I want to challenge you to start 2021 off on the right foot with pain free motion. This is the time of year when gyms get full, people set goals for weight loss and healthier lifestyles. We all know that this lasts for a very short period of time. I would argue that one of the reasons that this motivation to move more and eat healthier only lasts for a few weeks is because people start to move more and they begin to experience pain. The pain we experience with increased movement can be a very strong driver to encourage us not to continue. It makes sense if you touch a hot stove you probably are not going to do that again. We need to have a more positive experience if we expect our brains to allow us to continue this new journey of moving more to be healthier.
So then is there a way for us to prevent out bodies from being in pain after we move? Absolutely. When the body moves optimally the pain we normally feel after a session of increased movement is called delayed onset muscle soreness. This normally lasts for 48-72 hours. Any pain that lasts longer than that is not normal. That type of pain is usually in the inflammation family and typically is called a gradual onset injury. This type of pain absolutely can be prevented by having an expert perform a movement screen. A movement screen identifies where your body is moving good and efficiently and where your body needs attention because of inefficient movement. If our bodies move inefficiently they will break down over time. This leads to damage and inflammation of our tissues.
A movement screen is just like going to the dentist and having your 6-month check-up. You get your teeth “Cleaned” but what they are really doing is checking your teeth to make sure there aren’t any problems and then offering you suggestions on areas to focus. We also use this same strategy with our circulatory system. We get our blood work taken annually and if we have any abnormalities such as high cholesterol our doctor makes recommendations for diet modifications or medications to prevent heart disease. The funny thing about the medical system is that the number 2 reason why someone visits their doctor is because of a musculoskeletal injury yet we have no routine test that is administered to identify areas that might need work for us to stay out of the doctor’s office. We only act in reaction to problems which seems absurd, at least it would if we were talking about your heart and if it was normal to simply wait for a heart attack to happen before we acted.
So, my challenge to you is to get a movement screen at least annually. Just because your doctor doesn’t perform it in the office or your insurance company doesn’t recommend it or require it doesn’t mean that it isn’t important. The challenge this month is to go to the movement experts (physical therapists) and get a movement screen. I don’t care who you go to but it just so happens that next month we are offering 20 free movement screens to anyone who currently has pain. So, if that’s you right now pick up your phone before we fill up. 231.944.6541. Oh, yah and encourage all the people you care about to get a movement screen annually as well.