We all know the joke: Patient: “When I go like this my arm hurts.” To which the doctor responds: “Well, don’t do that!” In physical therapy, that joke is not as silly as it sounds. In fact, instead of telling the arm-moving subject in the joke to “not do that.” I would say, “let’s do it differently.”
People have muscle and skeletal pains most often because of one or more stressors occurring in joints or muscles. When I treat a patient, I am often working to help them change the mechanics of the way they move and hence, decrease or eliminate the stressors. It’s one of the main reasons I incorporate Pilates into my treatments. It’s also why most of my patients will tell you that it is often difficult to tell where physical therapy leaves off and fitness exercises begin. And, that’s precisely the way it should be.
In fact, I often help runners, weight lifters and even fitness instructors who are experiencing pain simply by changing the way they move when they exercise. And then I take it a step further, and collaborate with other fitness professionals you might be working with, to be sure that the work you are doing with them is complimenting everything that we do. I don’t believe in turf wars. I prefer collaboration.