As a personal fitness trainer, I constantly see people in the gym that are obviously pushing through pain, wearing braces or tape wrapped around knees, ankles, and wrists. I often overhear people talking about how the pain is just a normal consequence of a lifetime of sports and the good old aging process and that there is nothing that can be done about it. This makes me crazy!
There is so much that can be done, and if you are in the gym already, why not work towards correcting the problem?!?!?!
In some cases, that fancy tape has been applied by a physiotherapist or other health professional to provide support during activity and the person sporting the tape is also actively involved in a rehab or corrective exercise program. This is the best case scenario but sadly, not the norm.
Just because you have worked or played hard for years, does not necessarily mean that you have to suffer through aches and pains. The human body is an amazing machine. The intricacies of how the muscles, joints and connective tissues all work together to keep us upright and moving are mindboggling. It is true that there are some health conditions such as arthritis, that cause irreversible damage to the joints, that are typical to the aging process in a large percentage of people. However, even the symptoms and discomfort associated with those health conditions can be drastically reduced if the body is in balance.
I like to compare the human movement system to the fly (rain cover) on a tent. It sits atop the tent and has many tensioning ropes that come off of the edges, each being pulled down to anchor it to pegs in the ground. Let’s compare this to the knee cap (patella). The knee cap sits on top of the junction of the knee joint where the bones of the upper and lower leg meet. As you can see in the image below, there are many muscles that act on the knee cap, each attaching from different angles with various lines of pull.
If any one of those muscles is too tight or weak, it can cause the knee cap to move outside of its normal path which can lead to joint damage and discomfort. The knee is just one example of the complexity of joint function and the importance of muscular balance in restoring or maintaining proper joint mechanics.
The discomfort that accompanies joint dysfunction isn’t something that you just have to live with!
***If you are experiencing pain, the first step should always be to make an appointment with a medical doctor, physiotherapist, or other health professional to be assessed and diagnosed. ***
As a corrective exercise specialist, I am trained and certified to administer movement assessments that will help to identify muscle imbalances as well as design customized exercise programs that will help to restore balance and get your body moving with optimal efficiency. I can also design programming based on the recommendations of your doc or therapist that provided the diagnosis.
Please do not go out and buy the fancy tapes and braces and follow some YouTube video that claims to know how to alleviate your pain with their taping techniques! This should be left to a professional, and furthermore, without actually working to correct the muscular imbalances and improper movement techniques, those braces and tape are simply a bandaid and I am sure that you don’t want to have to keep taping or bracing every time you want to move your body!
If you would like more information about corrective exercise and how it might help you to improve your athletic performance, ease of movement, and/or quality of life, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line. It is my passion and brings me such joy when I can prove to someone that they are not destined for a life of pain and movement limitations.
**One final note; it is never too early or too late to address movement problems. I have worked with clients ranging in age from 8-80. **
Young people these days are pushed to their limits in sports and can develop movement dysfunctions which if not corrected can lead to major injury.
Corrective exercise can also benefit the aging population by helping them to maintain or regain their independence, improve balance and agility thereby reducing the risk of falls, and improve quality of life by allowing them to enjoy their retirement without having chronic pain!