Movement is Medicine

Intentionally or not, our society is CONDITIONED to be afraid of moving. As we age, gathering our bumps and bruises along the way, we’re told we’re broken.

          - Ruptured discs

          - Labral tears

          - Knee arthritis

We’re often told these things just happen. They’re a product of age. We’re told to stop.

          - Stop bending over.

          - Stop picking things up.

          - Stop using your arms.

          - Stop running.

Injuries and tissue pathology are in fact a consequence of being a human. If you’re doing "life" properly, you’re just going to get hurt sometimes. Impersonate your favorite Peter Griffin GIF, rub some dirt in it, and get back to work.

More often than not, injuries are temporary.

They knock ya down, but not out. Much like a good relationship, it’s important that you respect the injury, give it time to calm down, and then approach it from a different angle.

However, that different “angle” is, and will always be, movement.

          - Blown disc so you can’t bend forward? Bend backward for a little while instead! Move                your shoulders, hips, knees, and elbows! Move your neck!

          - Torn labrum? Pull. A lot. Strengthen your back and posterior deltoids until the pain                    goes away.

          - Knee Pain? Bike instead of run, then get to work on those glutes and hamstrings,                        because I can almost guarantee you they’re weak.

Statistics show that the hamstrings are the most commonly strained muscle of the entire thigh and rank second in incidence of sports injuries to the [quadriceps].
— Coole W, Gieck I: An Analysis of Hamstring Strains and Their Rehabilitation. JOSPT

The end of goal after an injury is obviously to regain function. This in itself demands that we perform the movement that is painful or isn’t working properly. We want to regain that ability. And we can.

Let’s cover this very briefly to extending this short post to a novel:

          - First, you need to stop hurting. Nothing will work if you’re in pain.

          - Then, and really at the same time, you need to keep moving. Find movements you can               tolerate and keep the tissue active.

          - Lastly, you slowly and methodically load the tissue. You teach it to be resilient again.

This is how you heal. This is how you stay young. This is how you retain the basic functions that make us human.

Movement is medicine folks, so get moving.


Charles Ramy Badawy SPT, CSCS, USAW
Pitt DPT: Class of 2019