Insult to Injury: Why You Haven’t Made A Full Recovery

Insult to Injury: Why You Haven’t Made A Full Recovery

Insult to Injury: Why You Haven’t Made A Full Recovery

 

        If you are a runner, fitness enthusiast, weekend warrior, or weightlifter then chances are that you have dealt with an injury at some point. You may very well be dealing with an injury right now and are unsure of how to overcome it. Unfortunately the sequence of events below is all too common and leaves you frustrated and concerned on whether or not you’ll be able to get back to your favorite routine. The typical sequence of events from injury to recovery looks like this:

  1. Injury Occurs
  2. Injury is rested for some time
  3. Athlete, runner, fitness enthusiast tries to return back but the pain is still there.
  4. Multiple doctor visits with frustration and no answers (or no plan on how to recover properly)
  5. Maybe even some Google or YouTube advice
  6. Frustration sets in even more with concern on how you will get back to your favorite activity whether it be running, exercising, weight lifting, or your favorite fitness class.

     Sound familiar at all? Whether you are on step 1 from above or step 3 the important thing to consider is WHY you haven’t made the full recovery yet. There are some very common reasons as to why the body has not fulled healed and the pain from injury remains which I will discuss below.

 1.Wrong Diagnosis

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              I’ve heard it a lot in my clinic. “I went to see a PT already but didn’t get better”, “I saw an orthopedist but I am still in pain”, “I already have been to see a Chiropractor but I only got minimal relief”. One common theme with these statements is that the person sought out help but was left disappointed when the treatment they received did not FIX their issue.  One question I always ask is ” What did they THINK the problem was” and unfortunately the answer I often get is “Well they weren’t really sure what the issue was” or “I was never given a clear diagnosis”.  That is MAJOR problem. Before fixing any injury (which essentially is providing the right healing environment for the body) you must figure out what is actually causing the issue to begin with (“the root cause”). Most injuries occur because of some sort of deficit or imbalance in the body. It is vital to go through a proper assessment to determine what the “cause” of the injury actually is. Once the true root cause of the condition is found proper treatment can be given. If treatment is given without this assessment and without identifying risk factors then you will not get the results that you desire.

2.Wrong Treatment

          Far too often I hear patients tell me stories about how they were given generic exercises (aka “cookie cutter approach”)  that did not work for them. They invested a good amount of time and money but weren’t given the tailored approach that their body needed for them to heal. Each person who deals with an injury should be treated according to their SPECIFIC needs. For instance not all knee pain should be treated with the same exercises and stretches. Treatment depends on #1 the diagnosis (see above). Even then after the correct diagnosis is given the treatment can vary depending on what stage of injury the person is currently at ( i.e very beginning, middle, end stage, chronic). Think about it this way. If you have a small leak in the roof then you get the roofing company to come out and diagnose the issue quickly right? They provide the immediate easy solution and the leak is fixed. However what if you let that leak linger and it becomes bigger? Does the issue become more complex? Maybe it starts to involve other parts of your home? The point is that the simple leak that is found quickly is treated much more differently than the  leak that has “been there for a while and is starting to cause more issues”. The same concept can be applied to an injury. Some key things to consider when resolving an injury is:

  1. What stage (early, middle, late) of healing are you currently at (your healthcare provider should be able to tell you this)
  2. What can you do to provide an optimal healing environment (i.e specific exercises, activity modification)

3.Wrong Healing Environment

          An optimal healing environment is CRUCIAL to overcoming injury. It is often one of the most overlooked factors that can help get you back to running, surfing, exercising, or playing your favorite sport.  Below are some of the factors that are involved in having the optimal healing environment for your injury:

Sleep

        Sleep is very important to allow for healing. During sleep our body takes the time to repair and remodel any damage that has occurred. In order for an injury to heal properly the appropriate amount of rest must take place. If you are waking up tired and find yourself needing that caffeine pick up in the early afternoon you likely are not getting the appropriate amount of sleep for optimal recovery.

