Tuesday 4 December 2018

The Reverse Domino Effect Of Health

"I sprained my ankle. Limping caused my hip to go out. Then I started getting back pain and it's traveled all the way up to my neck."

This is the domino effect occurring. We know for a fact that a dysfunction or injury left unattended long enough can lead to another. It's often small occurrences that begin individuals down a path toward long-term, wider-spread pain.

It's an unfortunate trend, but as we know, it's not necessarily a permanent one. Therapy and rehab, especially those involving movement and exercise, are proven to be able to address these dysfunctions and alleviate the symptoms.

However, it's also a trend for individuals who have experienced this sort of domino-collapse of their joints and muscular system that have a difficult time motivating themselves to begin making those changes for the better again. It can be easy to feel like the time and energy to address such a large number of different (albeit related) problems could be fruitless.

I like to remind clients, though, that it's not necessarily a matter of address every single ache and pain separately, though.

As a biological organism, the human body is good at organizing. In this I mean that this domino effect that we're considering can occur back in the OTHER direction!

I always start with broader corrective exercise when I first treat my clients, only narrowing the specificity down as needed. More often than not, broader changes with how the body moves are enough to begin making the mechanics that we want to see start clicking together. Addressing one area of dysfunction (not even necessarily in reverse of what order it occurred in) can lead to the body further correcting and managing other areas along the chain.

Not acknowledging this reverse domino effect is to not acknowledge the body's own ability to run operations on the most efficient manner that it can. We're a sophisticated system that is excellent at making do with what it has. Small changes CAN make a big difference, and only when those small changes hit a plateau in effect do we need to begin nitpicking for further progress.


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