Anyone who visits this thread sees an awful lot of the same stuff:
shoulder injuries of some sort being high on the list
followed by some kind of tendonitis
an ankle sprain.
oh ya, and of course sore lower backs.
Baring a rock or rack falling on us, there's not one of these that can't be avoided with proper prep work. In other words, none of these is inevitable, and there are clear strategies that will either significantly reduce the likelihood of their happening, or provide approaches to redress something when it does (that will likely be a whole lot less severe)
I don't mean a warm up that is lots of stretching and general heart elevation, blood pumping stuff. That has a place but it doesn't do a lot to support what seems to be very mechanical actions on our parts but which are actually a wild combination of mechanics, physiology, chemistry and neurology.
So what don't we tend to do that does make a huge difference? - where this has been shown to make a huge difference for injury.
Sounds funny, eh? I mean we pick up a weight we put it down, that's moving right?
Ya ok but how well do we do that movement with our whole body? Even something as simple as walking.
How well do we move ourselves without picking up and putting down stuff? Do we over pronate? Supinate? Those movement patterns reflect stuff going on with say our ankle dorsiflexion, knee mobility, hip range of motion, and the degree to which any of those are not in true, other parts, like our low backs can pay for that.
Here's another example of movement issues not picking anything up: our upper body for instance: How many folks see people at the gym whose upper bodies look like they're carved out of stone and don't move. it's like there whole upper body has to rotate one shoulder forward at a time pivoting around at the hips. That's often a sign that the upper spine is less flexible than it needs to be to support other upper body work. The shoulders and lower back will pay for that lack of mobility in the upper spine.
The achilles tendon gets pulled because plantar or dorsiflexion is compromised. that's one. Also, typically, that compromise is learned from wearing running shoes that don't flex and stop information that would be coming from those joints if they were used to moving to the brain about where the body is in space.
There's loads of posts about "itis"s. Can't curl anymore; wrists hurt.
This is often called an "overuse" injury - but it's overuse of usually one direction, one loading, one part of the joint, without counterbalancing.
For instance: putting all the energy on the wrist in flexion flexion flexion flexion. Extension is hardly ever there. Or more eccentric loading than concentric loading. or the reverse. And then there's just high reps with poor form. Imbalance, overuse, inflammation - especially if that actual movement - whatever it is - is restricted somewhere else so that the actual decent pattern that would involve other joints more to carry the load can't get accessed.
The Solution is really really simple: practice moving the joints in "full" ROM
- get a movement program that lets you move each joint through a great range of motion. that's just general practice that can also be applied as prep for sport-specific motions.
Personally i like z-health because it works through each joint in the body and has tests for how well one is doing. But there are many other mobility practices.
- more practically, get a movement assessment to identify what gray cook calls "weak links" so that strength is not being added to dysfunction, and so if there are weaknesses these can be addressed.
There are several kinds of assessments. I like both the Functional Movement Screen and z-health. Both will give YOU active work to do to address whatever is a movement issue. Both look at movement as a whole rather than isolating actions.
We're Plastic: we're not stuck with stability/mobility issues.
For instance, over pronation is not something a person is stuck with; this can be repatterned. Chronic back pain is not something someone is stuck with - this can be repatterned.
Just as we hurt ourselves mainly by tons of reps doing something not optimally - our bodies change in a not great way - doing lots of reps in a positive way literally rebalances and rewires every part of our system. That's woolf's law and davis' law
(more on plasticity here: http://www.begin2dig.com/2009/06/pla...ing-about.html)
So how do we make that plasticity work for us? practicing movement. ankle circles, wrist circles. finger flexions matched with finger extensions. hip work, knee work, shoulder work - not weights, not push ups, movements.
Regular Dynamic Joint Practice: balancing the imperfect reps
By practicing moving our joints in their ranges of motion, we actually practice sending proprioceptive signals to the body about our state. The greater the mobility we have the more options the body has to respond to crisis situations. The greater the awareness our system has (like flexible thin soled shoes to let our feet feel the environment) the more ways we can respond to the environment.
(more on these proprioceptive points here: http://www.begin2dig.com/2009/06/why...wreview-z.html)
Likewise actually working dynamic mobility also can help with visual and vestibular interaction with the environment. We're so used to moving our heads to track something rather than using our eyes. There's actually costs associated with that.
Anyway, if you've experienced an injury and want to reduce the likelihood of having it happen again, or you want to avoid the experience at all, my i suggest begining a regular movement practice. The z-health neural warm up, for instance, takes 10mins, can be done in the AM goes through each joint in the body, and when practiced *specifically with attentio* to hit the particular joint targets outlined, has awesome benefits. Is also great for rehabbing post injury. Most of us shy away from movement when we've had an injury, but getting the RIGHT movement happening as soon as possible is also critical.
Recover is a lot faster if you have practiced movement and worked through restrictions.
In sum, when we have less than effective mobility in one area of our body, other areas kick in to compensate. The problem is those compensations especially when put under load have costs. Injuries.
Being PRoactive A simple way to reduce the likelihood of injury, that balances loads on the body, opens up closed places, is to get with a dynamic joint mobility practice. Doing so works the joints, builds up proprioceptive awareness and offers enhanced more natural movement patterns, that themselves reduce the likelihood of pain/injury.
happy to chat with folks interested in approaches.
i hope this helps a bit - it gets really sad and frustrating to see so many posts about the same stuff that is SO preventable with simple stuff that can be done anywhere anytime throughout the day.
why not train through pain:
on chronic pain
on movement's relationship to well being
what's a movement assessment?