What is the word an injured patient is most likely to hear from their doctor?
Have a back injury = “Don’t bend over, twist or lift anything heavy.”
Issues with your knees = “Don’t do squats or lunges.”
What is the word an injured client is most likely to hear from their personal trainer?
Have a back injury = “Try this stretch for your psoas.” “Try turning bending your knees more.”
Issues with your knees = “Try these balances to stabilize your hips.” “Try using this foam roller on your IT band.”
The problem with “Don’t” is that patients move less and less after they hear that from their doctors. They limit themselves out of fear. “My doctor said, ‘Don’t…'” To sit in a chair you have to squat. To get into a car or walk up steps you have to lunge. To check your blind spot you have to twist your spine. To carry groceries you have to lift something heavy.
Doctors do not have the luxury of getting to know their patients so they can customize treatment or therapy for them. They fall back on the “Don’t” prescription as a one-size-fits-all solution.
Personal Trainers do have the luxury to spend time with people and learn how their bodies move/don’t move day-to-day. Trainers understand the stress and movements patterns that become ingrained in our clients. Client and trainer experiment together to find the movement that can bring healing to the body.
More and more health practitioners and fitness professionals understand that humans are built to move in a variety of ways and intensities. The more we limit our movement, the more limited our movement becomes. In order to get back to health after an injury, we need to find a new way to move rather than to stop moving.
So if you have an injury and you hear your doctor say “Don’t,” let that go. This is especially true, if the doctor cannot specifically identify the injury. Find a knowledgeable personal trainer or therapy specialist that says “Try” and get your movement back.
If you live in DC and would like recommendations on who could help you with an injury, contact me at info(at)spitfirefitnessarts(d0t)com.