Prefer to read: Find the transcription below:
What is Injury Hacking? Hey, I’m Sarah from mostmotion® and I’m here with the very first episode of “How to Hack Injuries”, which is simple tips and advice for sports and fitness coaches who don’t want to specialise in injuries, but do want to help their clients avoid pain and help them out of pain if they already have it.
So what is injury hacking? Injury hacking is breaking injuries down into the smallest simplest forms so that more people can get involved and help more people avoid injuries. So we want coaches to get involved regardless of their experience of injury knowledge or anything like that. So coaches basically have a vital role to play when it comes to injuries and injury prevention. Why? Because they can see people moving around before the pain happens, which therapists can’t do. Therapists are dealing with the pain of focusing on the pain, they’re focusing on one client at a time. Whereas coaches can deal with lots of people all at once. So when we break injuries down into their simplest forms, we can see the opportunities that are available for people to get involved. And I don’t mean coaches having to learn about injuries themselves. Imagine like operating theatre, okay, you have surgeons, you’ve got an anaethestist, you’ve got people passing the scalpel, okay, the person passing the scalpel does not need to understand the intricacies of brain surgery. But they can still help. If that person didn’t pass the scalpel or the tools or whatever it is they do, then the surgeon would have to do that themselves, which puts more pressure on that person. So when we divide it up like this into small jobs that everybody can get involved with, we share the responsibilities, we can work together to improve the… frequency, there we go, I’ve got a mental block today of the prevalence of injuries in the first place.
So if we can start getting involved with the simple things, even if we don’t want to specialise in injury, then we can really help a lot of people. And it’s not about arguing over who knows best, the technicalities of what’s going on, or who knows more. The trick is to allow more people more accessibility to being able to help. And by doing that we can collaborate and work together to get rid of these injuries, regardless of experience of coaching or experience of injuries themselves. So if you coach sports and fitness, and you don’t want to specialise in injuries, you don’t want to become a therapist, but you do want to help clients avoid pain and help them out of the pain they’re already in, then you are in the right place. Okay?
So because we’re not talking about technical stuff here, we can create boundaries. And the whole system is breaking down at the moment because people don’t have boundaries. If a coach wants to help out with injuries, and they don’t want to specialise in injuries, they’re going to search on the t’interwebs. And they try and find all the information they can about how to deal with injuries. But when we looking at how to deal with injuries, we are overstepping our boundaries as a coach, we overstepping our guidelines, it makes our insurance invalid. And that means we’re putting ourselves and our clients in a dangerous place. So how can we get around that? Well, we can just focus on the things that we can do. Okay, pain is not our responsibility as coaches and nor should it be, that’s for the therapists to deal with. But like I said, they’re dealing with one patient at a time with their hands on treatment stuff. We’re in a position where we can help lots of people all at once, and that may well be taking multiple patients and working on their non painful movements.
Now example of this would be let’s take patellar tendonitis, for example. Okay, you don’t even need to know what that is. It’s basically knee pain. Okay, you take a patient with knee pain, they’ve been told they got patellar tendonitis, it hurts when they move, and that that patient that client is really nervous about training with that pain, regardless of whether it happened yesterday, whether they still have pain or whether it happened 25 years ago, they still feel like they have a “bad” knee. Okay. So if that patient is nervous about moving that knee, or that that limb in certain ways, it means they’re going to be apprehensive about training, it means they’re going to be fearful of doing the things that make them better.
But as Coach, because we’re working with non painful movement, we can help that client investigate all the ways they can move without hurting. That gives the client confidence that they can actually move around. And it means that they’re much more likely to succeed with the treatment and avoid the pain coming back. Because they feel like one, there’s something they can do to help themselves, which everybody wants to do. And to, it feels like they don’t, they’re not hampered by this problem, and aren’t going to be hampered by this problem forever. Okay, it’s like the child who touches the hot pot, okay, if you never show the child, another pan, they will think that every time they touch, they see a pan, it’s going to be hot, and they will worry about touching the pan.
If somebody is moving their leg in a certain way, and in the past, it has caused them pain, that means that they are going to be nervous about moving their knee again. And it might be that that fear builds up into never moving that knee, and that’s going to be really bad for them for their life, for movement in general. It’s going to cause more problems than it gets rid of. But as coaches we can help intervene with a non painful movement side of things, help that client get confidence in their movements. And eventually, that knee problem will just go away, because the treatment will work, you will be helping them build confidence in the fact that they can move around without it being painful. And that will help everybody.
