You Deserve A Fast, Full Recovery From Your Tennis Elbow, Tendonitis, Rotator Cuff – Or Other Aggravating Injury – But, Is Something Crucial Missing From Your Rehab?
Every Injury Has A Perplexing Pattern Of Weakness, Tension And Compensations That Often Feels Like An “Invisible Wall” You Can’t Get Past In Your Rehab Efforts
We’re going to de-mystify this seldom understood and rarely treated Invisible Wall, and discover how a unique therapy method can help you finesse your way around it…
And speed up your return to your strong, pain-free tennis, running, music, work life or just plain living – Without the exhausting struggle of fighting against it…
After all, hasn’t your recovery been a lot more difficult than you expected? As you try so hard to do everything you’re told you’re “supposed” to do…
You dutifully show up for your Physical Therapy visits, get the heat/ice/E-stim/Ultrasound, etc. and diligently do your exercises – But you don’t feel like your strength and mobility are improving much if at all…
Maybe you say it out loud, maybe you only think it, but you can’t help wondering:
“WHY, after all this time and effort, am I still in PAIN!?”
Well, this article is about to finally give you some much-needed insight into what’s missing:
Why, despite your best efforts, you still have so much tension, weakness, restriction and pain,
Why treating your physical injury (muscles, tendons, etc.) is only HALF the challenge,
And how you can escape this frustrating, painful trap with a completely different approach…
Whatever you do, please don’t settle for a stalled recovery and the idea that you may have to live with the pain or limitation. (Although, honestly, I’ve made that mistake in the past and suffered needlessly for it.)
What Part of You Needs to Heal? – Stupid Question??
Just as computer software can break down and crash… your own nervous system “software” can break down because of an injury… And that can sometimes be worse than the damage to your tissues.
I know, that probably sounds like a silly, obvious question when your Tennis Elbow, your Rotator Cuff or your lower back pain is driving you nuts!…
“It’s in my elbow… or the tendons of my shoulder… or the muscles of my back – Isn’t it?”…
Sure it is. Some of it, anyway – But not ALL of it. The truth is, the issue’s NOT all in your tissues…
There are two dimensions to every injury (and pain pattern) The best analogy I have is that it’s like hardware & software:
- Your physical tissues, like your muscles, joints and tendons = Your “hardware”
- And your nervous system that “talks” to and controls them = Your “software”
Just as computer software can break down and crash because of bugs or a virus, your own nervous system “software” can break down because of an injury.
And this may come as a surprise, but the disruption to your nervous system can sometimes be worse than the damage to your physical tissues.
The really tricky thing is that your nervous system “software” damaged by your injury often isn’t helped by the therapy/rehab efforts directed mostly at the physical “hardware” part of your injury.
It can sometimes be much harder to get the nervous system working properly again than to help the tissues heal.
(The good news is we can help, and I will get to that soon.)
Unfortunately, we’re led to believe that the physical damage is the most pressing, perhaps even the ONLY issue – Whether it’s our muscles, tendons or joints that are hurt.
The really tricky thing is that your nervous system “software” damaged by your injury often isn’t helped by the rehab efforts directed mainly at the physical “hardware” part of your injury.
This includes most of the standard AND the alternative therapies – Even the ones that are supposed to be “Neuromuscular.” (Few truly are, because they’re too passive on your part – More on that later.)
This is not to suggest we ignore the physical world of your injury, we DO need to help those tissues heal… (And I certainly do have a complimentary therapy for helping your muscles and tendons heal faster. It’s called Soft Tissue Release and I cover that separately in an article HERE.)
I just want to make sure you don’t end up stuck in that awful, frustrating place where you’re unable to get past that invisible barrier, and you’re still in pain – believing that’s all there is…You really don’t have to settle for that.
Not when there IS a way to deal with this other level of your injury – And help you regain 100% of your strength, and your ability to play tennis or play your violin – Or simply do your work without back, neck or wrist pain.
But before we talk about that solution, let’s first sketch out a better picture of this other half of the pain and injury rehab problem, so you can get a clearer sense of it…
The Hidden Half of Your Injury – Your “Software” Damage
Your hidden challenge has to do with the part of your brain that coordinates all your physical movements.
The part of your brain that orchestrates all your movements is called your ‘Motor Control Center.’ It creates and runs programs like computer software literally called ‘Motor Programs’
This part of your brain creates and runs programs like computer software…
And that software in your brain can get very messed up from an injury to your body (like a PC hit with a major virus.)…
Or even from doing the same motion repeatedly past the point of fatigue.
So what? You may wonder. Doesn’t it “self correct” once that injury to your muscle heals or your fatigue recovers with some rest? Unfortunately, no. Often it doesn’t.
Your brain ADAPTS and writes a NEW software program to deal with your injury or fatigue. The result is a compensation pattern – And it more or less goes like this…
Yikes! – This muscle is injured! (Or way too tired.) We’d better not use it fully until it heals – But we have to keep going, there’s work to do, places to drive and groceries to buy. We have to survive…
So, let’s go to “plan B” and let’s use THAT muscle over there to substitute for this damaged or super fatigued muscle over here – “for now”…
The clincher is “for now” often becomes ForEVER – This part of our nervous system has a very nasty tendency to get stuck in a compensation pattern rut.
It often doesn’t recognize that the muscle that was damaged or overloaded has started to recover and can start to resume its normal workload. It’s running on autopilot, mostly beyond our conscious control, and constantly looking forward, not back.
