If you only look at the site of pain to get rid of a problem you are missing a massive trick.Elle X
Elbow pain – Everyone loves a case study – Yes even therapists get injured!
This occurred whilst pedal powering Stu and mines way around West County Clare in Ireland. We were just starting our second day of cycling in the surprisingly sunny climes of Ireland. When hitting the 5 mile mark my right elbow began to ache a bit. Strange as I don’t normally have a problem with my elbow but I did the classic of … you’ve guessed it wait and see if it goes away. Two miles later it had not gone away – surprise surprise. At this point I shouted to Stu to pull over as I was not going to let this ruin a perfectly beautiful ride. Now interestingly I had become aware that my left foot was not as stable on the pedal as my right – bare this in mind, a nice clue.
Assess the whole body, don’t just guess.
We pulled over and I took a moment to assess my body. Now if you have been a client of mine you will be familiar with this. This is where I have you stand however you stand, no best behaviour, and just relax. I have you become aware of where your weight is in your feet. One foot more than the other? More in your fronts or backs of feet? More one side or the other? Does one foot feel different to the other? This is a fantastic tool to start building up a picture of how your body might be working it’s muscles. Have a try. The aim is to feel balanced both front back, side to side, foot to foot. I could feel my weight was heavier in my right foot – not ideal! This means I have more weight loading through the right side of my body meaning the right side muscles and joints have to work harder!
It was a mass management problem, not the elbow!
The answer was easy I needed to carry out a few simple shifting and weighting moves to my left to balance my body out. 60 seconds later quality exercises done, I checked in again where I was weighting in my feet – even! I got back on my bike and not a problem for the rest of the cycling holiday. Hey presto! It wasn’t an elbow problem I was having it was a mass management problem I was feeling. The symptom was the elbow pain but the problem was my weight had shifted over to the right putting more weight through my right elbow causing the right elbow pain.
Had I got obsessed with the elbow pain I would have been chasing my tail. This is why I love the work that I do. By looking at the big picture of the body you see things in a new light. After all pain is your body asking you to make a change somewhere – not necessarily to where you are feeling the pain.
Until next time …
Knowledge is absolutely power but only when ACTION is taken