Spring fever is here.
Endurance season is picking up. Weekend warriors are starting to claim their place on the battlefield. Now is the time to get your house in order (if you haven’t already been working on it this winter) to ensure your spring/summer of sports, fun, general running-around-like-a-kid, goes as planned.
When your physical “house”, i.e. your body, is in order:
- You have high-quality mobility to support the movements or sport you prefer to do most
- You have strong and active glutes (b/c honestly, if you don’t have glutes, what have you got?)
- Your have solid posture, meaning you stand tall & square, your head doesn’t lead in front of your body, and neither do your hips
- You don’t show up to race start lines with all manner of ‘-itis’ pains (plantar, tendon, patellar, bursitis, and on on and onnnnnn… the suffix ‘itis’ denotes issues characterized by inflammation)
- You don’t have to plan for time on your training run to give your training buddies the rundown of all your aches & pains because you have none
- You aren’t having an affair with kinesiotape
- You aren’t wearing knee braces, ankle braces, or orthotics as a permanent part of your lifestyle (the use of these tools have a time and a place, when your body is in acute trauma and needs the external support. The goal is to eventually get your body to a place where it is strong enough to function well without them.)
The first step to getting your physical house in order is to figure out where your body is moving really well and where your body is doing a bad job of patching things by up using a cheap fix for a deeper problem.
Perfect example: I met an athlete this weekend who is dealing with some new pain in her plantar fascia. The typical treatments of ice & rest aren’t working (because those treat symptoms, not the root of the problem).
While her issue looks to be stemming from a few key checkpoints not being met in her posture & biomechanics – which we found through the evaluation process I took her through – the over-arching theme I found was that her muscles weren’t acting in the supportive manner they should be, given the loads she was placing on them. Over time, the body adapted to try to create some much-needed support, and in this case, it used the plantar fascia (among other, non-ideal-for-long-term-use things) to do most of the heavy lifting for her body.
You see, the plantar fascia acts as a tie-rod, undergoing tension when you load the foot. It’s been noted that the plantar fascia is capable of handling up to 14% of the total load of the foot. But when loads aren’t being supported correctly elsewhere in the body, the the brain decides to use the plantar fascia to handle more of the body’s load, and then it’s “Houston, we have a problem” for your foot.
While tendons, fascia, & bones all are excellent support structures, when they begin to be used in exclusion or replacement of muscles to support the body, that’s when problems can creep in. All structures need to provide the support they were designed for, and not more, (at least not for any extended period of time).
Quick tip to address plantar fascia issues:
Get thyself a golf ball and get to rolling your feet on it. Sure, a lacrosse ball works too. So does a dumbbell. If you can put it on the floor and press firmly down into it, it will work to massage the bottom of the foot and provide some relief from the tightness and discomfort that many face when the plantar fascia gets over-used.
While this does help to make the area feel better by creating some mobility/increased ROM, if the deeper issue of WHY the plantar fascia is being over-used isn’t addressed, this will be just like that client I met with…lots of treatment, better for a bit, then recurrence of pain. When I work with clients, this is where everything begins – addressing the root issue – and where you need to begin if you’re going to get your physical house in order.
Breakdowns are not just a ‘part of getting older.’ Consider that most of my youth athletes, ages 12-20, started with me because they were dealing with -itis type issues and they and their parents didn’t know what to do differently to fix the issue.
Defective movement patterns or imbalanced training programs are what lead to over-use injuries regardless of age.
Which is why a good place to start getting your physical house in order is by checking your movement patterns & posture; then we’ll know what needs to be made stronger and more supportive for all the movements that you want & need to be capable of doing.
We’ve got to treat the issue, not the symptom of the issue.
If you’re ready to get your physical house in order sign up for The Unbreakable Body!
My online clients get the same assessments, programming, and eye-on-the-prize attention that my in-person clients have been getting for 11 years. Once we start adjusting your movement patterns so you’re not over-relying on one part of your body to do the work that many parts should be doing – symptoms often disappear, not to return again.
I begin with new clients by finding how just how their body is moving now, how that’s working for them, and then build the programming around that. Sometimes we have a lot of mobility & correctives to do in order to start building a solid foundation. Other times, the foundation is pretty solid, but we’re seeing some leaks and holes that, if plugged, could raise their power & performance. Thinking it’s time to get your physical house in real order? Work 1-on-1 with me to do just that.