Got sudden or chronic joint problems? Do you feel pain or have limited range of motion? If you haven’t been diagnosed by your doctor with soft tissue damage, check out your parents’ joint history. Learn their joint dysfunction to prevent your own injury and stave off effects of aging while you’re at it.
In my case, my knees and shoulders were giving me trouble from an early age. I had never injured them in any way, just had pain, stiffness and lots of soreness after repetitive activities such as sports (lots of shotokan, baseball, basketball, track and tennis). My shoulders eventually ground to a halt and I wound up with torn labrums in both shoulders. If only I’d known that my need for surgery was 100% avoidable with specific exercises. If I had listened to my pain symptoms before the actual injury occurred, I’d have saved myself time away from work, lots of money, and the agony of rehab.
Think corrective exercise sounds boring? Think again. These movements can literally save your joints from replacement, patch-work and other types of surgical procedures AND can give you some great workout results. Having weak shoulders since I was a child used to kill my spirit and limited my ability to play, practice and perform. Today, they’re stronger and more stable than ever. Much later I learned that my father needed to surgically repair his rotator cuffs. He also had surgery when I was a young boy to repair torn cartilage in his knee. Guess what joints I’m working like a madman to preserve now. If you said “knees” you got it right. Variations of squats, lunges and dynamic stretches, focusing on strict technique will stabilize ’em and keep me right for my sports. As a 40-something year old athlete / coach sponsored by Under Armour, my ability to perform optimally is critical.
Strengthen those generational problem spots and you will be in a much stronger position to avoid future injury such as micro-tears caused by using your computer mouse (yes…I’m serious), problems performing simple tasks around the house involving raising your arms over your head, or tears / dislocations caused playing your favorite sports. Do the right thing — avoid the surgeon’s knife.
Cheers to your joint health!