What’s that, you say? Fix my aches using just 3 steps? SIGN ME UP! Yes, it’s true! The simple (one weird old trick) way to get rid of persistent, painful issues is: 

….wait for it……

…..are you excited yet?….

…..dusting off your stretchy Therabands, readying the ice cubes, the compression socks and looking for your KT tape?……..

Here you go! 

1.) Identify What Hurts

2.) Figure Out Why It’s Overly Stressed

3.) Fix It.  (Hint- how to fix it depends on the answers to #1 and #2). 

Well…… what about the usual tips and tricks? Don’t you mean “Try This Shoe” or “Ice The Heck Out Of It” or “Stretch This Muscle Every Thirty Minutes” or “Lift Heavy Things” or “Put Tape On It” or “Try No Shoe” or “Wear This Insole” or  “Scrape It With a Metal Tool”? 

And, don’t get me wrong. Those might be very useful things. But, consider this scenario: 

You get home from a really long work day and find, to your horror, that your kitchen faucet has gone rogue and water is pouring out of your sink onto your floor- three inches deep! Oh no! 

Do you first  a.) grab a bucket and furiously start bailing out water and hope that you can keep using your sink despite the leak- as long as you keep bailing fast enough?

Or, do you b.) shut off the water, figure out why the faucet broke and then repair it? 

As a physical therapist who specializes in treating running injuries– this scenario is really common. Most of the available advice about “Treating Injuries” boils down to treating the symptoms of an injury or trying a grab-bag of remedies that might work, or might not. This amounts to using a bucket to bail out water off your proverbial floor. 

I think there’s a much more useful way to approach this problem. Injuries are your body’s way of telling you that something is getting too much stress and not enough ability to recover. 

Let’s say that again- because it’s REALLY IMPORTANT. A injury means that some part of your body is either getting too much stress or can’t recover. Or both. 

So… Alison…. you say…. that’s super awesome…… but what about my aches and pains? 

Ah yes! Those! Stay tuned for Part II