Too much of a good thing hurts!

Knee pain sucks, particularly when it’s of your own volition.

You see I love movement and when fuelled by passion and a stubborn nature, the prospect of improving my deep squat was too tempting. As a result I spent significant periods of time stretching, mobilising, kneeling and squatting. Unfortunately blinded by the potential self satisfaction of completing my goal, I forgot all about my body.

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Our bodies structure and function are contributed to by our movement habits over our entire lives. Our cells will adapt to the the forces acting upon them by the way we move our body. The only problem is that adaptation takes time. If you overload the body with forces that it’s unable to cope with then tissues are likely to fail and injury is the result. So when my over enthusiastic attitude to deep squatting was introduced to the cells in my knee that had adapted to twenty odd years of chair sitting, it wasn’t surprising that it couldn’t tolerate the load.

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An example of using a squat in a functional context

It’s the same with any new load we are introducing to our body. Getting back into jogging, painting the house or landscaping the garden are activities that involve loads the body isn’t used to supporting and tissues are put at greater risk of injury.

There is no secret to avoiding these situations and ending up on the treatment table. Firstly move often and in lots of diverse ways. The more your body is used to working over head, on hands and knees or with heavier resistance, the more capacity it has to deal with load then if you were to encounter it without any conditioning. Secondly break up tasks that require repetitive movements or heavy loads. If you need to clean the whole house break it up into rooms over several hours or even days!

As for my knee, well with a little deload, osteopathic treatment and some focused movements; I’m ready to tackle my squat once again. Though perhaps this time I’ll practice what I preach and give my cells a chance to adapt to the new load.

Even with the best intentions, injury happens. If you need some assistance make sure you see an osteopath to help get you moving again.

 

References

  1. Nutritious movement
  2. Mechanotransduction
  3. Injury biomechanics

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