Why you’re still in pain

Posted on August 8, 2012

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I’m quite early into my writing “career,” but I’d bet a lot of money this is going to be one of the most important things I ever write, yet one of the least read. 

You’ve been doing all your exercises. You feel confident in your plan.

Perhaps you’ve stumbled upon what “anterior pelvic tilt” means and think you finally found what’s causing your lower back pain.

lordosis

Or you’ve discovered what the rotator cuff is and you’re strengthening it.

Or you’ve realized how awful your bench press form is. You’ve just learned that your elbows should stay tight to your side; they shouldn’t flare.

Maybe you’ve discovered the posterior chain and you’ve started to do a ton of exercises for it. Realizing you’ve been doing way too many quad dominant exercises all this time. You just know this will get rid of your knee issues.

Or maybe you even stumbled upon the IT band, and a great stretch for itand you’re stretching the hell out of that bastard.

it band anterior and posterior portions

Credit to Anatomy Trains and Tom Myers

You’re doing all this work, you’re doing it everyday! You have laser focus on proper technique…yet your shoulder, knee, lower back, or whatever, still hurts.

What the hell?

Here’s the thing when it comes to getting out of pain: Corrective exercise is great, but it’s not enough. Because:

While you’re attacking your ankle mobility you’re sleeping for 6-8 hours every night with your feet bent like this:

foot pain sleeping

While you’re stretching the hell out of your IT Band you’re sitting all day with your foot turned out like this:

While you’re only strengthening your posterior chain you’re standing a bazillion times a day with most of your weight on one leg:

While you’re doing 10 different exercises to get rid of your anterior pelvic tilt you’re still walking around all day with the tilt.

You’re doing something that still needs correcting. Something remedial.

Sleeping

Sitting

Standing

Walking

These four things are what need to change. 

While some people can get away with only doing some corrective exercise and become pain free, a lot of people can’t. The kicker is corrective exercise MAY help how these four things go, BUT, correcting these four things WILL help these four things. (Obviously there are other things we do a lot throughout the day, like typing for many, I mention these four because off the top of my head they seem to be the most universal nowadays.)

Corrective exercise MAY help pain, correcting these four things WILL help pain. 

In fact, correcting these four things will help your corrective exercises. The opposite is just not guaranteed.

4 sets of 10 reps and some foam rolling every other day or so cannot offset hours upon hours of crappy sleep/sitting/standing/walking positions. You have to get unbalanced to get balanced.  ( <- Click for a way too in depth look at the math behind this.)

How you sleep becomes an exercise.

How you sit becomes an exercise.

How you stand becomes an exercise.

How you walk becomes an exercise.

When you’re trying to get out of pain every little thing you do, OUTSIDE OF THE GYM, becomes an exercise. 

Now go get exercising, and get out of pain.

(Check out my ebook on sleep positions here.)
 
 

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Posted in: Pain