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Why You Aren't Progressing in Rehab - "The 4 T's"


-Traumas: accidents, injuries, posture, pain

Often there is an “incident” or moment there was a change in your body, the severity of the trauma can easily vary. Sometimes as simple as lifting wrong, sleepy with the wrong pillow, or more complex such as a car accident, past history of sprained ankle. Our bodies adjust, sometimes just temporarily, but they can also demonstrate compensation mechanisms that can affect the body long term. How do we fix our physical traumas? Have them assessed!! And that “twinge” in your shoulder or neck can sometimes be more easily fixed than you originally thought. Next thing you know, performance in your sport is improving too! A nice byproduct of getting things working efficiently.


Stress/anxiety, mental collapse

Having your head in the game is a very common coaching method, but sometimes the pressure we put on ourselves during our activities, running, swimming, golfing, and competing occur both inside and outside the sport. It is important to assess yourself mentally. This isn’t anything new, but acknowledging your personal mental levels are key to improving your overall mental health as well as personal performance, in your job, sport or family life. There are so many professionals out there that can help you improve your stress management!

Your perception of your injury has also been shown to be crucial in managing it. If you think that this will neve get better, that you're broken or perceive the injury as worse than it may actually be, you will not get better. We see this often in rehab because other docs have told patients they can "Never do (x) again", or "This is the worst I've ever seen." The mind controls much of our body's healing power and being educated on the true healing potential of your body is important in overcoming any injury.

-Toxins: Eat/Breath/Drink

Our body is a physiological machine. It takes fuel and we perform best when we properly fuel our tanks. Chemically our body needs energy, water and oxygen, that's just facts. I’m sure this isn’t anything new to you, but so often we neglect what our body really needs. Whether our body is healing (then you should really think about a proper diet), training or just living your day to day life, what we eat/drink/breath is important! I will go into further detail in a later blog, but for now these simple tips:

  • Water: Water consumption= ½ your body weight in ounces. Ie: 150lbs/2 =75 → 75 oz of water a day. Period.

  • Protein. I promise you probably need more protein in your daily diet. You want to build muscle, you want to be lean, you want to be healthy, you want to be strong, you want to have power… then eat more protein. 10-35% of your diet should be protein. To PREVENT DEFICIENCY, not just get by, you should be consuming 0.8 grams to kilograms of your bodyweight: 150lbs = ~68kgs. AGAIN, this is to prevent deficiency!! MINIMUM 54.4 grams of protein. The average required to improve muscle mass is 1.4–2.0 g/kg/d. This represents 95.2-136g for a 68 kg (150 lb) person. Bottom line: more protein than you think! Don’t even get me started on if you are recovering from an orthopedic surgery!!! You NEED to build muscle and protein provides the building blocks to do so.

  • Limit Sugars: Sugars are not just desserts, carbs, breads, and pastas. Sometimes carbs are very important in training, particularly with endurance training. Sugar can be a huge component to increasing inflammation. Alcohol is a form of sugar, and therefore can increase muscle, bone and joint inflammation. You don’t have to put a hard NO to all of these things (I do myself enjoy a glass of wine, a nice cocktail at a new restaurant) but enjoy them all in moderation!

  • Breath: Oxygen is crucial for creating an efficient machine inside our bodies and is hugely necessary for injury or sports recovery. And it’s not just getting it in; it’s how you get it in that makes the biggest difference. Learning to control how you breathe can have a huge positive effect on your nervous system. There have been several studies that mindful breathing and breathwork throughout the day can improve:

    • Sports performance

    • Sleep

    • Mood

    • Concentration

    • Energy levels

    • Decrease stress

-Technique: Muscle patterns, poorly learned skills:

No surprise here, but technique is important. It can improve efficiency, decrease risk of injuries and keep you active for much longer. Technique is a very important aspect of training, no matter how good you are at a sport, skill, etc. Breaking techniques down into individualized drills is an overlooked aspect of training. Efficiency is maximum productivity and minimal waste; AKA the combination of power and full body movement through the easiest pathway. You can save energy to perform longer, stronger and more frequently. It is never too late to work on your golf swing, running gait or any other specialized sport technique and often helps to have the input of a coach or other professional that can help guide you through this process.

I don’t expect you to go out there and change everything listed above. Ease into it. Spend a little time thinking about the 4 Ts. Find an area that you want to focus on first. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would be happy to help fine tune your body and address any physical limitations you may have that are limiting you in getting to your goals.


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