Taking a break means something different to everyone. Some people head to see family for their break and relax at grandma and grandpas. Some people hit the beach and sit in the sand and get tan. Some families go on adventures such as skiing, sightseeing in San Francisco, or biking in Moab.
All I know is every once in a while everyone needs a break from the normal routine in life. So if you have decided, this week, to take a break from work, school or your regular schedule, don’t throw out your exercise too. Your heart and lungs are your hardest working systems, and thank goodness they never take a break.
Your muscles and joints can’t take a break, either, because muscles atrophy, or reduce in size in 3-5 days. That is fast. All that hard work in the last four months and all our gains have begun to disappear. Three days and the joints just don’t have the lubrication from the synovial fluid in them that they need, also. Synovial fluid is made when we move our joints, and that fluid is for the joint, like oil is for your car.
Without exercise nothing works quite right. I know some of you never stop training, and you on the other hand might be the one that has been training so much that you now have a tendonitis or a muscle strain or joint sprain.
That happens when we train in such a repetitive way or you have overworked a pattern of movement that causes the muscle and joint to start talking to you everyday. Remember that pain that lasts more than 3 days with training is not normal. Pain when you are training is telling you something and you need to listen to it.
If running is causing your knee to hurt every time you do it, but not when you are walking then something is wrong in your running mechanics and needs to be assessed. This is where your physical therapist comes into the picture. This is the physical therapists expertise.
They know how to assess movements and they are trained in being able to see dysfunctions in your normal movement chain. They see people everyday that have overuse syndromes and they assist people in overcoming these challenges. It may be that the runner with the patellar tendonitis has a hip that is too weak.
It may be they have IT band tendonitis because their hip flexor is too tight. Whatever the mechanics if your training regime includes a pain pattern every time you do it, something is not right. If you have iced and elevated and taken Advil and you still have pain after two weeks, you need a little assistance.
So head in to see your physical therapist. They can evaluate you in an hour and have
you back on the road again, with a home exercise regime of stretching and
strengthening of specific muscles, some kinesiotex taping, laser, ultrasound, etc so
no long-term break is necessary.
Sheree DiBiase, PT is the owner of Lake City Physical Therapy and she and her staff
can be reached at (208) 667-1988 for an evaluation, education and instruction so
you can be back out on the road again in no time. No break necessary.