Nagging Injuries: Why They Happen and How To Cope With Them

Nagging Injuries: Why They Happen and How To Cope With Them

Injuries are an annoyance that most of us have to deal with at some point in our life. If you have read previous articles of mine you know how important it is to move in order to stay healthy. Life is movement, the less you move the less life you can experience. Perhaps you have recently started a movement program such as yoga, weight training, running, hiking, or any activity that gets you moving. Here is the deal, there is always a good and a bad to everything, a yin and a yang. Well, the bad side of movement is that we can injure the parts of our body that allow us to move. What allows your body to move? Movement of your body comes from joints. A joint is where 2 bones come together and there are soft tissues such as muscles, tendon’s and ligaments around the bones. These joints are all over your body and connect your skeleton together. Some joints move more than others. The more a joint can move there is a greater chance of that joint being injured.

What happens when you injure a joint?

When we talk about movement of joints we need to talk about range of motion. Range of motion is the amount of movement that should happen where two bones come together. In most cases when you injure a joint it moves beyond what is considered a normal range of motion. Think about how much your knee moves. Now, if your knee moves past what is normal, what do you feel? PAIN! Is pain bad? Well, it certainly does not feel good and can make life a living hell, but pain is a warning sign to you that something is wrong. Pain is like a check engine light in your vehicle. You can choose to ignore the light and just wait for the engine to stop working or you can make sure you do something to correct the problem. Pain within a joint is a warning sign and needs to be evaluated to make sure you are not doing more damage if you continue to use the joint. Here is the difference, you can trade off your vehicle for a new model, but only have one body.

When do injuries happen?

Many times when you make the decision to change your lifestyle and become more active you can go too far too fast. It is difficult for a body that is out of condition or performing a new activity to protect itself. What does that mean? You can’t expect to be an expert at an activity when you are a beginner. There is a learning curve that is expected with any activity that puts your body through complex movements. When your body is experiencing new movements it has never performed there is no muscle memory and therefore a greater chance for injury to occur. Lets say you just started a new yoga class and you feel super awkward because you do not know what is coming up next. Your mind is untrained and your body is untrained. This is when it is important to be aware of how you are moving you body and being precise with your movements. Remember, you are building a memory in your muscle with these movements and if you are performing the movements incorrectly you will build a memory that is incorrect and be setting yourself up for injury. This highlights the importance of having a professional such as a yoga teacher, trainer, or other movement specialist leading you through the activities that you have chosen to perform.

Don’t give up!

Learning a new activity can be frustrating. Starting something new can feel awkward and discourage you from trying new things. Adding an injury can lead to even greater discouragement. Here is the most important advice I can give to you. Don’t’ quit! Don’t give up! Keep trying. These new movements are good for you. Good for the body and good for the mind. Practicing the movements trains the muscles and establishes a memory within the muscles. As you develop the muscle memory you body becomes more skilled with the movements. Have fun with the new movements your body can perform and remember to always make sure you continue using precise movements to prevent those nagging injuries.