Tony, Ed, George and Leslie address some common misconceptions and commonly asked questions
No Pain. No Gain
The theory of “no pain, no gain” is gone. It doesn’t have to hurt to be effective. It’s important to listen to your body. It has built-in mechanisms. If you’re overly fatigued, take some time off – don’t work through the pain.
Surgery would be Easier
No surgery is easy. It’s not easy on your body. It’s never 100 percent the way it was. The anesthesia alone is a risk and requires a recovery time. There’s a chance of scar tissue development that may require successive surgeries.
It doesn’t matter who you are, you’re going to have aches and pains. There are those under the pretense that they need surgery as soon as they feel it, to remove it. That’s not good. Every option should be exhausted before surgery is considered.
When a serious injury does fail to respond to conservative treatment and surgery is the last option, the patient should still be aggressively strengthening the injured area for the best possible outcome of the surgery.
Must Stay Off an Injury
While braces may be necessary for some – depending on the severity of the injury – the most important thing a patient can do is keep moving. The level of activity may need to be reduced, but not eliminated. Any device that tremendously reduces impact to an injured area should be avoided, if at all possible. Such restraints delay the strengthening process and overall recovery.
In fact, often times doctors will put casts on patients simply because they don’t believe that the patient will reduce their level of activity. The cast ensures that the injury won’t be overstressed, but it also prolongs the recovery time and weakens the muscle group surrounding the injury a little more every day that it’s on.
How Injuries Occur
We see a lot of weekend athletes – people who don’t do a particular activity all the time and don’t prepare as well as they should before engaging in the activity. Many injuries could be avoided by first building some kind of pace. Muscles need time to get adjusted.
Often times because a sport or activity is done only on occasion, the proper technique is never developed causing an improperly used muscle group to become overstressed or severely injured. It’s important to be well trained with such sports as tennis and golf, as well as activities involving weights or running.
Not Enough Stretching and Resting
Too often patients strain an area because it’s overused, there’s not enough rest time between performances. And this is combined with insufficient warm up and cool down stretches, which are essential in any activity.
Many shoulder injuries are the result of an awkward twist or turn – reaching in the backseat for a laptop while driving, or reaching overhead taking things in or out of storage. And many sports injuries we see are the result of unpredictable twisting or turning.
Underestimate Need for a Strong Core
A strong core is essential for maintaining a strong back in any activity, but it is one of the most neglected. The core and legs are among the most important muscle groups in avoiding injury to other areas of the body. It’s important to keep them strong.
We see a lot of patients with injuries resulting from the stress of carrying too much weight on their body. Sometimes it is simply the extra weight rapidly wearing down joints and ligaments over the years. And sometimes the weight just plays a significant role – such as causing loss of balance, less agility.
That’s why a nutrition plan is such an important part of this program. When these patients lose excess weight they immediately take stress off the injury. And, they have more energy and more desire to do the exercise plan.
One of the most important things people need to do as they get older is listen to their body and take an activity they haven’t done in a while slowly. Just because they could do it 10 years ago, doesn’t mean that they’ll be able to do it now with the same results.
As our bodies age, joints are not the same and the structure of ligaments and tendons change. It’s important to be aware of these things and start with moderation in any activity.