Strength & Fitness

How did I get injured?

This might be a question for many of our NorthFit members. What is causing my back pain, shoulder pain, or hip pain? These are valid questions as there is so much to learn about working out even though some of us have been doing this for years!

Rest assured, Coach Brady, Coach Zac, and Coach Tyler are currently working through their certification through Active Life, so don’t hesitate to ask them a question or two. But wait, what is Active Life? Active Life is a program that teaches how to “eliminate pain without leaving the gym.”

Dr. Sean Pastuch is the owner and founder of Active Life who had released a YouTube video that discusses and visualizes how people get injured.It isn’t always the movement itself, but the daily activities in our lives that lead up to that point of injury. For example, low back pain. The strength piece of the workout is working to a heavy deadlift. Once you hit your max deadlift,your lower back lights up and you now feel strain and pain in that area. One of the questions Dr. Pastuch asks is what have you done today before you get to the gym?

There are a few things at play when life leads up to an injury during a workout. Pre-existing conditions, anatomical defect, and functional diagnosis. Capacity, which is the maximum amount that one can lift, is the baseline.

Pre-existing load translates into things that are already bothering us whether it be injury or anatomical defect (muscle strain, labrum tear, etc.). The pain that is generated is not by itself generating pain, it tends to be lifestyle that leads up to the pain. Stress, diet, and recovery play a huge role in how your body adapts to different loads in a workout. Questions to ask yourself are, what is causing me stress, how is my diet, and am I getting enough sleep at night?

Functional diagnosis is defined as muscle weakness, soft tissue dysfunction, mobility, strength, and balance, all of which add to injury or pain if not addressed. The coaches are learning how to analyze movements and what exercises will help to eliminate pain.

Visualize this scenario. You are coming to the gym after along day of office work such as answering emails and sitting in meetings, your average desk job. After the warm-up, you begin to work your way to heavy deadlift for the strength exercise of the day. You have now reached your one rep max at 499 pounds, which feels amazing. Then you put that extra pound on, and all hell breaks loose. You are now in pain because of that one pound. What’s next? The doctor’s office of course! Generally, the doc will ask what brings you here today and you go onto explain you were performing a dead lift at 500 pounds when the pain in your lower back was triggered. What does the doc tell you? Don’t do deadlifts.

How can we alter pre-existing conditions? A few ways are to reduce stress, eat better, and recover. Shrink your needs/wants (work,exercising) to manageable doses and understand that injury comes from pre-existing conditions, not because the dead lift was heavy. Injury happens when load exceeds capacity.