Exercise

        Its likely that your injury has kept you from being able to exercise to the full extent. Yes, you may not be able to do a lot of your favorite exercises but it would be beneficial for you to find other avenues. For example if you love running but your knee hurts then try biking. If you have a hip injury that only hurts during squats and box jumps then skip those during your next workout (just do everything else that doesn’t cause your hip to hurt). Point being that its important to stay as ACTIVE as possible when dealing with any injury. It will help your mood and keep your moving towards your goal.

Diet

       This is another factor that is also overlooked. What kind of food have you been eating? The body relies on good nutrients to perform optimally. Take a good look at what you eat and drink then ask yourself if you think its beneficial or detrimental for you. Get your diet right so your body can make the best use of those nutrients it needs to heal.

Stress/Mood

       Keeping a positive mindset is crucial to recovery. There are so many psychological aspects that are overlooked when recovering from injury. People often fear the worst “What if this doesn’t work?”, “I guess I’ll have to live with this for the rest of my life”, “Nothing seems to work for me”. All of these negative thoughts WILL affect recovery. If you don’t think something will work or you are constantly worried you are wasting your time then it’s likely that you won’t put the effort in to reach your goals.  The stress of life can also affect our ability to stay focused and that is why being in a supportive environment is very important.

       If you are dealing with an injury and have not recovered the way you expected then consider what has been mentioned above. The most common reasons runners, fitness, enthusiasts, and weekend warriors are kept from doing what they love is because of the issues discussed in this article. There’s so much confusion out there about what to do or who to see and that can make the whole situation even more frustrating!  Click Here For a Free Injury Phone Consult if you are struggling and are not sure what to do. We’ll have an open and honest conversation about what you are struggling with and what the best step for you to take is. Here’s to happy and healthy healing!

 

 

 

3 Myths About Knee Pain (Have You Been Told These?)

3 Myths About Knee Pain (Have You Been Told These?)

3 Myths About Knee Pain (Have You Been Told These?)

Don’t Get Stuck On The Sidelines Because Of These Myths!

Knee pain is becoming a very common issue, especially with active adults who love to run, workout, or participate in their favorite boot camp classes.

Approximately 1 in 4 adults will experience knee pain that affects their ability to remain active, healthy, and fit. This can be a frustrating experience especially since many of the clients I work with tell me that they “just aren’t the same” if they miss out on their daily run or exercise routine.

Wouldn’t it be nice to go for that 5 mile run, participate in your favorite HIIT workout, or play your favorite sport without having to worry about your knee getting worse?

Having treated many fitness enthusiasts and runners I found that there were several myths that were floating around that actually were hindering their recovery. This often lead them to a delayed recovery and more time spent on the sideline.

By simply understanding these myths you can save time, money, and the FRUSTRATION of missing out on another 5k or enjoying a workout with your friends.

Myth # 1 Rest Is All You Need To Get Better (Hoping it Will JUST GO AWAY!)

Photo by Alexander Possingham on Unsplash

I know what your thinking…….don’t I need to rest to heal? Well the answer is YES! However it all depends on how you go about “resting”. While rest is needed for the body to heal naturally and correctly it is often done in an incorrect manner. Here’s  3 DO’s and Don’t about resting your injury.

  • Do’s

    • Rest in intervals. What does this mean? You may still be able to run 2x a week or workout 2x week but you will need to spend those other days in rest. Don’t keep aggravating the pain.
    • Shorten your exercise/run time. Run for shorter distances (before any pain is felt). Perform shorter workouts so you do not push into pain
    • Warm Up Before Don’t go into a workout or run COLD. Do some active warm ups. Maybe some high knees, butt kicks, Karaoke drill
  • Dont’s

    • Don’t rest for extended period of time (without taking any other action) hoping the pain will just go away. Usually pain occurs because there is some sort of strength, flexibility, or movement fault. Rest will not fix these issues
    • Don’t completely avoid activity. Sometimes it’s OK to feel a little sore in the knee after a run or workout out. It’s when this soreness turns into pain and lingers for 2+ days that it becomes an issue. Run 1 mile instead of 3. Squat 150Lb instead of 300Lb
    • Don’t take painkillers hoping it will go away. Painkillers only provide temporary relief and do not address the root cause of WHY you are experiencing your knee pain

Myth #2 Your MRI And Xray Tells You The Whole Story

Do you need an MRI for your low back pain or sciatica?

