Don't let pain be the only reason you get treatment.
When do you you usually get soft tissue treatment/massage? Is it when those pesky headaches come one or when that pain in the knee rears its ugly head? Or do you like to prevent pain coming on in the first place by having regular maintenance treatment?
It is in our nature to leave things until they are bad before we will seek help. Just like with our cars most people will take their cars to the mechanic only when the car is playing up rather that booking it in for regular scheduled maintenance. Our bodies are much more valuable that our cars (some people may disagree) so it is just as important to get our body in for a regular maintenance treatment.
You don't wait until you are smelly before you have a shower. If you did then you probably wouldn't be too popular. No offence meant to you if this is how you gauge your cleanliness. Showering daily prevents bacteria building up and getting infections, just like regular soft tissue work prevents injuries popping up.
Most injuries are caused by repetitive traumas to soft tissues. Whether it be the myofascia (muscle/fascia), ligaments, tendons or nerves. This means that even when you have no pain you are accumulating a soft tissue injury through exercise, your posture, your thoughts/emotions and general day to day activities. Even if you have a previous traumatic injury to your soft tissues there will still be a component of repetitive strain that will aggravate this as well. Simply put if you had a previous injury from years ago it may still be getting irritated and go under the radar without you even noticing.
We often get signs that an injury is on its way. You may feel a tightening or the occasional stabbing pain or tingling. This will then go away only to flare up later on down the track.
Trauma = Force/Load x Repetitions
This simple formula can give you an idea of how trauma comes about. If the force or load is high then it will only take a few repetitions to cause some trauma to the soft tissues. If the force or load is low, say sitting a desk with poor posture or typing on the computer, the repetitions will be high. So over time this injury could be just as bad. It’s like your brake pads in your car. Repetitive braking will cause them to wear down over time. You don't notice this happening until you hear a loud squeak or your brakes fail and it’s time to get them replaced.
Studies and clinic experience have shown that the person most likely to get injured is the person who was injured within the last 6 months. If you have been in pain in the last 6 months and now feel like you are “cured” then it is time to revisit the treatment and have a follow up as you may find that pain is just around the corner. If you are out of pain and you have gone back to doing exactly what you used to do that got you into pain in the first place, it is unrealistic to think that the pain will never come back.
When you have regular treatment your therapist can find and treat issues before they turn into pain. They can also address postural issues that can be contributing and give you advice on exercise and how to limit the stress on your body from daily repetitive tasks like sitting all day.
So there you have it. If you are not in pain then that is great, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t something lurking under the surface waiting to bite you down the track. If you haven't had a treatment in a while it’s time you make a booking and have a check up. Just like you would at the dentist. Dentists are the only allied health practitioners that ask you to book in an appointment in 6 months for a check up. Most musculoskeletal practitioners say the injury is fixed and wave you on your way saying good luck. Often in 6 months the injury returns if not managed properly as you have gone back to your old ways that got you in pain in the first place.
For more info or if you have any comments feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 02 9233 5769 or post comments on our Facebook page at www.facebook/muscletherapyaustralia. You can also book online.