Sound familiar? Is this really all true? I can imagine that this is a similar story that everyone has heard or told at least once. The fact of the matter is yes, you have more pain now than you did when you were younger, and no, it is not natural to be in pain as we age. The variable that changes your outcome is your chosen lifestyle path. Lifestyle: the way one chooses to live with regard to career, home life, diet, hobbies, social status, exercise choices, and health maintenance (this is my personal definition without being that Webster definer guy).
The key word is “choose”. There are a lot of topics that can be branched out from this category, so I will stick with the pain.
“Pain prevents injury when utilized effectively and limits performance when utilized ineffectively. Further, the presence of pain inhibits specific muscle and motor patterns that may be essential to both injury avoidance and ultimate performance.”- Stuart McGill
I love this excerpt. If you are an athlete who “plays through the pain”, you are ultimately limiting your performance. The human body will find a way to get a certain job done, but this is problematic. For one faulty movement, it takes 10 correct movements to re-learn the right mechanics. So that means if you are a going for a run and changing the way you are running because your foot hurts, you may be running incorrectly. So for EVERY STEP that was taken, it will take 10 correct steps to fix it.
How many times will your right foot hit the ground in a 400m run (once around a track)? Math time:
- Assuming an average stride length of about 7 feet
- 1312.34 feet = 400m
- 1312.34/7 = 187.477 steps. Assuming that the right foot is the one in questions, we will divide by 2
- 187.477/2= 93.74 FAULTY STEPS
- 93.74x10= 937 steps to correct the dysfunction
All of this math nonsense means that for running a quarter of a mile incorrectly, it will take two and a half miles just to undo that faulty movement; bringing you back to square one!
Take away: Just because you can alter your movement and have no pain, does not mean that you fixed the problem. Take the time to properly correct the CAUSE of your pain. This will effectively boost your performance and, more importantly, prevent further injuries!
One love. Dr. Y