So There It Was...
- Hesitation - I honestly never thought it would or could happen to me, but there it was. It's not what you think either, I'm a pretty confident guy really - nothing has ever 'phased me' as my mate Bryce would say, but at this point the feeling of hesitation had totally consumed me. All I could think about as I stood there afraid to move another inch was the fear of impending pain that would most definitely arrive straight after I moved any further - but I so desperately wanted to move, more so complete what I planned to do after I moved. Still I hesitated.
My little girl was sitting on the floor looking up at me, these big beautiful brown eyes staring up at her dad as she raised her arms - as any parent would know, the universal cue for 'pick me up'. Now, I'm going to boast a little here - I give the best cuddles, EVER, so there was great urgency here for me to react in the way she wanted or I knew that little brain was going to start wondering why the raising of the arms didn't immediately result in the 'Dad cuddles'. Doubt had indeed crept in, not only that but it had prevented me from doing the most natural act of picking up my little girl from the floor and holding her.
Subtly gritting my teeth so she wouldn't think I didn't want to pick her up, I bent down and grabbed her....
I moved, I grabbed her and I stood back up.... Then I stood there for a few moments, in truth waiting for some massive surge of pain, and yet nothing happened. I felt absolutely fine, like I'd never had a back injury before and certainly like I'd never experienced any pain before. It was a surreal experience as I stood there simply enjoying holding her in my arms and bouncing her around making her giggle, something I thought I wouldn't be able to do pain free for a long time.
I know some of you who are currently dealing with long term injury will be saying 'this will never be me' to yourselves, and I just want you to stop for a moment and allow yourself to imagine how much more enjoyable life would be if you could have that - pain free existence. Or, at the very least a significant reduction in the pain you feel on a daily basis and the restriction is places on your life. Let me tell you that it definitely CAN be possible, but much like the old Pantene commercials said, 'It won't happen overnight, but it will happen'.
So what does it take?
Assessment of your current condition is the first point of call, what movement can you currently perform pain-free and which movements or ranges cause you discomfort? Then it's how well do you move in those patterns, are you stable, can you maintain postural integrity and a smooth movement? This will tell you (and your trainer) a lot about what needs to be addressed and where your current deficiencies lie. Of course this isn't as detailed as you need to be, but it's a very good place to begin the assessment process. Somewhere in the chain there will be a weak link or a few of them which need to be restrengthened, the assessment process will highlight these areas if done properly and give you a great place to begin.
Now this form of corrective exercise isn't the most 'fun' or 'exciting' - at least in the beginning. We save all the fun and excitement for you to experience of your own when you go to move instinctively and you all of a sudden don't have any pain or discomfort! Initially it's about getting the right muscles to work, most of which have been on holidays for some time now, and then get them to work with the whole system so everything works in harmony whilst you perform movement both at bodyweight and then under load. Hitting all the planes of movement is imperative here because that's the beauty of it really isn't it? Being able to move any way you desire or require is what true freedom of the body is really about.
Then, it's just up to you and your trainer with a little old fashioned hard work and consistency to get you back to full and hopefully pain free function. Some of you will take longer than others to experience freedom of movement and reduced or complete elimination of pain in the body - you just have to stick at it and trust in the process.
Don't be afraid to begin -
Just imagine all the possibilities ahead of you when it works!
Yours in Health -
Arj P - Head Coach