When is it Time to Refer Out for Pain?
Written by Nick Hawkes
I am a huge proponent of mobility, in fact at this stage in my life I would say out of the ten general CrossFit skills it wears the crown and reigns king of the rest. Without proper mobility you are more likely to get injured and have to deal with pain, and once the pain is there and chronic, it does not matter how powerful, fast, or enduring you are, all you want to do is to eliminate the pain.
It is the best practice to be proactive and stay ahead of the pain dragon and work that active range of motion through dedicated mobility work…but some times that mobility work is not enough and you might just need to get some outside assistance. The following should provide you with a bit of a check sheet to see if your issue needs the help of an outside healer or manual therapist.
Closing Angle Joint Pain
If you extend your arm straight out in front of you and pull your wrist and fingers back towards your face you create two angles in the wrist joint; opening and closing. The opening angle is the side of your palm and this is where you should feel a stretch. The closing angle is the back of your hand and you should not feel any pain, nor pinch. If you feel this it means that there is an impingement between the two bones that create the joint. Never push into this pain as you can cause permanent damage.
If you have an issue and no matter how much mobility and stretching you do the relief is short lived or non-existent, go see someone. Many times x does not mark the spot where the actual issue lies so you could be spending a ton of time focusing on the pain point but not actually addressing the actual cause of the issue because it is up or down the chain. A good manual therapist can do a proper assessment and eliminate the guesswork on your part.
Staying ahead of the issue is a good strategy to have. You may not have an issue that presents itself, but a manual therapist and bodyworker can keep it that way! This could save you from lost training time and pain. Just like you need to do maintenance on your Vehicle, your body is your meat vessel and deserves routine maintenance as well.
Just like choosing a dentist or doctor, you need to do your research to make sure you are getting a knowledgeable practitioner. They should be able to do an assessment as well as prescribe off-the-table movements that you can incorporate after the session to help address the neurological component of movement, saving the hands on work that the therapist just performed.
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