Problems with the human body with regards to injury prevention
When it comes to injury prevention we can all learn hell of a lot from classes like Yoga and the all popular Les Mills group exercise class. But they don’t seem to address all aspects of a persons athletic profile. In other words they don’t transfer enough into day to day life, nor do they help with any particular sporting movements.
They are not universally applicable across the entire spectrum of human movement. What we need is a model that will tell us what we are doing wrong, way before the onset of pain or injury.
There is no such thing you say?
Well you may have completely overlooked one of the easiest and simple methods of assessing your movement, training. But this is a whole different kettle of fish which I will delve into on another post.
The First Sign of trouble
How do you actually know when your body is not operating at its full potential? Or that you have a musculoskeletal issue which is far too deep seated for it to raise its ugly head straight away? The average person often uses cues like pain, swelling or loss of movement to determine that there is a problem. The general train of thought is: “my shoulder is really hurting these days when I sit at my computer, I wonder why this has happened?”.
There are a few problems with this kind of thinking, the first is that this pain or discomfort are lagging indicators. This means that the damage to the tissue has already been done. I mean why would you wait for your car tyres to blow before realising you should have checked that they were pumped up properly? Sounds stupid doesn’t it? But this is what we are doing all the time. Some simple self maintenance may have prevented the issues from arising in the first place. What we really need are diagnostic tools to determine the underlying problems long before the symptoms occur.
The second problem
The human body is wired in a way which historically would have served us better. Far better than it does nowadays! The human animal is set up for survival. The central nervous system controls all of the sensory signals and mechanical information for the entire body. The pain and movement signals are actually one of the same and as such, when you stub your toe you immediately start to move around so the pain signals to the brain are muffled by the movement signals. You are dulling the pain without really realising it!
This presents a problem for those people exercising. If you do injure yourself, all be it minor injury, you are more than likely going to continue with the exercise because those pesky pain signals are not reaching the brain, not until you actually finish the exercise causing the impending injury. Its no wonder why when we finish exercising we suddenly begin to feel the pain set in, you only have to look at mechanically poor runners at the end of a marathon, all in pain and moaning about their injuries.
In the next post I am going to cover how you can use exercise as a diagnostic tool for injury prevention, helping you expose all of your weaknesses! So make sure to check in soon 🙂