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Vicious Injury Cycle

When it comes to injury, it can be seen as curse or a gift. It’s a curse because it can perpetuate chronic issues down the road. However, it can be a gift in the sense that it can be a reality check, and clue you in that you might not be moving and functioning as efficiently as you can. I see a lot of patients that are experiencing pain that they can’t attribute to a specific event or time, and that they just woke up one day and it was there.

Majority of people fail to understand that most chronic pain that just shows up one day is due to a previous injury that affected the kinetic chain in a way that affected their movement patterns and function. These kinds of injuries can lead to a vicious cycle of pain if they aren’t addressed and taken care of properly. For demonstrative purposes, allow me to paint a picture for you.

We have a High School baseball athlete named Jimmy. Jimmy spends hours every day at school sitting, in which he rounds his shoulders in a slumped posture for most of the day. This posture leads to tightness in the pectoral and neck muscles, which affects the mechanics of his shoulder. This rounded shoulder posture places an increased strain on the rotator cuff muscles, and eventually leads to a rotator cuff strain or tear. Now in this example, it is a pivotal time where this injury can be a gift or a curse. Jimmy can choose to play through this overuse injury, altering his throwing mechanics, which could ultimately lead to elbow injuries and chronic neck pain due to muscle imbalances affecting structures above and below the shoulder. This could ultimately not only affect his participation in baseball, but also his joint health down the road. Jimmy could also choose to take his injury as a sign and that if he doesn’t address it, things will get worse before they get better. After seeing a professional, he corrects the muscle imbalances and compensation patterns in the shoulder, and tweaks his technique. This is not only more efficient for his joints, but it allows him to compete at a level in which he was unable to achieve before.

The moral of the story here is to listen to your body, and if you are experiencing pain, get it checked out and make sure you are taking care of it properly. Don’t let it affect you and prevent you from doing things you love. If you are currently having issues in doing the things you love, let’s chat and get you back to your best self.

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