In this post I answer the top 10 most frequently asked questions about injury rehab.
1) How long will this take?
This is the question that everybody asks and which nobody can honestly answer precisely.
There are known healing times for different structures of the body; bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles for example.
However most people come to see me when those times have passed and they still don’t feel right.
In these cases the question should be, how long will it take to get stronger?
Figure that it takes around 8 weeks to begin to alter the structure of a muscle with regular resistance training.
Then figure how far you are from what you want to be able to do with your body. If you want to run a marathon and walking to the shops is an issue, we’ll be a while.
2) Have you ever helped somebody with this injury before?
It’s important to note that despite the neat categories we give them, no single injury is the same.
The structure that is angry or damaged might have a name, but the underlying causes will be different for everybody.
Ultimately the only thing we can improve is the muscular system. Whatever has happened, has happened.
Whilst your history is relevant, it’s what we do now that matters.
3) Why will these exercises work when the others I was given didn’t?
There’s no saying they will of course. What I can guarantee is that if this approach to exercise doesn’t work, then something else is gong on and I’ll refer you on for further investigation.
Over the years I’ve tried every other approach and nothing else comes close in terms of attention to detail and personalisation.
4) It’s my back that hurts, why are we working on my ankle?
In reality I rarely get this question because hopefully I’ve explained my process clearly.
I’m sure it pops into people’s minds on occasion however. In case you’re wondering, here’s my answer.
The muscular system is integrated. Weakness somewhere can have an impact anywhere. If I find significant weakness I go after it.
Whilst in many cases a biomechanical link can be found between significant limitations at your ankle and movement of your hip and trunk. Sometimes it’s just a question of this seems weak, let’s get it stronger.
5) Can I play golf this weekend?
This would apply to any activity that’s currently causing you issues, not just golf.
I don’t like to tell anybody to stop doing the things they enjoy and it’s usually not necessary.
If you’re in significant pain either during an activity or after, then you’re probably digging yourself a bigger hole however.
The bigger the hole, the longer it will take to come out if it.
Focus on the necessary work and you can get back to enjoying yourself without the negative consequences.
6) Should I stop stretching?
It depends. Are you attached to it? Do you enjoy it? If the answer is no to both then yes stop.
If however you find it useful then keep going until I can demonstrate it might not be doing what you think and can give you a viable alternative.
So basically yes.
7) Will this work online?
There’s no doubt an in person experience enables me to gather information faster. If however that’s not possible for reasons of geography. or the constantly evolving pandemic, yes online sessions work well. Surprisingly well in fact.
8) Is this related to my age?
Most certainly not. It’s true we may be more susceptible to injury as we age, not least because we tend to lose muscle with each passing decade once we reach 40.
Research consistently shows however, we can begin to reverse those changes at any time, even into our 90s. Age is not your issue.
9) Is it because I sit at a desk all day?
This might be a factor but what are the other options? Standing all day? This will usually cause just as many issues as it solves.
I get frustrated with the anti sitting brigade. Most of us have sedentary jobs these days. It’s far better to deal with our reality, than suggest all our issues would be solved if we were bare foot wandering the prairie. They wouldn’t. We’d just have different issues.
Improve the performance of your muscular system and you’ll be able to sit down as long as you like without worrying about it.
10) All the pros are doing it, why shouldn’t I?
The first and most obvious point? You’re probably not a professional athlete. These people have won the genetic lottery and different rules apply. That said, it’s worth noting that many athletes are in pain. What you see in competition is not the full story.
They are also human and susceptible to fads and snake oil salesmen like the rest of us.
Lastly sport is not about health, it’s about winning. Look at the joint replacement statistics in tennis for example and you’ll see it’s not the model to follow.