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Waiting to Reach Threshold?

Posted Aug 24 2008 4:03pm

According to Princeton researchers, one in four Americans have daily pain .

Unfortunate? Yes. Surprising? It would depend who you ask.

I'm a firm believer that most people are just waiting to reach threshold. With so many sedentary folks - and those who are actually exercising doing a lot of moronic stuff (machines, excessive aerobic training), it's just a matter of time until a chronic overuse condition comes to fruition - or something traumatic occurs.

Additionally, just because folks aren't symptomatic doesn't mean that they don't have structural defect. It's estimated that approximately 80% of Americans have disc bulges and/or herniations that are asymptomatic, and I'd put the number of spondylolysis (vertebral fractures) right up in that ballpark as well. All baseball players have labral fraying in their shoulders, but not all of them are in pain. A lot of folks have tendinopathy under the microscope, but don't actually present with pain - YET.

So what can you do?

First off, if you're sedentary, move. Something is better than nothing!

If you're already active, when it comes to your health, think "inefficiency" and not "pathology." The conventional medical model tells us to wait until we have pain to get something checked out. To me, a lack of hip internal rotation range-of-motion, fallen arches, and poor scapular stability are all example of issues that you need to address before pathologies present as pain and loss of function.

If you've got shoulder or upper back issues, check out Inside-Out and Secrets of the Shoulder .

If your hips are tight, check out our Magnificent Mobility DVD .

Lower back pain? Try Dr. Stuart McGill's Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance .

If it's knee problems, Mike Robertson's Bulletproof Knees is for you.

Cruddy ankle mobility? I like Mike Boyle's Joint-by-Joint Approach to Training .

A little education and a small financial investment early-on will do wonders for saving you a lot of pain, time, and cash down the road.

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