And there you are. In bed. Waiting for a miracle. Waiting for the physiology gnomes to tap your knee with a magical star wand.
That’s your first mistake.
Laying around like a slug isn’t the answer to chronic knee pain. (Rest isn’t the answer for most pain, just so you know.) Yet that’s everyone recommends. Rest. Rest. Rest some more. Rest. But “rest” is the cheap answer.
Most rehab theories are based on an arbitrary concept of being damaged one day, resting for a little bit, then being magically healed overnight. But you know this never happens. It’s fairy tale logic.
Don’t get confused. Pain isn’t natural. Pain isn’t hardcore. Or manly. It’s a sign that something is wrong. Wrong isn’t good. But what do you do if your car breaks down? Do you leave it in the garage and hope it fixes itself? If you don’t fix your pain, you’ll always be in pain. Even worse? If you don’t fix the root of the pain, you’ll always flirt with pain.
What do I mean?
There’s a difference between pain and the root of pain. You can fix your pain (feel healthy) without fixing the root of pain. You feel healthy…but aren’t fixed. So you feel alright. No pain. So maybe you go strength train and squat or you go play basketball. But then your injury flares right back up.
You fixed the pain but you didn’t fix the root of pain.
It’s like this. You have a friend named Kong. (Don’t ask me why his name is Kong.) Kong likes touching hot things. (Don’t ask me why. That’s just Kong. He’s a weird guy.) You’re a good friend, so you get rid of everything that gets flaming hot in his house.
Kong lives happily ever after, right?
Errr. Not really. Because Kong isn’t really healed. Sure, he’s pain free for now. But that’s only because he’s avoiding the problem. The root of Kong’s problem is his wacky psychological tendency to touch hot things.
So Kong’ll get burned soon enough. He’s still going to touch hot things if he ever sees them. Just like you and your knees. You can avoid the sports and activities you love and feel OK. But when you go back to them? You get burned.
Just because you’re avoiding pain producing activities doesn’t mean you’re fixing the root of the problem. And if you have a problem? You gotta’ fix it. The problem of the problem itself?
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