You’re bending down, or doing a movement you have done hundreds of times and then all of a sudden you’re in a world of pain. Accumulative strain can present in multiple ways, and significantly affect how we function and move on a day to day basis.
Have you turned slightly the wrong way and had your back go?
Have you had an injury seemingly come out of nowhere?
These are just a few examples of how accumulative strain presents in our body.
So what is Accumulative Strain?
It is a build-up of load from various sources, such as:
- Postural load
- Sports technique
- Previous Injury
- Poor footwear
- Lack of sleep
- Stressful/Emotional load on our brain (anxiety, worry, depression)
- General Health issues (immune system, endocrine/hormonal systems, infections, illness)
And leads to:
- Tight muscles
- Stiff joints
- Irritated nerves
One thing on its own may not be enough to cause injury or symptoms, but in combination, strain can add up so that a small change in one aspect of your life can lead to a seemingly disproportionate amount of pain/ injury/ dysfunction. If previous injuries/stressors were never completely resolved we bring our tipping point closer to the pain threshold.
In the graph below you can see this depicted. Ideally everyone should be functioning in the optimal zone. This is when muscles and joints feel relaxed and mobile, movement ranges are 75% + and other factors such as nutrition, sleep and stress are being addressed.
What can I do to limit strain?
To limit strain in your body you want to improve all aspects that contribute to it. For example:
- Improve your posture at work, on the couch at home, driving in your car, or standing at a bar having a drink.
- Set your workstation up best for YOU!
- Ensure you are as fit and strong as you can be for the activities you do.
- Be smart about your footwear.
- Getting enough sleep. Sleep is essential for brain development and cell recovery.
- Lead a Balanced Lifestyle. Try to take time out to do the things you enjoy often. Working too much or feeling stressed can have negative effects on your body & your health.
- See a Barefoot Physiotherapist. To work out if strain is building up in your body that would eventually become an issue, we can do a thorough assessment of your nerves, muscles, joints and postures. You do not need to have symptoms to have an assessment. It is a positive step towards injury prevention.
At Barefoot our goal is to get you back to doing what you love. Whether you are an elite athlete, an office worker, a parent or even a student, it’s so important to listen to your body. At Barefoot Physiotherapy we want to help you continue to live the life you choose, pain free. Want to find out more? Click here.