Alright let’s take a closer look at injuries caused from repetitive movement. Repetitive movement can be any movement or even static position held for long periods of time, day in and day out.
A few examples:
- Sitting for long periods of time: By far the MOST common cause of aches and pains throughout the body.
- Typing or mouse clicking: very common cause of shoulder, elbow, and wrist pain.
- Holding your baby: Very common for mothers to experience lots of aches and pains from carrying their baby in funky positions for long periods of time.
- Overtraining: Training the same muscle groups too often without enough rest and recovery.
- Texting or video games: Easily common source of hand, wrist, and elbow pain.
As you can see most of these repetitive movements come from outside the gym. So why do we start to feel the aches and pain when we workout. Like I’ve said before, exercise is not the cause of most injuries, it’s actually showing you where you have deficiencies throughout the body.
Yes it sucks, it’s uncomfortable and causes some pain when training but it can actually be a good thing. As these aches and pains start to come out, we can start to pinpoint where we have issues and can now start to address them.
Without exercise it could be years and years before you find out that you have tight hip flexors that are causing all this back pain and by then it would be extremely difficult to reverse 20+ years of sitting for 10+ hours per day.
Now of course injuries do occur inside the gym as well. Maybe an injury occurs in an instant from doing something that we really have no business doing, or from years and years of poor programming and not enough recovery work. Injuries could also be caused by improper movement patterns that are slowly causing muscles and joints to start breaking down and seizing up.
No matter what is causing the aches and pains, the protocol is pretty much the same to get some relief and solve the issues.
We must get the inflammation down, through rest, mobility work (soft tissue, and stretching) and slowing down on that particular movement if at all possible. As I’ve stated before, proper nutrition and sleep could really aid in inflammation but I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole on this blog.
When I say rest, you MUST give those specific tissues some kind of rest. I know this is extremely difficult for movements that are required for us to perform our jobs. I wanna use sitting as an example because I believe this is probably the most common cause of aches and pains throughout the body. Some quick examples of “resting” from sitting would be:
If at all possible try to get yourself into a standing desk. This alone would have a huge positive impact on your overall health. If for some reason, you cannot get into a standing desk, you must get yourself into the best possible position while you are sitting. Basically pay close attention to your posture. Big chest, shoulders pulled back and down, Abs and glutes engaged about 10-15%. If possible try to get up and get some quick stretches in that open up the hips and shoulders every hour or so. (You would also be more productive)
At home we are in complete control of how much we sit. If you have to sit all day at school or work, when you get home don’t just drop into the couch and binge watch netflix for another 2-3 hours. Go for a long walk, get some exercise, stay standing and cook a delicious meal, get some good mobility work in, play with the kids. Anything! Just don’t sit some more.
As far as soft tissue work goes, it’s very hard to do this wrong. If you have pain in any particular joint, we need to get slack to that joint. We do this by “Mashing” up the tissues above and below that joint.
Don’t over complicate this. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Use a heavy weight, get a deep tissue massage, or roll on a foam roller and Mash up your muscle tissue. You want to apply enough pressure to break it up (which might be a little painful) but not so much that causes you to breathe irregularly. Once you create some change in the tissue, then it’s a good time to add some static stretches. It takes a minimum of 2:00 to create change so try no to just stretch for 10 seconds and call it good.
Consistency is going to be key here. Just imagine how many hours of this repetitive movement it took to start causing issues. It’s going to take some time to reverse this. So be patient, stay consistent, and come up with a routine that works.
For more info on Soft Tissue work and efficient mobility work check out Becoming A supple Leopard
If you suffer from aches and pains caused by these common repetitive movements we can help!! Just schedule a Free Consultation today and we will come up with a game plan to relieve these issues permanently.