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Physio schmysio. You and your injury.

September 27, 2018

I saw a client recently who has been suffering for about a year with a clicky achy pain at the front of one of her shoulders that has been getting progressively worse. There had been no improvement even with prolonged rest.  It became quite clear on testing that the irritable body part was the long head bicep tendon. The client was a keen gym goer attending up to 5 times per week performing a mix of weight training and cardio.

 

Prior to being sent to us by one of our existing clients, she had seen a physiotherapist privately the week before in an effort to get things sorted. During that appointment the client had been told that her sore shoulder was due to two factors: a rib on the opposing side and a weak core. Oh and she'd need to attend weekly to get it fixed. 

 

 

Rib my arse (that's a technical term that we seem to use quite regularly when cleaning up other professional's messes), and while core may certainly have been a part of it, weekly attendance was entirely unnecessary to help this individual get pain free. Having identified the body part and the five weekly gym sessions I asked probably the most pertinent question of the whole assessment 'who taught you to lift weights?'


In this case the answer was her partner, so as a follow up I asked who taught him, and the answer was 'the guys he went to the gym with'. With this knowledge I was around 95.63% sure that the issue lay not with a rib, and where the core was involved it was most likely involved when my client lifted weights up and down with her arms, having clearly learned to lift weights at the University of BroScience. If you are not aware of this noteworthy educational institution, it is largely responsible for encouraging 17 year old boymen to flirt with anabolic steroids at doses that would turn the Hulk pale and for sending us a steady stream of broken bicep tendons due to improper form on execution of weight bearing exercises. Go figure.

 

The client had stopped training upper body as exercises hurt her shoulder so I took her to our studio, showed her how to brace her body properly and asked her to perform a bicep curl. No pain in a previously painful movement. I cued a few more lifts (basically with a lat brace, shoulders back and down and chest lifted), freed off some of the tight muscles around her injury and sent her away. Not pain free - her tendon is obviously still inflamed and will stay that way until it heals, but with the knowledge about how to lift and perform exercise in a way that is mechanically efficient and which will enable the tendon to heal over the next 6-8 weeks so that she does not aggravate or irritate it whenever she lifts. No follow up, no weekly appointments necessary.

 

For the most part we can heal ourselves with the correct knowledge properly applied. At Myokinetics we aim to understand you, your injury and your environment because it is invariably the interplay between these three things that leads to an injury healing successfully or not. We will then explain to you what is wrong, why it's wrong, and what you need to do and for roughly how long to make it right.  Anyone that wants to see you for regular weekly physio sessions is rinsing you of cash. We don't like any of you enough to want to see you that often, so we'll teach you what you need to do to fix yourself. Why? Cause Crossfit, the University of BroScience and general ineptitude will keep us busy til the end of time.

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