A patient was in the office the other day describing that now she is very careful and thoughtful when she moves. She is more aware – today we would use the word “mindful”.
That’s good. And it’s just about the first thing we teach patients. To be otherwise is to risk relapse. It’s the thoughtless and mindless moves that get us in trouble. This is especially true when trying to bring about a recovery.
There are many opportunities to think of what you are doing as an event and to use the moment to “train” yourself to move correctly. By correctly I refer to correct alignments, to bracing yourself, and to breathing appropriately. In the ideal world all of this would be automatic and would not require focused attention (we don’t live in that world).
Getting into and out of a car/truck; climbing stairs or ladders; sitting down/getting up out of a chair; and any bending over (to lift or not to lift), these are all moments of risk for injury or re-injury if done incorrectly. Worse yet, if you move incorrectly often and for a long time you do damage to joint cartilage that will, eventually, cause you to have dysfunction. And with dysfunction it’s only a matter of time before you have degeneration and disease (Someday some expert will announce that you have arthritis that comes from “normal” aging.)
There are many benefits to moving correctly even if you are not recovering from an injury episode, besides not damaging your joints. For one you are stronger, just by virtue of proper alignment; and moving correctly will result in a increase in real strength of the muscles which are now used properly. (The muscles do their jobs in the way they are meant to – it’s a good thing!)
So when you make a move, make it an event that you participate in… so you don’t end up in an episode you don’t want to be in:-)