What we tend to assume (patients and practitioners alike) is that, in theory, if you keep trying to exercise your damaged, weakened muscle it will get stronger and you won’t need to compensate for it any more.
Sure, that works – sometimes. (It would have to or we’d never recover from anything!)…
The question is, however: Is it working for you now?
When Strength Training Doesn’t Work The Way It Should To Strengthen Your Weak Muscles & END Your Compensations
What you feel is that no matter how hard you try to stretch and strengthen and do exactly what you’re told to do in your rehabilitation process your recovery slows or stalls completely.
It’s so frustrating and discouraging. You have all this annoying tension that just won’t go away and you get tired so easily. You think you just have to try harder – You should be able to strengthen these weakened muscles…
It’s NOT just your muscle/ tendon/ joint “hardware” or you’d be making more progress in your rehab efforts by now – It’s not your fault!
If only there wasn’t so much tension and pain, and the exercises didn’t aggravate everything so much.
And when you start asking, “Why am I still in pain? – Why can’t I seem to regain what I’ve lost?” What kind of answer do you get?
Keep trying! Try harder! It’s your HARDWARE, stupid!
Okay. I admit I’m exaggerating here, but you might still FEEL like the above is somehow implied!
Either way, you’re not stupid – It’s NOT just your muscle / tendon / joint “hardware” or you’d be making more progress in your rehab efforts by now – It’s not your fault!
If this sounds like your experience it likely means you’re still compensating like crazy. The fact is, compensating causes A LOT of tension and pain – (often in far-flung areas from where your injury is supposed to be)
And it wastes energy like a kid playing with a garden hose…
What it means is that you’ve “hit the Invisible Wall” and stalled out on a “recovery plateau,” – Your exercise efforts, instead of strengthening your weakened muscles, are strengthening your compensations! (Does that sound familiar?)
And now that you can really see the crucial part that’s been missing. Let’s fill it in. Here’s how we fix it…
A Powerful, New Choice In Rehab Therapy To Retrain Your Brain, Regain Your Strength And End Your Pain
In the simplest sense, this therapy is all about training or reprogramming your brain out of habitual patterns that are NOT working well.
And steering your brain toward ones that “work better.” Can we really do this? (!)… Yes, we actually can…
We can reprogram that software in your brain so it knows how to coordinate or “talk to” your muscles better – Which means:
- You get stronger,
- You move with less effort,
- Without compensating! – (Using the RIGHT muscles)…
- And most importantly, without the fatigue and PAIN
It means we finesse our way around that “Invisible Wall” of weakness, tension and compensations instead of trying to force our way through it…
By communicating as directly as possible with the “one in charge” of your muscles, because your muscles are all taking their orders from above.
We can actually show that part of your brain in charge of coordinating your movement that its compensating, (which started out as temporarily necessary) is now nothing more that a habitual, useless ball and chain.
So, How Do We “Reprogram” Something We Can’t See Or Touch, And Get Back To That Normal Place Of Strength – Using The “Right” Muscles And Not Compensating?
Indirectly, through muscle testing. I give you a gentle challenge – I press against your arm or leg, for instance, and you simply resist that challenge – or try to, anyway.
If, when you resist, it feels strong or “solid” we move on to the next test for a different muscle. If it’s obviously weak or it doesn’t feel completely solid I start looking for the compensation muscles.
It’s not so much something I “do” to your muscles, as it is a process of “showing” your brain something it can INSTANTLY learn from through the muscle testing…
When I find a muscle that’s compensating I work on it for a few minutes – and then we do the original muscle test again.
Suddenly, this muscle that felt wobbly, weak or even painful a moment ago is now stronger, more stable and less painful.
The important thing to get here is that the change takes place in an instant in your brain through the trial-and-error learning process.
It’s not so much something I “do” to your muscles, as it is a process of “showing” your brain something it can INSTANTLY learn from through the muscle testing and working on the compensating muscles.
Don’t worry if you’re in a lot of pain and this sounds kind of forceful and scary. I’m always going to use the appropriate amount of pressure to test your muscles, depending on what we’re working on and the severity of your injury.
For a terribly weak and painful Frozen Shoulder or Rotator Cuff injury, that pressure could be a little as what one would use to pick up an apple.
For an strong, muscular tennis player with a case of Tennis Elbow that doesn’t hurt all that much, the testing pressure would likely be a lot more.
I understand it may sound a little too good to be true – Like magic – but it’s really nothing of the sort.
…NOW your exercises should be so much easier!… Your rehab efforts should now move you forward without the hidden barrier you previously struggled against – And actually result in steady strength gains.
It is scientific, even if you’ve never heard of anything like it. It’s not an intuitive thing and it’s certainly not magic – although sometimes it can sure seem like it.
On my part it takes a lot of anatomical knowledge, plus an understanding of something called ‘Biomechanics,’ (basically, the science of how living things move)
Not to mention a lot of experience with the myriad ways in which your amazing brain can compensate in order to keep you moving, working and just plain surviving!
And it does take focus and effort on your part during the treatment. It’s not a passive process. So, you do need to be motivated.
And later you still need to do the right exercises to reinforce the reprogramming lesson. The good news, of course, is that NOW your exercises should be so much easier!
Your rehab efforts should now move you forward without the hidden barrier you previously struggled against – And actually result in steady strength gains.