZ, but you will never be able to do XYZ properly; which will keep you from seeing results and increase your chance of future injury.
Step 4: Build Strength and Endurance
Once you have learned the fundamentals and can execute them with proficiency it is important to progressively build your strength and endurance. Having a strategic program that gradually progresses your strength and intensity will yield faster and better result than doing too much and having a set back.
In other words, less is more when it comes to your programming.
At BIM we call this process Active Rehabilitation. This practice is one that doesn’t comprise movement or put fitness on top of your dysfunction.
As kinesiologists we don’t treat pain. Instead we take your pain into account when we prepare your rehabilitation program. We work to get you as strong as we can so that you are able to do what you want to do WITHOUT irritating your symptoms or causing you further issue. We find that as imbalances are addressed, general strength is increased, movement is fine-tuned and your symptoms are significantly reduced. During the Active Rehabilitation process we also reassess your movement regularly. Pain is a very subjective measurement of improvement that allows us to strategically progress (and sometimes regress) your programming as tolerated.
If you have been struggling to fully recover from an injury, or experience pain every time that you try to increase your activity, you should serious consider an Active Rehabilitation program. Pain should be addressed, not worked through.
If you would like more information about our Active Rehabilitation program, click here. You can also send me any email if you would like to come in and get assessed.
Andrea | firstname.lastname@example.org