Let's Normalize Regular Movement Check Ups
Updated: Jan 18, 2022
We all go to the dentist before we know we have cavities. We go to the doctor for a yearly check up, and get blood work done to make sure everything is fine. Preventative care in these cases is the norm, so why don’t we do the same for our muscles and joints?
Whether you are an athlete, a weekend warrior, work an active job, or just move around
for housework and taking care of your kids, you use your
body. Consider how often and how hard you use your body, and now compare that to how you take care of it.
It is a widely held belief that annual and biannual checkups are integral in preventing disease processes and disorders from becoming bigger problems; they are also important to build and maintain a doctor-patient relationships. So, why is it the norm to only see a physical therapy practitioner (whether it’s an athletic therapist, kinesiologist, physiotherapist, chiropractor, osteopath, etc.) when we are already injured and in pain. And beyond that, (based on personal and anecdotal experience) it is more likely that one will wait until their pain causes disability or disrupts their daily life before they see a therapist! Reactive medicine is scary; preventative medicine gives us more control over our bodies and our overall health outcomes.
We know that injury risk can be mitigated by optimizing biomechanics through appropriately applied exercise interventions and on the other side, sport performance can be enhanced with optimal biomechanics! So why do we wait?
The muscles and joints that we use daily are not getting a routine tune-up. Your body will naturally take the path of least resistance; if you have a joint that is not moving correctly, your body will compensate by increasing motion at another joint, which can easily cause many possible chronic injuries/diseases down the road such as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis, tendinopathies, etc, and just as easily increases your risk of acute injury.
As movement specialists, athletic therapists and kinesiologists are especially adept at the assessment and diagnosis of movement dysfunctions that can create these issues. These issues don’t have to be an immediate problem or even have to be pain, but they can be inefficient movement patterns that lead to a decrease in speed and power, and be the difference between a win and a loss. It can be an inefficient movement pattern that leads to quicker fatigue, and a missed personal best. It can be a faulty movement pattern that increases risk for a chronic or acute injury.
Now, it is true that many sporting organizations require a pre-participation exam that may or may not include a movement screen, or have therapists easily available to assess and manage injury, however, for many artistic athletes not in a high level or professional company, this is not the case. It is the responsibility of the athlete, or (for youth athletes) the athlete's parents to recognize this importance and act on it. See a qualified professional once or twice a year, talk about how your body and your movements feel . Take a look at your basic and sport specific movement patterns. Talk about nutrition, sleep, stress. Prevent the issues before they start.
What is more cost effective, one appointment, once or twice a year, or several appointments, missed time from the activity you love, pain and an inability to do your tasks of daily living? The same way you would purchase a new piece of equipment, or supplements to increase your performance and recovery, or new workout clothes, invest in yourself and invest in regular check ins with a qualified practitioner to keep you moving at your best.
Ready to get yourself on the road to pro-active care? Email me here and let's get started.
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