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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Injury Alternatives (Other than going to something a little more drastic)

By: Joel Luedke

This is a post that I've been thinking about doing for awhile since we put out a lot of information going in many directions to help with your movement/mobility, chronic tightness, and overall health. Often times it is hard to put it all together and as with many good things it takes time but the hope of this article is to breakdown some options to give a try before going to something a little more extreme (heavy duty medication or surgical options).

As with anything we put out these are ideas and things to look into a little bit more.  It is NOT medical advice but hopefully information that can help you make your decisions moving forward with your own health and wellness.  These are in somewhat of an order ranging from more of a preventative angle and then going to treatment but all of them can be integrated at any point.

Nutrition
Research continues to compile on the role of inflammation in your body and how that can affect long term or chronic pain.  Having inflammation in your body isn't  typically the only contributing factor to pain and injury when we talk about chronic pain (see movement training) but it can play a huge factor.  What do we mean by inflammation?  Inflammation when it comes to acute (just happened) injury is something we want but when it comes to having inflammation present over the long run it can be detrimental.  This type of inflammation isn't the type you see in a swollen knee or ankle.  This inflammation is often undetected by just the human eye.

This type of inflammation can be present throughout your entire body and you may feel a little 'bloated' or you may feel like your joints just don't move as well as they should or potentially ache a little bit.  How does all of this happen?  The type of food you put into your body is typically the cause.  Simple sugars and added preservatives to your food can actually cause minor 'insult' to your body and these add up.  What we can do about it is first just start cleaning up your diet by eliminating as many of these 'irritants' as you can.  Simply taking out one or two things at a time can help (i.e. removing soda, or cookies, etc).  You can also look to increase the 'good fats' you put in to help control the inflammation such as fish oil, coconut oil, and avocados.  Another simple, yet highly, effective addition to your day is just increasing your water intake.  Check out another great resource below.

Resources:

Movement and Training

Having 'good' movement patterns is an excellent predictor of not only your likelihood of acute injury but how your body will respond to long term movements and adapt.  You never want to put strength, power, or endurance on poor movement patterns as this is just going to set your body up for problems.  Our body is an amazing machine in that it is able to take a lot of not perfect movement before something happens.  It may take several thousand repetitions before something "breaks" and you notice something is wrong and that is the importance of establishing good patterns early.


You can get very into it with getting screening done through the Functional Movement System (FMS), the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) or another version of a movement screen.  You may also not need to get quite that sophisticated and can focus on just simple movements that if you are good at should translate to overall improved movement for yourself.  Movements such as a full range of motion squat, being able to move your arms over your head and having full motion through your spine.  More resources on both types below.

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Treatment Options
This option could be before or after the rehab section in this post but we have it hear.  These tools and techniques applied with rehab can have to many effective results in restoring range of motion and general movement through releasing tight and overworked muscles.  Techniques such as massage, active release technique (ART) and Gratson can work through the muscles extremely well and restore motion by getting tissues sliding over each other how they should and also through a range they need to be at.  You can also get after this on your own by working through Mobility WOD and utilizing foam rollers. lacrosse balls and any other option to help increase you ability to move.

Resources:

Rehab
It seemed like it used to be that in order to fix something that was torn (i.e. labrum, meniscus) or painful (hips, knees) that surgery was your only option to get in and get everything cleaned up.  More research is now coming out that in a lot of cases surgery isn't the case, especially when it comes to returning to being healthy and pain free in daily life (and even recreationally active).  Focusing on
rehab and movement patterns is not a 'quick' fix when it comes to pain but it can be a highly effective one that will not only save you from the trauma of surgery but can also save you time and money in a lot of cases.

Focusing on a rehab plan an progression can be extremely effective in getting muscles to work that haven't been working and in turn helping reduce compensation from other muscles that might have taken over a workload they weren't supposed to.  This combined with the treatment options above can be an extremely powerful combination that can get you a lot of results.  Below are a few options to start looking at options to get started.

Resources:
-Clinical Athlete
-Clinically Pressed Insights
-Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization

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