MY BACK/SHOULDER/LEG ACHES!!! Should I look at the problem only or the cause as well?

little boy flexing muscles
Simon Long

Simon Long

Simon is a highly experienced personal trainer and behavioural psychology expert
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Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is caused by tissue in the body, be that muscle, tendon or ligament, being repeatedly overexerted. The human body does have a huge capacity to adapt and to deal with poor movement patterns. But eventually pain will result unless the poorly optimised bio mechanics (such as posture and movement) are corrected.

I meet people every day that tell me that they have aching in their lower back, or a sharp pain in their shoulder, or a whole host of other problems. I always advise the people the same thing, regardless of what the issue is.

‘Yes we defiantly need to address the problem, but if you want to solve the issue then we must find the cause’

What I mean by this is addressing the specific problem, via stretching, mobility and manipulation, is a very good idea. But if the cause of the issue is never addressed then the problem will only continue to come back.

Very often clients will say to me that the problem has come and gone for years. That it will hurt for a little while, but then the pain will subside. And so for this reason putting in the effort to correct the cause seems unwarranted. They can just address the pain whenever it becomes a problem and leave it as that.

Obviously it is completely an individual’s choice as to what they do with their own body. The only thing I advise to keep in mind with this is just because you can no longer feel the problem in no way means that it’s gone. Your body has an incredible capacity to compensate and will do so in these situations until it reaches a point where your posture or movement patterns are adjusted in a way that means the pain subsides. I would put good money down however that if the individual jumps onto my couch and lets me check the relevant trigger points that we will find tightness. The problem isn’t gone. Just masked.

The first issue with this is that the cause of the issue remains. Eventually it will build, or a specific movement will trigger it, and the problem and the pain will return. This can be prevented by addressing the cause of the issue.

There is however a much larger, longitudinal reason to address the problem. Maintenance of mobility. The human machine contains components that should be able to last around 90-110 years before they wear out. Yet the amount of people who have little to no mobility from around their mid-60s is huge. Why? Well as with any high performance machine the margins to avoid wear are small.

Take a car wheel for example. If you attach it to the axel correctly then the wheel (not the tyre) will likely last the lifespan of the car. However if you attach the wheel wonkily the car will still drive. But as its movement pattern is causing additional wear to certain parts of the wheel, it will eventually become defective.

The same principle applies to your joints. If you sit with bad posture or walk with poor movement patterns then you will still be able to do what you need to do. But you will be wearing out your joints, as they are moving incorrectly. Eventually you will wear them out to the point of not working properly anymore. Unfortunately, unlike the wheel, this isn’t just a costly mistake that you can learn from. It’s a permanent situation that will limit your ability to do what you want.

So in conclusion, speak to someone who knows what they are talking about and have your posture and movement patterns analysed and if required corrected. Not only will you deal with less pain day to day, but you will also maintain your ability to move until much later in life.

I hope this article was helpful. If so then why not share it with your friends and family?

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Best wishes,

Simon   =]