A man walks into the doctor’s.
“What’s troubling you today?” asks the doctor.
“I hurt all over” says the man. “It’s weird” he continues, “my body doesn’t feel sore but when I do this” he says, pressing his arm with his finger “it really hurts”.
“I see” says the doctor, pondering the situation. “Can you tell me more?”
“Sure” says the man and proceeds to show him how every time he touches areas of his body they become sore.
“Hmmm” says the doctor thoughtfully and reaches into his top desk drawer. He pulls out a bandage and gently wraps the man finger in it. “Does it still happen now?” he asks.
The man tries pressing his arm again with his bandaged finger. “No” he grins.
So what does this have to do with you and helping your clients out of pain? Well, let’s use the story above as an example.
Let’s say the man came to you with his pain.
“It hurts when I do this” he says to you.
Your coaching guidelines clearly state that it is NOT your responsibility to get involved with pain.
They recommend that you adapt or change exercises so that you don’t irritate the pain.
But that’s like saying to the man in the story “well don’t do it then”.
While that might be a helpful thing to do with regards to not irritating the pain, it’s not actually doing anything to HELP him.
If all you’re doing is simply avoiding the problem, you’ll just end up with an increasingly lengthy list of things he can’t do as his pain gets gradually worse.
So, what’s the alternative?
As soon as you even THINK about “fixing” the problem, you’re overstepping your role as coach, which makes your insurance invalid (and with claims for workout related injuries across the world on the rise, that’s NOT something you want to be doing!).
The real secret to helping your clients out of pain is to focus on increasing what they can do WITHOUT pain!
In most cases, especially with low-level or recurring pain, aches, old or chronic injuries, the REASON the pain is there isn’t anything to do with the LOCATION of the pain.
It’s most likely that something, somewhere else in the body isn’t moving properly.
And the good news is that this movement restriction is not likely to be painful at all!
So, simply by focusing on improving your clients’ non-painful movement, you can make MASSIVE contributions to helping them out of pain – without ever overstepping your role, invalidating your insurance or putting your clients at risk of hurting themselves further!
Oh, and if we do this every single session, whether our clients have pain yet or not, we can actually PREVENT them from suffering in the future!
If your clients are currently struggling, don’t jump straight into completely changing the exercise, discover what they CAN do without pain and use that to tweak your original exercise.
How does this help?
Well, pain wears you down.
It makes you scared of moving for fear of irritating it again.
If we just keep avoiding the problem, we’re teaching our clients to think that there’s nothing they can do and that they’re different from the rest of the group.
If we help them to focus on doing something POSITIVE with their injured joints, we’re helping them to take positive action, which helps them feel more in control, and keeps them feeling part of the group rather than side-lined, and THAT can be life-changing!
Give it a try today, then come on over to the SMARTT® Folks Facebook group and let us know how you got on. We LOVE hearing about it!