This, in a sentence, is the fundamental difference between most health providers and the information they provide to people that ask them for help.
The light or the dark side of the force.
Now we all remember what Yoda told us about the dark side.
Fear is the path to the dark side.
Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.
So much of current health advice is Anakin Skywalker all over.
Fear of movement, fear of injury, fear of pain.
Fear leads to avoidance, avoidance leads to deconditioning, deconditioning leads to overloading, overloading leads to pain. Not quite the same ring to it but you get the idea.
Look up a topic, or a body part, or a problem.
Manual handling (i’ve already had a bit of a rant here on that subject), ergonomics, pain, injury management, shoulder, knees and toes, knees and toes.
What you will see is scary images, negative advice encouraging the avoidance of difficulty and discomfort and a bleak and dim view of potential recovery.
So many people have been and still are put on a dark path by the poor advice they receive from a health professional.
It is a systemic attitude of avoidance and passivity.
You will have heard it before – “You shouldn’t lift like that, you’ll hurt yourself doing that, you can’t sit like that”. Constantly telling you what you can’t do. Telling you to avoid the unavoidable.
It’s also complete bollocks.
It is no different with injury treatment – “You should stop playing sport, you are too old, there is nothing you can do, this exercise is bad for your back or knee or shoulder” – bollocks.
“Do some stretches and you’ll be fine, see how you go for 6 weeks, just swim and ride a bike” – bollocks.
If health professionals are so scared of pain, injury and hard work, what hope do the people needing our help have??? Pain, injury and rehab can be scary enough without getting loaded with a bunch of bullshit from your doctor or physio.
It all stems from the outdated and inaccurate view of the human body as fragile. Your spine is robust, you are very adaptable. Tissue changes with time, your nervous system is there to protect you, but it can all be trained to handle more. It just takes time, effort, dedication and good help.
Sometimes shit happens. Things break, snap, hurt. But your body repairs most of that on it’s own. If you can’t do the things you need or want to most of the time it’s not your body’s fault.
So if you have to bend a lot at work, get really good at bending.
If you want to run lots, get really durable so you can run lots.
If you sit in front of a computer, get really strong so sitting in front of a computer is super easy.
If you have pain with something, get a better understanding of why, work out a way through it and get so good at it that it feels great.
If you have arthritis, bulging discs, rotator cuff tears, flat feet, poor posture, tight hamstrings, clicky hips, or any of the other completely normal things that happen to humans, guess what? So do millions of other people. Many of those millions have zero pain and are doing whatever the hell they want.
So, are there things that you want or need to do that you are finding difficult?
There are 2 solutions.
Avoid it – gradually do less and less until you can’t do any of things you want.
Get better at it – work at it, seek help that will support you, weaponise yourself.
When you get better at that thing, what will be next?
We can help you with the second one.
Until next time