I was chatting with a client the other day, and she made a remark about how when she goes to the doctor, a lot of different health issues are talked about, but there’s rarely anything said about muscles and other soft-tissues (tendons, ligaments, fascia, nerves).
Sure, the doc is concerned about your overall weight and fitness level, but do they ever ask about how well you’re moving? Or do you mention to them that you’ve had tight hamstrings since you were in middle school when you failed the sit-and-reach test, or that you get a huge knot between your shoulders after sitting in front of a computer all day at work and it’s super annoying, not to mention painful?
These are things we tend to not mention to anyone, unless it’s your significant other who’s heard you complain about it a million times before and gives you a super-sympathetic, “uh huh, yeah, sorry your back hurts. Did you rake up the leaves yet?”
The truth is that we tend to suck it up and deal with all the aches and pains of moving around. At least until it gets so bad that you’ve missed the window for conservative intervention and skipped right to needing medications, shots, and even surgery (go big or go home, right?).
Any idea how much our collective stubbornness costs? Here are some stats for you.
- In 2011, the cost of treatment and lost wages associated with musculoskeletal disorders was $213 billion.
- In 2012, 25.5 million people lost an average of 11.4 days of work due to back or neck pain, for a total of 290.8 million lost workdays in 2012 alone.
- The average annual cost per person for treatment of a musculoskeletal condition is $7,800.*
Y’all, that’s a bunch of money and productivity that we lose. And before you flip out and say those stats also include disorders such as arthritis, consider this. If you don’t have a family history of arthritis, preventing it is mostly about maintaining healthy joints, which means keeping the joints’ support structures (muscles, tendons, ligaments) healthy and strong.
That’s where I come in. I specialize in a technique called Active Release Techniques®, or ART. It’s a manual therapy (I use my hands to fix you) that targets muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. I locate the tissue that is tight, stuck, pinched, etc., and apply some pressure and tension while you perform a motion specific to the area I’m working. Clients normally get significant relief of symptoms during the first session and issues can be fully resolved in only a few visits.
Add in a few maintenance, strengthening exercises that you can easily do at home, and boom, you’re good to go.
No more missing work, missing out playing with your kids, being unable to work out because of a nagging injury, and no more eye rolls from your significant other (well, at least not for complaining that your back hurts).