The approach to treatment and rehabilitation is changing and for the better. Gone are the days (going anyway) of just treating the pain and symptoms. This approach lead to :
- Short term outcomes: Pain relief, symptom relief (muscle spasm etc) and you feeling better.
- Flare ups and frustration: But the pain kept coming back after these quick fixes.
- Meaning more money spent in the long-term, more frustration and decreased quality of life.
The reason the quick fix approach doesn’t work for a lot of people is because the cause is not being addressed – The reason behind the pain and injury isn’t being rehabilitated.
When an injury, pain or niggles occurs you need to look above and below the area to find the contributing and causative factors.
Some examples? Here is a couple of common examples:
1. An office worker gets regular headaches that stops them doing what they love, playing on their mind and being very, very frustrating. They have had their neck treated in various ways – acupuncture, massage, trigger point release, joint mobilizations etc. All of these offer release – but they keep coming back!
Often the reason behind this is a rounded thoracic spine (upper back). This rounded spine pushes the head forward in a less than ideal position as you can see in the image to the right. This forward head position, one closes down the joint at the base of the skull and also every centimeter that the head is forward makes the neck muscles work four times harder! This will definitely cause muscle knots and stiff joints at the base of your skull AND headaches. So no matter how much you pull your head back, have the neck treated etc – If you do not treat your spine below the neck – You are going to keep getting headaches.
2. Another common example that will ring true with a lot of people, particularly runners, is anterior knee pain (Patello-femoral pain). Anterior knee pain is one of the most common running injuries and the pain happens because the knee cap doe not glide in its grove correctly. This is due to increased tension in your quads (particularly the outer quads) – pulling the knee cap laterally (to the outside) causing pain, inflammation and further muscle tension to due it grinding in the wrong place. Studies have shown that runners with PFPS have weak hip abductors and external rotators – This is a huge contributing factor as if these muscle are weak the knee is not controlled, in turns inwards, changing the tracking and position of the knee. So the knee can be treated, taped, dry-needled and exercises etc as much as you like but of hip strength and endurance isn’t improved then this will hang around and really frustrate.
It is amazing how the body is connected, with no muscles and joints working in isolation. The body is full of synergies, with different muscles and tissues working together to move everything in unison, it really is an awesome machine.
But this is why when one thing goes wrong – multiple other areas can be affected. Other areas help out and work hard to compensate, some parts get more stress through them, leading to pain and niggles, that may bot be where the problem is!
This is why you need to rehab with your eyes open. If you have:
- Shoulder pain – Check your thoracic spine and shoulder-blade position.
- Knee or shin pain – Check your hips
- foot pain such as Plantar fasciitis – Check you calf and hamstring length
- And much more!
Look at your body holistically – Don’t just focus on the pain and getting a quick fix. Health care is changing; less pills, less anti-inflammatories, healthy food and less steroid injections – Become aware of your body and improve it for the long-term and Physioprescription is here to help you do that, giving you the tools, info and exercises to live better!
Please share, like and let me know how you get on!