Life Skills: Decoding patterns in the 166 hours per week you're not in PT
You have 168 hours total in a week, but I may only see you as a PT client for maybe 1-2 hours of that. That makes it very difficult to determine what is exactly causing everything in your pain situation.
Therefore, awareness of your movements and positions during the day is so important.
For example, if you are not aware that you our slumping in your chair to the right all the time, and your leg falls asleep after 20 minutes, but you continue to sit at the computer for another hour, then you're going to end up in more pain.
However if you are aware of this, then you change positions quickly because you understand the underlying physiology of the nerve being pinched and that's sitting for longer than 20 minutes we need to be moving quite often and so it is important that we realize that we do that during our days.
Often our conscious mind reasons with what we've been programmed to sit up a certain way or to stretch a certain area because we think were doing good for it, even though it may absolutely kill you to actually do that stretch or to sit that way. What I want you to do is to listen to your body going to position it feels maximally comfortable and hang out there for a little while. Adjust the height of the chair, how you lean, where your arms and legs are, etc. Hang there in a comfy position for a little while, and then see how you do when you come up to sit upright or stand up or whatever you want to get into.
Oftentimes that upright position will now feel much better and it will feel forced, and you can stay in that position a lot longer. Then when you feel like you’re uncomfortable, then it's time to move again, which is likely to be done throughout your entire day. Once you have this down in your head that you need to listen to our body says because the non-conscious part of our brain and our body is so much more intelligent than what we can consciously process. Some scientists say it is 1 million times greater, some say 10 billion times greater than what their conscious mind can do. It is time we understand, recognize, and appreciate that amazing signaling system that our body is.
In Total Motion Release, one of the lessons is called Life Skills. This is to look into the other 166 hours that you are not in the PT clinic each week to help you find out when you are causing harm to your body and when things are good for your body. In general, the language of the body is comfort, and we need to listen to the body when it tells us to change positions. Too often we get focused on something else such our computer screens or iPhones, when our body tries to tell us politely that something is not right. At first this is like a nice polite knock on the door saying, “ Excuse me, could you please move around a little bit, my back is hurting a little “.
However, as that message is ignored, then the knock on the door gets louder until the pain signal is pounding the door in. Our goal with life skills is to get you to realize when you are starting to cause irritation to your body before you are in a state of complete misery due to lack of awareness.
This might mean that when you're quite uncomfortable, you will have to move around quite a bit, which actually isn’t too surprising since we know that movement is the body’s way of trying to heal. You need to do a lot of exploring to figure out which way you need to shift here, where you need to put a pillow there which leg needs to be up to it like to be slumped or leaning back or to the side, etc. It is all about listening to the wisdom of what our bodies trying to tell us and to ask you follow it.
Too often I hear people say that they need to sit up a certain way you need to sit up tall in their chairs or their chairs and supportive enough for this or that about the environment around them. None of this has been proven at all by scientific studies that an upright posture is better than one that's shifted a little bit for a certain person. Yes, ideally we would like to be more aligned so we have excessive force is going through the body, but we have to realize that we are not meant to be just sitting in one place or to stay stationary,
In general, the equation to help you keep your body in a healing mode is this:
GOOD >> BAD
(movements and positions)
This is a pretty simple equation, but don't let this simplicity discount the power that it has. We need to find more good movements and positions and try to decrease the bad movements and positions. In general this really helps get the body back online to its healing mode.
One example that Tom Dalonzo-Baker will use is a cut across the palm. If you want healing to happen, then it is best to close up the hand and let the wound heal before you stretch the handout. If you open your hand too far too soon, then you create damage and usually that hurts. The goal is obviously to open hand eventually, but we have to let the body do its thing to heal as we open it up gradually. The more aware people are of these bad movements and positions, then the better these people do with therapy.
Now that doesn't mean that these people are constantly neurotically searching for positions in thinking about their body moving here and there. At the beginning there is more conscious awareness placed on this yes, but intuitively our bodies know what they need to do to move and get better and we just need to let it. The movements that I teach in the clinic help you to get that awareness and intuition.
There is such satisfaction and joy that I get when I see that people are able to help adjust themselves here and there and move their bodies way they need to it home without me being right there in the clinic to help them. I am really aiming for you to have all the tools you need so you can help yourself and know how to fix yourself if and when a pain comes along again.
Another thing we get by listening to our bodies is to know if we are living in harmony with the world around us. If are buzzing here and there in high brainwave activities watching lots of TV hanging out near electronic devices, eating on the go, not getting enough sleep, eating lots of junk food is generally not healthy.
Our bodies are such teachers, and the signal of pain can be such a gift that tells us when something is really wrong and that we are off the path of where we need to be to live a happy and healthy life. When we start welcoming that pain into our lives and thank it for teaching us something, then our perspective drastically shifts to one of solutions-based thinking versus problems-based thinking.
Trent Corey PT, DPT
Find Yourself Running, LLC
Xtra Mile Physical Therapy
Plus: Whenever you’re ready... here are 3 ways I can help you feel fit, healthy and strong again without pain meds, injections or surgery...
1. Grab a free copy of my book
Outrun Knee Pain -> Click Here
2. Request a Total Body Diagnostic Test.
We've got room on our schedule for a few new patients this month and if you’d like to find out exactly what's going on in as little as 20 minutes, maybe even just get a 2nd opinion... just send me a message at m.me/FindYourselfRunning with the words “TBD”. You can also click here to fill out a quick form so I can help you more.
3. Work with me and our team privately.
If you’re serious about getting out of pain and back to running, and you’d like to work directly with me to help you feel Fit, Healthy and STRONG again... just send me a message at m.me/FindYourselfRunning with the words ”ALL IN!” ... tell me a little about what's going on and what you’d like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details! 👈