I’ve had a couple of instances in the past few days that have reminded me of the importance of perspective.
When you get a bit of a niggle in one part of your body, the natural assumption is to focus in on what is wrong in that area.
Wherever you feel the pain, that must be where the cause of said pain is located as well. Right?
Our bodies a pretty complicated, in case you haven’t figured that out yet.
The interconnectedness between our various organs and tissues is insane. And as such, the location of your pain and the location of the cause of said pain aren’t always the same.
Don’t Develop Tunnel Vision
Remember my calf issue from a couple of months ago?
Initially, I thought that I somehow tweaked my calf during an easy run while visiting family in Michigan.
But when things didn’t seem to be improving as quickly as I expected, I zoomed out and started to take inventory of the rest of my body.
Lo and behold, I’m 99% certain that the cause of my calf strain (self-diagnosed) was a tight muscle in my hip.
What happened is that because my hip/glute was tighter than usual, it put extra stress/strain on my hamstring which put extra stress/strain on my calf.
When you have a whole chain of muscles under extra stress, it’s only a matter of time before something’s got to give.
And as you’re well aware, the weakest link in the chain is what gives first.
For me, that was my calf.
As soon as I focused on getting my hips back in line and releasing the tension in the muscles surrounding the joint, the calf started to noticeably improve.
To be sure, I also did some work on my calf.
I stretched. Did my eccentrics. Rolled/massaged the hell out of it.
But if I had ONLY focused on my calf and ignored the bigger picture, odds are I’d still be dealing with the issue at this point.
Everything is Connected
You know that song that you sang as a kid about the knee bone being connected to the shin bone?
Turns out that everything in your body is connected. Bones. Muscles. Ligaments.
If you want to get more technical, I could go into depth about your fascia.
But as this is supposed to be a quick tip, I’ll try not get too off into the weeds.
If you want more info on your fascia, what it is, and how to keep it functioning properly stay tuned for the little things course. Because I’ll be covering it in much more depth in one of the units that will be coming soon.
In the meantime, trust me when I say that everything in your body is connected.
And that means that the cause of your niggle may not be located at the same spot of your body where you are feeling the discomfort.
Find the Cause, Solve the Problem
When something hurts, we want to solve the problem so we can get back to running pain-free ASAP.
So the next time you’re dealing with an issue, keep in mind that everything is connected.
As such, you may need to focus your attention away from the location of the pain in order to fully solve the problem.
A few common examples?
- Shin splints
- Muscle strains
When you really start to break it down, a lot of the symptoms of many common running injuries are presented nowhere near the source of the problem.
So the next time you notice something isn’t feeling quite right, remember that the cause of your issue may not be in the same place as the pain you are feeling.
Originally published at www.dizruns.com on August 24, 2018.