Most of my clientle are damaged. By that, I mean (this figure is not meant to be accurate so don’t quote it) 90% of the individuals I work with sustained their particular injuries or ailments through mundane circumstances. For example, close to 100% of the folks I train with herniated disks sustained them by either bending over (to pick a pencil or toothbrush or something) or from sneezing/coughing. Rare is the individual who has herniated cervical disks because he was fighting a guy 50 pounds heavier than him and he got picked up and dropped on his head (my clients are very interesting, however!).
This past weekend, I severely pulled a muscle (likely trapezius and/or splenius capitis) by performing the demanding task of stretching my arms overhead while sitting at my computer. It so incapacitated me that I spent the better part of the weekend sitting absolutely still with my neck in neutral position, as any slight movement or shift in bodyweight caused extreme shooting pain up and down my neck and shoulders.
By the way, did anyone watch the X-Games? How disappointing for Shaun White (and he placed second in superpipe, in case you were wondering). But peaking (or not) during competition is a topic for another posting.
What am I trying to say here? It is this:
Sooner or later, if you leave your house or move any part of your body, it will happen to you.
This truism is even moreso if you are involved in athletics. Countless repetitions of joint motion, incalculable amounts of force being absorbed by all of the joints in the body, untold microtrauma occuring in the muscle tissue itself – and if your activity involves contact? Fuggeddaboudit.
I am often asked why I hold such a conservative stance on training. Why not teach Olympic snatches, or kick somebody’s ass the first (or 2nd or 3rd) session? Why not have people train for 2 hours or 4 or 5 days a week?
The answer is simple: the more “movement” (especially under load) that you do, the more likely you are to get hurt. If you get hurt, you can’t train (or exercise, period). And my top priority is to make sure that the client gets results without getting hurt.
Often times, the reason that a person came to train with me is because they already got hurt doing something else or working with someone else. They don’t need any more problems in their life.
Arthur Jones said it best – if in the pursuit of health you end up in worse condition than when you started, why did you bother starting at all?
So endeth my rant for today.
(Incidentally, I went to Dr. Prakash for an adjustment today – it hurt like hell but I feel pretty good right now. Of course, if I head over to the jiu-jitsu academy I might as well get out my pen and sign the divorce papers right now.)