Everyone gets injured at one time or another in their career or life. You don’t have to be a professional athlete or even participate in athletics to get injured. That being said, injuries happen when we move. Our bodies were made to move. And as we move, we sometimes develop bad movement patterns that lead us to injuries. I’m going to discuss two types of injuries that many people have experienced. Acute injuries and Chronic injuries.
An Acute Injury is generally an injury that is severe with sudden onset. These are some examples:
- Sprained ankles
- Strained back
- Dislocated shoulder
- Knee injuries such as ACL or meniscus tears
- Muscle sprains and strains.
- Rotary cuff tears.
Acute injuries happen quickly. Such as in sports and any type of strength, fitness, or movement training. There are many possible reasons for acute injuries:
- Not warming up enough or properly
- Using a resistance that the body is not prepared to perform.
- Not being mentally prepared to perform the movement
- Not properly hydrated
- Performing a workout or program that is poorly designed.
- Performing the movement too often.
When acute injuries happen, it is wise to take quick action to help the area recover quickly.
- Icing down the area
- Soft tissue work
- Moving the area with minimal pain
- NSAID used with caution
- Gradually incorporating a range of motion to gain back mobility and reducing pain
- Building Strength and stability
Chronic Injuries are usually injuries caused by repetitive movements. Here are some examples.
- Tennis elbow
- Runner’s Knee and jumper’s knee
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Shin splints
- Swimmer’s shoulder
These injuries are often the result of repetitive use of our bodies. Now, the repetitive use itself is not necessarily the problem. It’s that the muscles are not balanced and not working synergistically in the movement pattern. When this happens, some muscles work for other muscles in the same pattern. When muscles don’t work synergistically, one muscle has to do the work of another muscle. This forms a dysfunction because the body is not working in a correct pattern that works synergistically during movement. Over time, one muscle may become overworked and another muscle weakens because it doesn’t do an equal amount of work. This turns into pain because the body can no longer compensate for this pattern. If left untreated, more and more dysfunctions may emerge as the body tries to move better. The person may have more areas of the body where there is pain or improper movement, sometimes leading to the body completely shutting itself down to protect itself.
Chronic injuries are a puzzle. The key is to find the reason that there is pain or unbalanced movement. There is a saying in the bodyworker’s field “where it is, it ain’t”. In other words, the source of the pain may not be the same location the person is feeling the pain. It takes a very experienced fitness professional or bodyworker to figure out the cause of movement dysfunction. There are many new and modern protocols that Massage Therapists, Personal Fitness Trainers, Strength Coaches, and Physical Therapists use to help pinpoint the problem. The actual fix is usually the easy part because it is based on releasing areas and activation of certain areas of the body. Here are a few modern successful protocols that help diagnose all types of injuries & movement pain, while also helping restore proper function with movement.
- NeuroKinetic Therapy
- Massage Therapy
- Postural Restoration Therapy
- Faktor Rehabilitation
- Craniosacral work
- Scar Release protocols like McLoughlin Scar Tissue Release (MSTR)
- Lymphatic Drainage
Acute Injuries and Chronic Injuries are going to happen in life. It doesn’t matter how well we take care of ourselves. We all have to remember that there is a solution to our problems. There are many wonderful and brilliant bodyworkers and therapists out there that can help us get out of pain and back to moving properly. There is hope out there for us to continue to do the things we love to do. The only problem is that it’s hard to find that special person who can help us. Just have hope, ask around, and be open to these modern new therapies mentioned.
Michael Metchikian NASM, NKT 3, CES
Michael practices in South Florida. He has a private studio and also does home Fitness training. His lifelong personal trainer specializes in various protocols to help people move properly, rehabilitate various injuries, and progress with their fitness goals.