Wrong bulletin board

Moving Wrong for the “Right Reasons”

In Health & Wellness, Lifestyle, Therapist's Thoughts by Advance TherapyLeave a Comment

by Brian Allred
This morning I realized something while I was scraping the frost off of my car windows. I always do it the same way. I scrape the driver’s side of the windshield and the side window then I walk the long way around the back of the car to do the same thing on the other side. I have to go the long way because of the tree that I park next to. There isn’t enough room for me to walk between the front of the car and the tree. My realization was that now I can go the short way because we cut the tree down…two years ago. I was honestly shocked to realize that for the last two years I have been going out of my way to avoid a tree that isn’t there.⠀

I’ve seen the same thing in other ways. When I hurt my back, I started sitting on the edge of my bed to put my clothes in the dresser because it hurt to bend over and do it. I haven’t had back pain in years, but I’ve learned to compensate for the pain and I guess nobody ever told me that I didn’t have to compensate anymore. I said something about that to a patient and she told me, “I still get out of bed the same way they taught me after my back surgery 27 years ago.” At least I know that it’s not just me.⠀

It never ceases to amaze me how good our bodies are at adapting. We usually don’t even think about it. We just start limping when our knee hurts. We don’t consciously think, “Since my knee hurts, maybe I can take a shorter step on one side so that I can decrease the stance time and therefore lessen the ground-reaction force which will result in decreased pain.” Our bodies just know. We can do the wrong things for the right reasons. It’s seriously impressive—and that’s coming from a guy who spends a good deal of his day trying to get people to stop limping.⠀

The problem comes when our compensations stop being compensations and start being deviations—things that we do wrong for the wrong reasons. That’s the shoulder that shrugs when you lift your arm or the hip that doesn’t let you straighten up, or that little shuffle you do when you walk.⠀

So try to find the “invisible trees” that are changing the way you move. I’m sure you’ll be surprised at how many you’ll find and you’ll be able to start moving in ways that you haven’t moved in years.

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