One of the most frustrating things for the clients I have worked with is that they have been led to believe (at no fault of their own) that whatever shows up on their MRI or Xray is the reason for their pain. Many times they are just given a diagnosis and no method of fixing their pain.

Here are some common statements I hear from people I have worked with:

  • “Nothing showed up on my MRI/XRAY but the pain is still there”
  • ” I was told I have chondromalacia and patella femoral pain syndrome”
  • “They just said I have a bone bruise and that it will go away”

The problem here is that these people were given a “diagnosis” just based off a picture. That fancy scan is just a picture that is STILL in time. It does not take into consideration different movements and activities that hurt your knee. So while the scan showed (or in some cases didn’t show) something it did not provide to reason as to WHY the pain is occurring.

This can lead to BIG problems when getting treatment because many clinicians will just treat based off what the MRI or XRAY shows and not take into effect the different deficits in muscle strength, flexibility, and faulty movement patterns.

In most cases of knee pain although the pain OCCURS in the knee it is not actually CAUSED by something in the knee. This is another reason why scans can be misleading because the cause of the pain often comes from the hip, pelvic ,and back region. The body needs to be “in balance” and when there is an area of the body that is “out of balance” it can then transfer excessive forces to the knee, thus causing pain.

Keep in mind that when I am speaking about knee pain and imaging I am referring to the type of knee pain that gradually occurs over the course of time (not the type of knee injury where something traumatic happens). The proper imaging is required if:

  • You hurt you knee during a sport or activity
  • You heard a pop or click in your knee when you injured it
  • There was swelling present in your knee after you injured it

Myth #3 Changing Your Shoes, Wearing A Brace , Getting Orthotics Will Fix the Problem

Photo by SJ Baren on Unsplash

One of the first “quick fixes” that people try is to change their shoes, wear a support, or get some orthotics/insert. This is often the quickest and cheapest way to go about trying to fix knee pain but often leads the user disappointed in the result.

This is not to say that shoes and orthotics/inserts AREN’T needed. It just means that there is more to the problem than just changing or adding to EXTERNAL factors. Now what do I mean by that? When dealing with knee pain there are usually internal factors that need to be addressed along with external factors.

Some examples of internal factors that needs to be addressed include:

  • Muscle Weakness
  • Lack of Flexibility/Mobility
  • Decreased stability

Some examples of external factors include:

  • Shoe wear
  • Shoe Inserts
  • Taping/brace

It’s important to know that external factors usually can bring about a temporary relief with knee pain as they do not address the underlying root cause. Permanent relief is achieved when the internal factors are addressed.

Treating and fixing knee pain usually involves addressing multiple components and multiple moving parts so be wary of any one product or device that promises to “fix” the issue permanently.

Right……So What Can You Do About Your Knee Pain?

The keys to treating and ending knee pain for GOOD involves these 3 steps:

  1. Proper assessment of how your body moves (i.e during walking, squat, jumping, running)
  2. Identify deficits in strength and flexibility in the body
  3. Modify your activity level so that the injured area is given proper rest (not JUST extended periods of rest though).

Worried and concerned about your knee pain? Are you unsure about how you will overcome this knee pain and return to your active lifestyle?

Ask about our FREE phone consultation. We’ll have simple discuss about your health and listen to how your knee problem is affecting your life. Then we’ll be able to help you come away with the best solution for you!