When we break things down into small portions like this as simple little things that we can do to help with the situation, we can start collaborating, because the therapist knows you’re not trying to replicate any of their treatment, you’re not trying to get in the way of anything that they’re doing. Actually, everything we are doing is helping their treatment stick. I have never met a therapist yet, who doesn’t want to get rid of somebody’s pain for good. They don’t want them to keep coming back for the same old problems over and over again. And they want to help them out of that pain as quickly as they possibly can. So even if they’ve never met you, they can still work alongside you, you can still help them and you can help that patient that client move forward quicker. That is what injury hacking is all about. It helps you It helps a patient, it helps the therapist as well.
So how did this all come about? Well, I started with my own injuries age about 18. I was doing a teaching degree, I wanted to teach PE and maths. Because I was told at age like 13 or something, I’d make a really good PE teacher. So I went to uni to do that. And I had to do a compulsory gymnastics lecture, which I hated. It was just floating about to me and I’m about as graceful as an elephant. So jumping around, and you know, moving in a gymnastic style was not my comfort zone. But I had to do a vertical jump off a bench, and my kneecap dislocated. So I’ve had problems with injuries ever since then, I have strained the ligaments in my spine. I landed funny of a jumping kick in martial arts and the bones in my foot moved. Nobody seems to have been able to fix that. So injuries have been a constant thing in my life for a long time. And when I started when I failed my teaching degree, I decided I wanted to help people on a personal training basis, like a one to one basis. And I kept, I was working with a motocross rider actually, and I would plan out my session I thought I’d have a really good session planned. And he would come in and go I fell off my bike at the weekend. And I bust my shoulder. I can’t do that. Oh, okay. So what can you do and then I started trying to investigate what people could do without the pain. And we had a osteopath clinic downstairs. And the osteopath would often tell people go to the gym and get fit, but that the patient would come into the gym and be really nervous about moving their
body because they didn’t want to trigger the pain that they had before. And they didn’t have the support of the therapist anymore, because therapists didn’t have time, they had too many people coming in with pain. They didn’t have time to deal with the people who weren’t in pain anymore. But that support network totally disappeared. So I decided to go to do a master’s degree in sports injury. And the master’s degree I did was all about learning little bits of everybody else’s contribution to sport and injuries. Okay, so we learned a little bit about definition and diagnosis. We’ll learn a little bit about taping, physio treatment, sport science, all that kind of stuff. It was a collaborative approach. And the idea was it was replicating high level sport and how people work together in high level sport.
So I was travelling with a physio who lived near me we were travelling about 30 miles to our university and we would car share. And she, I said to her one time, as a fitness instructor, as a personal trainer, to what happens when your therapy comes to an end with that person, you want to be confident you’re passing them off to an exercise instructor who knows what they’re doing. She said, “I work for BUPA, I don’t need you”. Okay, so essentially, what you’re saying is, you’re never gonna need an exercise professional, who understands what it is that you’re doing.
I took that, quite rightly as a bit of a smack in the face. But that was the attitude back then, this was like 2004. So I started trying to create a referral network around all the people that I knew. So I took an inventory really all the therapists that I knew, I tried to create, like a network around them, so I would pass injured clients then and the idea was that they would pass people who were looking to get fitter around their injuries to me, but I would pass my people to them and never see them again. So because it wasn’t working, so I did corrective exercise specialisms, I did low back pain specialisms through exercise, all the stuff that I could do through exercise to try and help these patients but it still wasn’t working.
So in the end, one of my potential referral people, she was a remedial massage therapist, she said to me, I’m using this new technique. It’s you everybody keeps the clothes on. There’s no oils, I was like, Yes, this is me. Everything that had stopped me getting involved with treatment itself was the fact that people had to take the clothes off, and I had to rub naked bodies. And for me, that’s really uncomfortable, I don’t want to do. So even though I knew a lot about injuries themselves. I didn’t want to do the hands on treatment stuff because I was very shy. So I don’t like, you know, strangers, naked bodies basically put my hands on them. It didn’t feel comfortable to me, I’m probably still doesn’t. So when she said about this way of helping people on a treatment table that I could do without them having take their clothes off, I was in and I thought this is it. This is totally it. Now I can just do it all myself. So I did that for a little while. But I was absolutely miserable. I was so miserable. Because I ended up trading, the exercise stuff for the treatment stuff. Like how I got my personal training clients to stop leaping about and lay on the table, I have no idea. But I managed it.
