There are two major phases in pain recovery: pain mitigation and pain prevention/return to activity.
When you are in an active state of pain, you are in the pain mitigation phase. This means that every action that you’re taking should be focused on improving your pain. This includes a reduction in pain intensity, size, change in location (closer to the spine) and improved nerve function. This is also the time when you are to avoid or modify the painful activities.
If you are outside of the 12 week healing window of acute injuries, and you’re still experiencing pain, then pain mitigation is still a large part of your recovery. However, if your pain is <3/10 you can get ready to move onto the pain prevention/return to function stage. This stage will also begin once you find a series of positions/movements/exercises that have reduced your pain enough for you to feel confident in moving.
If you google, injury prevention exercises or stretches, you’ll come across a number of articles and programs that talk about “bulletproofing” your body so it doesn’t get injured. If you purchased these programs, you’ll notice that they are often isolation exercises used to strengthen specific muscles to minimize the incidence of injury. In essence, you’re making your body more resilient to take on the stresses of what ever activity you are doing. Here are the challenges to programs that are designed to “bulletproof” your body…
1) They are long. Not everyone has the time nor the mental capacity to follow an extra hour of work to prevent injury. We are all very busy individuals, and it can be challenging to spend even 30 minutes on self care.
2) Equipment focused. Even though programs are designed with lighter weights, it still requires equipment like bands, dumbbells, kettlebells and even more. If these were already pre-purchased from the pandemic, this isn’t a problem; but it can be challenging if no equipment is present in the home to follow them.
What these programs don’t usually address is how to approach your activities without producing pain. They don’t show, how to efficiently pick something up from the floor, or how to squat more efficiently. These programs would often correlate with something like this:
Ok, so you have back pain when picking something up from the floor. You probably have weak glutes and weak back extensor muscles. So we are going to do bird dog exercises and back extensions to build up that strength. But these programs won’t usually cover the concepts of: hinging at your hips, contracting your abs, leaning that torso forward.
After working with 1000s who’ve suffered and recovered from sciatica pain; I learned that we can save time and improve outcomes by going directly to the source of the issue, which is addressing how these activities are executed. Pain with picking up your child from the floor? Let’s take a look at that, what needs to be addressed in this scenario. Picking a child up from the floor is very similar to the deadlift. Let’s make this activity more safe by focusing on picking something up from the floor.
Pain with sitting? Let’s look at sitting position, where is your weight distributed?
Pain with walking, let’s talk about how you are walking.
If you are ready to get back into an activity that you love, but are afraid of hurting yourself again, book a free strategy call with us. During this 30 minute call, will discuss your journey, your goals, and come up with a plan of action for you. You can book here.
If you want to try to manage your pain on your own and don’t want to leave your home, our Sciatica Protocol was designed to accelerate your healing process without any fancy equipment or time (less than 15 minutes per day). You can check it out here.