I am often astounded by the simultaneous occurrence of events that are remarkably similar. Recently, I encountered a remarkable sequence of four consecutive clients who all presented with either elbow or shoulder pain, resulting in discomfort at the insertion points of their biceps, triceps, or elsewhere in their arms. Among these individuals, two had tennis elbow, a condition characterized by damaged tissue at the lateral epicondyle region.
My usual approach to working with clients involves building an understanding in them of their pain’s location, why it is there, its underlying causes, and the factors that exacerbate it. Whether they embrace it or not, I make it a point to impart anatomical knowledge to my clients. This practice holds great significance for me because, in my view, the most critical and fundamental aspect of rehabilitation is knowing what actions to avoid – WHAT NOT TO DO! To achieve this, one must grasp the intricacies of postural nuances that can potentially impact the affected area. And the best way to do that is via pictures or live demonstration.
1st student (tennis elbow):
Me: I advised you to fully relax your shoulders and forearm to heal your elbow
Student: Yes, Sir. I only trained my upper back.
Me: Yes but your forearm came in between 🙂
2nd student (wrist area and forearm pain):
Student: Sir, I have been lifting weights. My shoulder strength is good, yet I get pain in my wrist and forearm?
Me: But I assume you’ve been batting for extended hours, and you bat with your upper hand, correct?
Student: Yes, that’s true. But then what’s the point of weightlifting if I can’t strengthen my forearm enough to bat?
Both cases – Ironic?
Because the common belief is that you have weak muscles if you’re getting injured! WRONG.
Question: Can you find the answers to both situations in the attached pictures?
When it comes to sports, it is crucial to understand the movement circuit involved in any exercise we perform. While larger muscles may have the capacity to lift heavy weights, the movement circuit always involves a combination of smaller and larger muscles. No matter how much effort we put into targeting specific muscle groups, the smaller ones inadvertently come into play. Sometimes this can be beneficial, as it helps strengthen these smaller muscles. However, most of the time, it becomes a disadvantage because we end up overactivating certain smaller muscles which is not good for the sport we play. Overactivation can lead to:
a) inhibition of other muscles,
b) imbalance in the movement circuit, and
c) reduced flexibility and leverage at the joints.
Outcome: This may result in pain or tissue damage. #causeofinjury
Healing: The best and most fundamental way to heal any part of the human body is to provide it with rest. Yes, its same for mind. In musculoskeletal injuries, healing essentially involves reducing movement in the affected area to allow platelets and clotting factors to gather at the wound site. Just like how we would draw inward and cut out our mind from outside to heal mentally; physicality works the same way.
Amazing! Isn’t it? Who would have thought that the body heals in similar way as mind. But it does. Its just that we make everything sound complicated.