You would fix your car, why not your body?

So I’m driving along the road yesterday in my freshly valeted Honda (thanks to NB Autocare for that!) and my engine management light pinged on. The first thought is always ‘agh wonder how much that’s gonna coast!’, but after the initial blow of that passed the first thing I did when I got home was to book it into the garage for a check-up. I would imagine that everyone reading this would do the same, no?

Anyway this got me thinking about our bodies, and how we care for them versus how we care for our cars! Unfortunately we don’t come with a bright blinking light that pops up on our foreheads when we have an issue. But we do have a pretty cool highly specialised pain centre, amongst other wonderful systems that raise our awareness to the problem. So just like a car we do have a system that tells us we have an issue but the real question is what do we do about it?

The answer to this is usually nothing! Don’t believe me? Ok, how many of you reading this blog right now have pain somewhere in your body? I bet the big percentage of people have an issue somewhere whether it’s their lower back, neck, hip or shoulder joint. But tell me this, what are you doing about it? Most of the new clients who come in to see us at ESP state that they have had a problem for months or even years sometimes, and I’m always surprised by this. I always ask what kept them from coming in earlier, and they always say “well I thought it would go away on it’s own”. I usually reply to this with “well would a flat tyre be re-inflated and fixed on it’s own?” This usually gets a few laughs but the undertone is serious. Why live with pain and dysfunction? Your body is the most valuable and precious thing you will ever own and yet how much effort do we put into maintaining it?

Often the reason people get injured in daily living, and exercise/sport, is due to dysfunctional movement quality, and efficiency of movement. Basically certain muscles, and joints get caught up in performing the same movements again and again. This creates imbalances in our system e.g. joint stiffness and muscle weakness/tightening. Sometimes we pick up a problem that we couldn’t avoid like a frozen shoulder, or a fractured bone but on the whole the majority of the musculo-skeltal injuries we see could potentially be avoided in the first place or fixed with assessment and therapy.

Physical therapy/ S&C experts like Gray Cook, and Mike Boyle have introduced the world to functional movement awareness, foam rolling, tennis ball work, and other self myofascial release techniques, and they have increased our awareness of just how much better our range and function can be with just a little bit of work put in on a daily basis, but again how compliant are we with this? I think the honest truth here is not as much as we should be. So the take away point from this blog is that if you are living with pain and in some way it is impacting your ability to perform a daily function or a physical movement in your sport or exercise then you should be doing something about it straight away, before the problem grows bigger, more complex and often more chronic.

If you enjoyed this blog, or found it helpful then please share it on your social media. If you want to come into ESP and have someone assess your pain or problem then please just contact us via our website or make a booking online. I promise it will be a worthwhile decision!

Lewis Mitchell | Physiotherapist & Strength Coach at ESP

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