On any given day we see multiple degrees of life/sports related injuries. These injuries range from low back pain to sprained ankles to tennis elbow to headaches. All of these types of injuries can come at any given time without any notice at all. It does not matter if you are that weekend warrior or the stay at home mother racing your kids around. Injuries do not discriminate. They peak their evil heads at the most inopportune time and then can cause more issues down the road.
We all think that “RESTING” or “TIME OFF” will help. Well it might, but what probably happens is that your pain has just decreased enough so you feel OK. And when you feel just OK you venture back out into the world without addressing the root cause and then for some unknown reason your pain reappears. This is where we are different. We don’t just “rack and crack” but we look at your movement patterns and fix the underlying cause.
The number-one predictor of a person getting injured is history of prior injury. Why? More than likely that person was released from care when he no longer had physical symptoms associated with the injury, yet he still had an underlying movement dysfunction that was a ticking bomb for future problems.
Unfortunately, a reduction or elimination of symptoms has nothing to do with condition correction and proper movement function. Athletic performance is first and foremost about proper movement. Recovery and regeneration after an injury is all about re-establishing movement patterns.
Durability and performance cannot be measured in the same manner. There are many people who can perform well after an injury, but this has no correlation to how durable a body will be when the person resumes life or competition. Show me a person who can move the best and I will show you the one with the best durability. With proper rehabilitation, one must begin to evaluate movement patterns and stop chasing the pain. It is our job to get them out of pain, but it is also our obligation to help make them better than they were before getting injured.
The old saying holds that there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. This can be accurately expanded to include the word “adaptation.” We humans adapt from the cradle to the grave. We adapt to both internal and external forces as we grow, mature, develop and interact with our environment and the tasks of daily life.
Look outside the proverbial box for other causes of dysfunction. The source of pain is rarely located at the site of pain. If you are going to release athletes back into competition, ensure they can withstand the mechanisms of force that will be applied to their sport-specific movement patterns.
“Pain produces inconsistent movement perception and behavior. We should not exercise around or into pain hoping it will get better without first attempting to manage it systematically. ”1
A reliable way to screen adequate movement after therapy is via the Functional Movement Screen created by Gray Cook, PT, and Lee Burton, PhD. This screen involves putting a client through a seven-point screen to evaluate proper movement function. Specific movement tasks are designed to find the weak link or “energy leak” in body function that can potentially cause injury. Combined with a proper medical assessment and therapy, this is a fantastic combination to satisfy the movement criteria for resuming sports.
Start with an initial evaluation. The initial evaluation will typically last about an hour. The doctor will perform an evaluation to gather information about your current condition and past medical history, perform a physical exam, and provide treatment. We will complete a functional movement assessment, postural assessment, gait analysis, neuromuscular evaluation, muscle strength testing, muscle length testing, and joint mobility testing.
We recommend that you wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that will not restrict your range of motion. The doctor may take you through some corrective exercises that may cause you to work up a sweat.
Based on the comprehensive data gathered, the doctor will recommend a treatment plan designed to return you quickly and safely back to your favorite activities. In some cases, we may refer you to the appropriate health care professional. In fact, we work closely with many of the Bay Area’s top specialists and often co-manage patients.
Most patients will receive treatment on their first visit. This may include soft tissue mobilization, muscle stretching, corrective exercise, laser therapy, or taping. At the end of treatment the front desk will schedule your follow up visit.
If you are in a pattern of injury and re-injury, we can help! Contact us today.
1 Gray, Cook. Movement Principle #1, Commentary ( http://graycook.com/?p=991 )