In 1935 a Physicist named Erwin Schrodinger described a thought experiment in which a cat, a flask of poison and a radioactive source were all placed in a sealed box. If a monitor inside the box detects radioactivity, the flask is shattered, which releases the poison and kills the cat. Since the box is sealed, the cat can be thought of as both dead and alive simultaneously. It’s only when we look inside the box that we can see whether the cat is either dead or alive.
What does that have to do with mobility?
Many people focus only on the symptom of an injury, or how when they move in a certain way, they get pain. When their symptoms go away, they consider that injury to be fixed, but focusing only on the symptom leads those people to many more injuries since the real source of their problems was never dealt with.
In the same way that Schrodinger’s cat can be thought of as simultaneously both alive AND dead in the sealed box, when you don’t have pain in your body, you can be simultaneously injured and not injured.
Muscle tightness is the only cause of non-collision injury – and often times is the cause of lasting pain from collision injuries. It is created through repetition. Whether that’s just sitting down too much, or repeating a sporting movement – heck even typing too much causes “repetitive strain”.
This muscle tightness is a silent assassin.
It can be increasing to very high levels and still not be painful. It doesn’t show up on scans and yet it is responsible for the joint position changes that cause pain and injury.
If we accept that, in our pain free state, we are both injured and not injured, we can work hard on keeping our muscle tightness below painful levels without frustration. We can just build it into our day, knowing that working to improve our mobility is the one thing that’s keeping us from experiencing pain.
But if we only do enough mobility to take our symptoms away, we’re much more likely to get frustrated with the re-emergence of aches and pains, and their reluctance to disappear.
Unfortunately, everything we do creates muscle tightness – even sitting still for too long, so mobility is something that needs to be done every day.
Until we live in a world where sitting down is not forced upon us from the moment we start school, and our training habits aren’t so repetitive, the responsibility is ours to deal with our own muscle tightness. Every day.
If you’re not in the habit of doing this yet, you can get started for FREE with my “Hip Flexors 5 Ways” video. Simply enter your details below to get started!