Talk about consistency (or lack there of)

So the last post discussed consistency, that is, consistency of care and your home exercise program.  What I have currently lacked is consistency in updating our blog!  The summer has been a whirlwind of activity full of racing and training and, of course, working with all of our wonderful clients.

As the fall season approaches, many of our dedicated active folks are aiming for fall races or events.  Whether it be a marathon, 1/2 marathon, a triathlon or simply a 5K run or just getting back on the wagon of sorts to fitness and wellness, I am sure there will be a few clients walking through our doors in the coming weeks trying to iron out the last kinks. 

Over the years, I’ve had clients come to me to “fix” there nagging injuries or pains in the 11th hour.  They have come in saying, “Well I am doing the (fill in the fall running race) in a couple of weeks…”. I subsequently begin to ask all the pertinent questions regarding their condition to ascertain whether they should grin and bare it or bag it.  As an endurance athlete myself, I understand the ins and outs of this argument.  I also have the luxury of knowing whether or not I will do permanent damage to my overall health in the future.  While most of the time these last minute “fix me” moments are nothing to worry about long term, the client goes on to complete their event without issue or minimal issues.  I always try to be realistic and optimistic of the possibility of completing the event the client is looking to do.  Certainly a re-evaluation of goals is needed.  Keep in mind, there are also conditions that simply won’t just settle down (even with treatment) in 2 weeks before the big race.  Disheartening, as it may seem, especially if the event is a big thing in your life (first time, a qualifier event, etc.).  Nobody ever wants a DNF (did not finish) in the results that gets etched into internet stone.  It’s a pride thing.  Toe the line and hope your body doesn’t balk at the idea of pushing yourself to get through the event or DNS (did not start).  I have encountered this moment for a major race in my triathlon career and opted for the former over the latter.  I reassessed my goals and just made an experience of it knowing my results would not be reflective of my potential.  It also motivated me to get back to that race again to compete and not simply participate.  My disclaimer as a PT to a client: do as I say, don’t do as I do.  Obviously, everyone has a choice but be aware of those consequences.   

Usually the lesson in all of this: come in sooner and preferably as the problem develops (say within 2 weeks of onset), rather than hoping (and perhaps praying) that it will go away on it’s own without appropriate care.  If it hasn’t gone away by 2 weeks, seek advice from a health care professional (ie live person) and be weary of the internet.  Admit it, we’re all guilty of trying to self diagnosis our conditions/illnesses.  Take what you get off the internet with a grain of salt and not gospel.  Your condition may not be entirely that “textbook” case.

Dr. Jamie So

Jamie So, PT, DPT, is the owner and physical therapist of Manual Therapy Effects.

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