I’ll start with the wrong way.
Looking at an injury or body part in isolation is not only ineffective and inefficient – it is just plain wrong. What do I mean? Well, if someone has shoulder pain, it would be wrong to just look at the shoulder. If someone has knee pain, it would be wrong to just look at the knee. And, worst of all in my opinion, if someone has back pain, it would be wrong to just look at the MRI imaging result (more on this below).
Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of people, including healthcare professionals, don’t have the time and/or the care to do otherwise.
Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t look at the shoulder if you have shoulder pain when pressing at the gym. But I want to take you away from too much of a reductionist, old-school point of view.
I want to show you the right way – our 30,000 foot view approach.
The truth is, we are not machines. We are not robots. Each of us has life outside of the gym and the injury, all of which can play a part in causing pain. We have feelings and limits.
At PhysioRX, we understand that it is absolutely crucial to look at the individual as a whole. How do we do that?
We spend time with you. One-on-one for a full sixty minutes, with unlimited calls, messages, and touch points in between. We sincerely care.
Our entire model was designed with you in mind. We want to know your past, your present, and your future goals.
This includes insight into stressors outside of the gym, such as your job, sleep, personal responsibilities, healthcare concerns etc. – all of which work together to make you, you.
This brings me to a slight detour…
It truly pains me when I have a client, otherwise in tip-top shape, who is just debilitated by the knowledge that something is “off” in their imaging or other report from the doctor. This can unnecessarily cause a major hit to one’s confidence, motivation and overall well-being. Not only is it wrong, it is irresponsible from a practitioner perspective. Educating and delivering information to clients appropriately is of the utmost importance. So if you received some alarming reports, please take a deep breath, pause and get a second opinion from a doctor who can give you their time and comprehensive care.
Ok – back on schedule. Pay attention to this part.
One of the best analogies I use with clients is a cup. Seems simple, but hear me out. When someone has an injury, we want to look at their cup. For example, has their cup been overfilled? Is their cup too small? And so on.
A cup is filled with physical stressors – such as how much weight you have on the bar, what your technique is, and whether you’re progressing at the right pace. However a cup is also filled with emotional stressors – such as pressure at work, unhealthy relationships, or poor sleep quality. And yes, mental blocks due to alarming MRI imaging fall right in there. All of these things affect one another, and sometimes they overflow your cup leading to, or exacerbating, pain or injury.
A client recently came to me with knee pain. We took a look at his cup, and found out that he was going to a boutique fitness class 5x a week, soccer 2x a week, training for a half marathon, moving apartments, and trying to date – all at the same time. Now all of these activities are incredibly admirable and part of a well-rounded life, and may not by themselves or together be too much. But one thing I know (from personal experience), is that moving is one of the top stressors in life. This client definitely had built himself a big cup, but after saying all of these things out loud, he came to the realization that he had to cut back. He was exhausted, and rightly so! So we developed a game plan that progressed him to his goals in a smart way.
So now I challenge you to look at your cup. Could you add more to it? Take some things out? Shift things around? Remember, there is no one size fits all approach.
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