The 5 Most Dangerous Words…
By: Dr. Christine Meckamalil, DC
“Maybe it will go away?” These are the 5 most dangerous words for any patient. You feel an ache or pain somewhere in your body either before, during or after an activity and you think to yourself….maybe it will go away. Being a runner and a health care provider, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve had this thought many times myself. In some cases we get lucky and the pain does go away, but often times it doesn’t and we keep ignoring it until we fall victim to an injury.
Injury prevention is a topic I am very passionate about both personally and professionally as Chiropractor. I am a firm believer in not only treating injuries, but also empowering my patients with knowledge about their bodies to help manage current concerns and prevent future setbacks. As a chiropractor, it is critical for me to understand what caused your injury in the first place and figure out how to minimize your risk of reoccurrence.
Injury prevention is a huge topic, so I find it easiest to explain by breaking it down into what I call intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic factors are elements within yourself such muscle strength, flexibility, range of motion, gait etc. Extrinsic factors include your environment, the frequency and duration of your activities, equipment, etc. Understanding the interplay of these factors is essential in keeping you injury and pain-free.
Every activity, whether it’s running, skiing or golfing, needs an adequate amount of strength, stability and flexibility of the structures that allow us to create movement. Let’s use running as an example. Although running is a very common activity, the area that a runner develops pain in their body is unique to the individual. Common areas that I address in treating runners are tight and/or weak calf, thigh and buttock muscles, ankle mobility and of course core stability. It is important to know your body well and more importantly, know what areas may be weak and begging for some TLC.
Once you understand the intrinsic factors, you can begin to address any extrinsic factors that may be affecting your performance. This can range anywhere from your training frequency/duration to the shoes you wear. You are probably starting to understand that there are many factors that can have a big influence on your risk of developing an injury. The next time you are doing a physical activity, take some time to analyze the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that may be influencing your performance. Through my own running experiences and years of treating patients of all levels of physical activity (from weekend warriors to elite athletes), the most important thing I’ve learned in that humans have an innate need to move and be functional. My ultimate goal is give you the tools you need to keep you moving and get you back to doing the things you love!