Did you know that when you feel pain in an area, this is often just a reaction to the true cause of the problem and until the true cause of the problem is addressed, the pain will keep returning.
Let me put it into an example of a man I saw a couple of months back in my Monksland clinic in Athlone. Lets call him John for the sake of the story( though not his real name).
John was a keen runner in his 40’s and loved to run 3 – 4 times per week. He came to me with a calf problem that was bothering him for the past year and every now and again it would get so painful that he would have to take a few weeks off running. Runners do not like when they can’t run.
So when he came to me, he was pretty fed up with the problem as it wasn’t going away and if anything, was getting worse. I was not the first person he had been to. He had tried 5 sessions with a sports massage therapist, who gave him lots of deep massages to the calf, then another 4 sessions with a physio who alternated between massage, dry needling and ultrasound.
He did get relief from these treatments but it never lasted long and according to John they all focused on the same thing, his calf muscle.
So when he came to me I knew that there had to be more going on than just a ‘weakness’ or ‘tightness’ that he been told he had by the other therapists. So I looked at how he was moving and how the different parts of his body were linking and working together.
I found out from his history that he had groin problems when he played football when he was younger and he also worked at a desk based job where he sat a good part of the day. So he had a few things going on and what I found was that his back and his hips were not moving together properly .
Once I improved the rotation in his back and got his hips loading and unloading properly, this then took away the extra force that he was having to put through his calf to push off when running and took advantage of a thing called elastic energy. This got him moving more efficiently and meant that his calfs were not overworking and breaking down every few weeks.
Now John had a bit of work to do in between sessions himself and I gave him weekly specific exercises to help him get to this point of efficient running and use of elastic energy. He couldn’t believe how easy it felt to run and how much better he felt the next day after a long run.
So why am I telling you all this…… because in order to get someone back to the point of efficient, thoughtless and fearless movement you have to look at the whole body and how each part of the body is moving and co-coordinating with the next.
So if you are not having success with recovering from pain or an injury, then don’t just think that there is no hope and that you have to accept it. ……. maybe you are doing the wrong exercises or the therapist you are seeing isn’t treating the right area.
At my clinic I focus on improving the ability of the person to move and exercise without pain so that they can stay active long into their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond. So if you are like John and are missing out on the things that you love to do then don’t give up, try a different approach or a different therapist.
Hope you have a great week.
Specialist Physical Therapist
Clinics in Moate and Athlone