We ask our bodies to take a lot of abuse in our regular daily lives – sitting in the same position for hours, bending over to pick up heavy objects using our back and not our legs, standing on hard surfaces all day, twisting in funny directions, wearing old worn out shoes that throw our alignment out of whack, eating foods that don't supply our bodies proper nutrients or eating too much and adding extra weight onto our joints - the list goes on.
Above and beyond this daily stuff, we also want our bodies to handle running, biking, swimming, walking several miles, and doing lots other strength oriented activities without problems. What are YOU doing to help your body stay healthy?
Many of us don't do things to maintain our bodies outside of sport until we are forced to. Injuries happen because we do the activities we love without maintaining the supporting muscles and paying attention to the quality of fuel we stoke our bodies. We are too busy, we didn't take a few minutes daily to stretch or strengthen muscles. We eat too much and/or choose the wrong foods, we drink soda when thirsty, all because we are in a hurry, or are not disciplined in the food preparation or food consumption department. We continued to wear worn out shoes because we didn't want to spend the money to purchase new ones. But at the end of it all, sometimes sooner and definitely later, we pay more in time and money trying to fix the problems that result from poor equipment, inadequate nutrition, lack of core body strengthening, too many calories or general lack of inactivity.
Once we are injured or having aches and pains that are interfering with our enjoyment of sport or just our daily life, we then wish we had done things differently. We wish we had taken a few minutes to do five stretches each day or taken twenty minutes to lift weights twice a week. We wish we would have changed our shoes earlier or purchased new arch supports when the old ones wore out. We wish we would have strengthened our feet so we did not need arch support; it might have only taken five minutes to do twenty-five sock pick-ups on each foot daily while we ate or watched television or sat at our desk at work. We wish we would have eaten healthier and not gained weight that has now contributed to the knee pain.
There are a lot of wishes. Most of us are guilty to some degree of not participating as actively as we should in maintaining good health. So now what? Which one of the following most describes your reaction to injuries?
Pain is normal and you believe you have to live with it.
Pain or injury is something that happens occasionally and you just rest until it goes away. You are still resting a year later.
You hurt. You go to the doctor, physical therapist, chiropractor, or massage therapist and expect they will fix the problem soon. You don't take the time to help yourself other than attend appointments. You don't take responsibility to do the exercises that you are told can help you heal. You don't want to hurt but you don't take the extra time to make yourself well.
You hurt. You research the injury and try to get better on your own. If that doesn't work, you go to a professional to receive input. You don't expect the doctor, physical therapist, chiropractor, or massage therapist to fix you; you hope they will be your partner in figuring things out. You do the exercises recommended, you buy the shoes recommended, and you try various things on your own. The process of healing takes time and effort.
Unfortunately, if you are honest with yourself many will choose #2 or #3. Either you talked yourself out of constructive action to improve your situation due to money, time, energy, knowledge or you expect just by attending a professional appointment that they can fix you in one or two visits. Usually the situation ends in disappointment.
Start with a little internal investigation if your injuries linger. Don't remain in #1,#2 or #3. You can leave it at any time you choose! Try being nicer to yourself and start preventing injuries instead of treating them. Take responsibility for your health instead of being upset that someone else can't fix your problem. Look at your situation honestly. Take small steps but set the goals you know you need to accomplish if you desire a change. Partner with professionals for advice; try what is suggested, give it a good honest try, but do not expect miracles in a day or two or three. It took a while to get to the point of pain, it's going to take a while to heal - be patient! If you ultimately acknowledge that it's a combined effort of you and other(s) along with time and focus and exercises and priorities, your body and mind will be much happier and healthier.
We'll see you back on the roads soon!
A.K.A. The Shoe Whisperer
-Posted by Wendi Morin on Oct 29th 2013