So every session, I would go into treatment with them. And then I got the opportunity to work out of a CrossFit gym. So it was eight hours a day, I was stood at a treatment table, and I felt trapped. I felt really trapped. Because the thing that was missing the thing that had been part of my life all the way up until that point was exercise. And I wasn’t getting to do that with people anymore. And I really missed it. So I started trying to mash together the treatment thinking from the table into little movements that people could do. And it worked really well. In fact, it worked so well that I pretty much put myself out of business because of it. Because people would come to me for treatment, they’d come every week, I’d give them a couple of exercises to do at home, I’d see them the next week. And they’d say, oh, that pain came back during the week. But I did those movements, you gave me and they went away again. So then their treatment session started spacing out. So they would come every two weeks, and then every four weeks, and then I wouldn’t see them for months. You know, and this was working with people ranging from little aches and pains to potential knee replacement clients who eventually took themselves off the waiting list for knee replacements, and worked with the guy who had meningitis as a kid and he had so much pain every single day that he was really upset with me when I took it away. Okay, well what we were doing work so well, he had a couple of hours pain relief, he was really upset
because it meant he noticed the pain more. But eventually he managed to use the movements we were doing to keep the pain way so that he will get full days of no pain, which is awesome. But rubbish for my business, because I was not treating as many people and of course, I was focusing on the excitement of learning all these new movements and creating them and all this stuff and totally forgot about getting new people into the business. So when the CrossFit gym gave me two weeks notice to close, because they were shutting down, I had to make a choice. I had to decide what was happening with my business and I decided that I could help more people with movement than I could with the hands on treatment. So I took my business online and was helping lots and lots of people with getting themselves out of pain following the movements that I was creating. But again I came across these problems, and it was same old thing.
They were listening to me for movement, and that movement was working really well. But either their coach that they were also under, a lot of them were triathletes. So they were paying triathlon coaches, either the coach didn’t understand what it was that I was doing, or they didn’t agree, or even if they did, the clients didn’t want to pay two different people for exercise information or movements. So that’s when I realised that sports and fitness coaches are the key to, to this whole injury prevention idea. And the more people that we can get involved with small elements of preventing injury on using movement to prevent injury, because that’s essentially what coaches do. We do non painful movement really well. therapists have to learn that stuff, they don’t do that stuff very well, they and if they do, they’ve managed to, to translate, like I did their treatment, thinking from the table into the movement. So the moves are very specific. But what I found was that I was giving exactly the same movements to every single patient, bar none, regardless of their symptoms.
I was starting with general movement, whole body and general movement improvement. And that was taking away a lot of my patients, initial aches and pains, then we could get into the specifics, obviously. But initially, that’s what made that light bulb go off for me. I’m like, hang on a minute, I don’t need to be everything to everybody, I need help here. And the coaches, they just need some guidance so that they don’t keep looking on YouTube to try and find things that they can do they need help and education around what’s happening. So that’s how injury hacking came about. I broke everything down into who can do what, and how can we help each other. Okay, so we can take just the eyes, like the just the observation of an assistant parent helper coach, for example, okay, you get your parent helper, who’s literally just coaching because it’s something to do while their child is entertaining themselves in the sport. And you give them the skills to be able to spot potential injuries before they start happening. And they can tell somebody about it earlier, when they do that, it means that problem hasn’t developed into something that takes ages to fix. Okay, it means that we can start the process quicker of getting involved with that. And it may well be that they just refers to somebody who knows a little bit more about these movements stuff than they do. In-house in that club, for example, they can deal with that injury with they can get that body moving, they can start coping or start helping with the small things that lead to the big problems.
So literally, that is where injury hacking came from. That’s my story about what happened with me, all this stuff has come about through my experience and the problems I faced in my business. So this has been decades in the making. This is at least two decades now of injury focus in my life. And all this stuff has been proven to work. And the people who get involved are super happy because they have boundaries. They have like a little box that they can work in, okay, they know what they can and can’t help with and it builds confidence in people. When you have confidence. You can help deliver this stuff as well. So if you like the idea of injury hacking, you want to get involved with helping with your clients injuries, but you don’t want to specialise in injuries then you are absolutely in the right place. And you can come and join us in the injury hackers Facebook group, just
go to Facebook and look for injury hackers. Or you can go to injuryhackers.com and you can come and join us. Come and join a global group of sports and fitness coaches just like you who want to help but don’t want to put themselves in a position where they are in danger of overstepping their boundaries, voiding their insurance and all that stuff. Okay, so thanks for watching. Make sure as always, if you like this video, click the likes. Click the hearts comment below. Add your thoughts to this what you’ve heard today, and we’ll look forward to you joining in the discussion over in the Facebook group. Thanks for watching. I’ll see you again next time.