Before beginning or continuing any exercise program it is critical to understand the role that injury plays in you being able to achieve your fitness goals.
One of the realities of life is that from time to time we all suffer an injury. And if it’s not too traumatic we can actually finish the game or whatever physical thing we are doing. However, injuries not properly dealt with lead to us developing ‘compensation’ patterns that put us at greater risk of further trouble.
For example when I was playing sports as a teenager I had many ankle sprains. Ice them to get the swelling down, tape them up tight and get back in the game or practice… right? That’s what I did but I found out years later that the improperly healed ligaments in my ankle were leading to a myriad of other problems- knees, back, hamstrings, etc.
I kept ‘compensating’ for all of my injuries in a variety of ways until physical activity was not fun anymore.
But this is what I learned a few years back. What controls your structure is your muscles and what controls your muscles is your nervous system. So it’s critical to see how your nervous system is controlling your muscles.
I use a technique to see if muscles are firing properly. I go around your body and test different muscles but I’m not testing to see how strong you are. I want to see if your muscles are able to turn on and turn off at the right time. This will show us how well your nervous system is controlling that muscle.
That’s important because the way that your muscles support your body and protect all of your joints is by Absorbing Force. So whenever you do an activity- sit in a chair, brush your teeth, walk, run- force is going to be entering your body and your muscles are going to have to be able to turn on in order to absorb that force.
Now if your nervous system is slightly imbalanced or has some kind of abnormal reflex and it’s not able to turn on the muscles at the right time, that muscle is not going to be able to absorb that force and that force is going to travel to another area--- like a tendon or a ligament or a disc in your neck or back or cartilage or meniscus or labrum or bursa, fascia, bone or some other muscle. Most structures are not designed to Absorb Force.
When force is transmitted to an area where it’s not supposed to be, it going to cause damage to that tissue. And that’s when you’re going to start getting sore or developing scar tissue or inflammation or stretching and fraying, degeneration of a disc or a bulge or herniation. You’ll start to develop problems that all stem from the same thing- your body not able to Absorb Force properly.
This is very important to understand because even the simplest movements can be very painful for many of us. Even the doctor’s prescription to ‘walk more it’s good for your health’ can be a very tough assignment. We all need to learn that ‘mind-less’ activity is not the solution to long term health.
If you're not sure where to start or need some coaching along the way, contact us at My Back and Body Clinic. We'll be happy to help!
We offer 3D coaching, personal training, faster injury recovery with ARPwave strengthening, scoliosis & backcare classes and nutritional coaching.
Russell Jones is the co-owner of My Back and Body Clinic in Woodcliff Lake, NJ
Involved in Physical Culture & Nutrition- 42 yrs
Certified Master Trainer- 32 yrs
Professional Strength Athlete- Association of Oldetime Barbell & Strongmen- 23 yrs
Neurological Therapist- ARPwave- 9 yrs
Author- 'Top Secrets of Success… 4Kids'
About Us- Russell Jones