Thursday, October 9, 2008

Repetitive Strain Means its Time for a Change

 I used to watch the Canadian TV comedy program, The Red Green Show (when my local Oregon Public Broadcasting OPB carried it). They often ended the show with a group of roughneck guys in the Possum Lodge repeating their credo, "I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess."

To many people, change is a concept they resist. Repetitive strain injuries, such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, etc., are small injuries that are repeated until they become chronic. Keep doing the same thing and the injury only gets worse. The solution is to change your gait and stance habits. Albert Einstein is reported to have said, "The definition of insanity is to doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

Here's the list of things you can do to eliminate repetitive strain by changing your habits:
  • Accept that you have to change.
  • Obtain the information/education that offers you an alternative to your usual habit.
  • Seek out training aids such as orthotics.
  • Think of a slogan or mantra to repeat to yourself as a reminder. My favorite reminder is, "Feet straight, bend the knees."
  • Visualize proper form. Picture in your mind someone who's moving the way you would like to move and emulate that vision whenever you think about it.
  • Affirm to yourself that you are improving. My favorite mantra is, "I'm getting better and better."

Change takes time. Don't be too hard on yourself or expect to much too soon. Positive change happens daily, one step at a time.

Read more of my Gait Training articles on this blog.

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