If you walked into Starbucks today at least half of the people in line would probably say they deal with the same frustration of that re-occuring hamstring pain after running or that trigger point in their neck while driving that you do. Okay, maybe they wouldn’t have your EXACT complaint, but 116,000 adults in the US suffer from chronic, re-occuring pain. So why is this number so high?
If you are like 95% of the population you have probably googled your symptoms, found a few hip or ankle stretches and felt temporary relief for a day or so. Maybe you have even gone to your primary care physician and they have given you some generic back bends to try.
You experience temporary relief and just when you get your hopes up that you won’t have to deal with it forever, it returns. Sound familiar? But it got better…so why does it keep coming back?
Good news, we can get rid of that annoying pain once and for all. We just have to treat the CAUSE of your pain as well as the source of it. But first lets get a better grip as to why that ankle pain may actually be coming from a weak core, or a lack of mobility throughout the hips.
Have you ever been in a group project and had to do double the work for your co-worker who had too many BBQs to attend the weekend before you presented the proposal? Who ends up looking and feeling like a disaster when show time rolls around- the person who slaved over slides and didn’t get enough sleep, NOT the person who slacked off and got plenty of rest over the weekend. The same thing happens throughout our bodies.
More times than not the muscle or joint that is in pain is picking up the slack of other muscles that aren’t pulling their weight during the task at hand- whether it be driving, playing tennis, or even walking down the stairs. 30% of injuries are from over overuse.
So why when we stop running for a week does our Achilles pain come back as soon as we return to the trails if it’s just from overuse? Even if you give your exhausted ankles(source) a break, your weak hip and core (the cause) have not been fixed- the ankle will continue to do double time. No matter how much your stretch that ankle, it is going to continue to compensate for that lack of glute, core, or quad control and in turn keep cutting your Saturday morning run short.
So do yourself and everyone around you that has heard you complaining about the same injury for the past 5 years a favor-come see a physical therapist. Let the professional be the detective and figure out what’s really causing your pain. You could surprise yourself when stretching a shoulder may actually help that back pain.