What Really Causes Injury?

200177292-001I  have been in practice for almost 15 years. I am a chiropractor who specializes in neuromusculoskeletal pain and injuries. I am a trigger point specialist.

The people who have seen every type of medical doctor out there and still don’t have any idea of what’s wrong with them, they are in pain, can’t find out what is wrong with them, and have no idea how to reduce their pain, come to see me for an answer and a treatment.

Most of the time if you can’t find out what’s wrong and causing pain, then the injury is muscular in nature. The injury itself may not have involved the muscles. But over time the injury will cause the muscles to get irritated and eventually become painful and then they become part of the problem. I believe this is how chronic pain gets wired into our systems and can far outlast the initial injury.

In my practice, most precipitating incidents or injuries are not dramatic, impressive events like chasing down a purse snatcher, or pushing a child out of the way of a car. Most injuries and causes of pain in our society and culture come from the hum drum, repetitive activities of daily life that we all perform. If we do not manage our bodies and take care of ourselves through eating right and exercise, then these small, repetitive, seemingly benign motions slowly build up to cause irritation. Eventually this repetitive irritation causes muscle pulls, sprains, strains, tears, tendonitis, bursitis, etc.

I ride bikes. I love riding bikes. I think that riding is one of the best ways to control your weight. It is low impact, easy on your joints, and something that you can keep doing even as you get older. Riding allows me to get outside and have some quiet time to myself.

Unfortunately over the summer a good friend of mine, and my Pain Free Lifestyle partner, Sayf Sharif, was riding his bike to work and fell and hurt himself. He broke a few bones in his hand had to have surgery twice to heal a nerve that was injured during the fall. Since then Sayf has been compiling data about what causes most injuries.

What he is learning is what I see first hand in practice, and have been reading more and more about recently. Most of our injuries come from our repetitive motions of daily life, and not from big, dramatic injuries.

We all have our repetitive activities that cause a daily accumulation of tightness. All of us have our repetitive motions that we perform on a daily basis. It is these motions that slowly cause the muscles to get tighter and tighter over time until they get so tight that they tear on a microscopic level. This is what a sprain or a strain or a pull is.

A tear, sprain or strain of a muscle can be more painful than a fracture, and can take longer to heal. If one muscle is injured it can affect other muscles. If one muscle is tight and not moving the way it is supposed to, then other muscles have to compensate for that lack of motion. This causes the other muscles to become part of the problem as well. This is part of what can cause that domino effect of having one injury which causes another one and another one.

This is the most common modality for injury that I see. It can be easy to prevent, but not so easy to calm down once flaired up. By far the best way to prevent cumulative trauma, repetitive trauma, overuse injuries, wear and tear injuries, is to keep the muscles healthy to begin with. It is easier to prevent a fire than it is to put one out. Manage your muscles through eating right, exercising and stretching.

Keeping the muscles loose and strong will give them the endurance they need to last throughout the day. Stretching regularly will workout some of that tightness that accumulates every day. Thus preventing the muscles from getting so tight that they tear and become spasmed, inflamed and painful.

Mainly what my friend Sayf found that we have a much greater chance of being injured or dying from the health issues associated with not taking care of yourself over time (not exercising consistently, not eating right, not stretching) than from a major trauma. Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure are more likely to kill you than a major trauma.

I have been reading repeatedly that most of our injuries and pain are do to our repetitive motions of daily life. Be pro-active. It doesn’t take much to manage your body and to manage your health. You are dictating now how you will feel in 10 to 20 years. You can prevent health issues, pain and injury. I made it easy to do- just follow my Pain Free Lifestyle program. It takes you step by step from the very beginning of not having exercised in years and being in pain, to getting out of pain, increasing activity, and getting into shape and being healthy. It doesn’t take much time and can be done from home with little equipment.

Exercise smarter, not harder. Be kind to yourself. Manage your health and your body. Exercise and eat right in a sustainable manner. Do it the Pain Free Way, and you will thank yourself.

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