Addressing Injuries to Avoid Future Problems — How Can I Help?
By Tom Wilson, Fitness Coach
A couple years ago, I read a book by Dr. Henry Cloud titled “9 Things You Simply Must Do.” The “things” he outlines discuss principles we should apply to succeed in love and life. Many of these principles also apply to our physical health as well.
The second principle jumped out at me as one in particular that we often abuse when it comes to our physical health…Pull the Tooth.
Dr. Cloud explains “Pull the Tooth” is when there’s a problem in our lives we need to address it quickly and don’t let it grow into a larger problem. That’s exactly what we need to do when we encounter an injury or setback in our training.
So many times we sustain an injury and shut down our workouts all together and hope the problem will eventually go away on its own. That might be the case as God blessed our bodies with the amazing power to heal themselves over time. The problem is we tend to compensate for the injury during this healing process which places additional stresses on other body parts which often leads to other problems.
I’ve witnessed this all the time while working with baseball players. If a pitcher sustained a lower body injury, it wasn’t long before a shoulder problem would arise. To compensate for the lower body issue, they’d subconsciously change their throwing mechanics which placed additional stresses on their shoulder. So pitching through the lower body injury eventually lead to an upper body injury. The same holds true for us in everyday life when injuries aren’t addressed.
For example, if you feel pain in your left knee, you will begin to favor that knee which changes the way you walk which places more stress on your right hip. If the knee pain isn’t taken care of, the hip will eventually become an additional problem. Now you’re favoring your left knee and right hip which will eventually lead to low back issues. Now we’ve got a left knee, a right hip and low back pain which leads to neck problems which begin to cause headaches. Hopefully you get the point. The headaches, neck pain, back pain and right hip pain could all have been avoided if the right knee problem had been addressed immediately.
Stop Dodging the Bullets
This is a problem I see most every day which directly applies to pulling the tooth. When people are dealing with problem areas, they often address the pain rather than the problem that’s causing the pain.
I always tell my clients it’s time to stop dodging the bullets and go after the ship that’s shooting them. We go to the source of the pain and correct it. Many times it’s not that easy, but many times it is! From the beginning of The Daniel Plan, I’ve talked about people who deal with pain on a daily basis that could often be avoided or eliminated through proper exercise. Many factors come into play, but sometimes it’s as simple as tight muscles or a muscular imbalance.
A few years ago I was working with a gold-glove first baseman. Before every pitch, he would go into a deep wide-stance squat in preparation to react if the ball was hit in his direction. After every pitch he would stand up straight and rest. He probably did this 200 times every night for 162 games! One off-season he came to me with knee pain and feared he might need surgery. The problem was his knees weren’t tracking correctly because of all the wide stance squats. The muscles on the outside of the knee were overpowering the muscles on the inside. No surgery was necessary. We simply adjusted his training to strengthen the weaker muscles which allowed the knee cap to track correctly. This simple adjustment enabled him to eliminate the pain, prevent further injuries and avoid surgery.
What Aches, Pains Are You Feeling?
I would love to see if there’s a simple solution to any aches and pains you may be dealing with. I encourage you to respond to this article, by adding a comment below, with a brief description of the problem or pain you’re dealing with. I obviously can’t make any promises, but if we can eliminate or lessen your injury with simple exercises and stretching it’s worth a try. By responding with your problem you may be helping others as well. In a church the size of ours, I’m sure there are many people out there dealing with the same thing you are. You’ve got nothing to lose but the pain! I’ll try to spotlight one or two problems every week with exercises you can try at home or in your gym to begin taking corrective action.
The overall goal is to get your body functioning the way God designed it to function. But in order to have function, you must first have structure. Let’s work together on enhancing both function and structure and use this new-found health to serve God and the kingdom at a higher level.
View more from Tom Wilson here.