As the oft quoted saying goes “if your not assessing your guessing”. Well today’s blog post is all about assumption.
In the fitness industry we are often guilty of assuming that one type of dysfunction will lead to another or create a certain posture type. While I definitely believe there are trends and patterns to peoples movement and movement dysfunctions, when we start to believe they are truths is when we start to let our clients and patients down.
I often read claims from people that they can tell amazing things just from looking at one part of the body. One thing I have learned about the body in my years of dealing with it is that the body has more ways than anyone can imagine to compensate for dysfunction. I always take the time to back my assumption up with rigorous testing that lets me know exactly what is going on in each segment of the body. Someone I respect very much makes a vast number of assumptions but makes it his job to prove them right. And guess what, he does it through rigorous testing! If proved wrong then on to the next assumption but he would never leave it at the assumption stage with out proving it as fact.
Another classic is when we pin the blame on a muscle when hearing of a chronic injury. “Its the hamstrings” is a favourite of mine or a joint motion “dorsi flexion” being another favourite. I have often thought to myself certain things about why someone may have a problem when hearing about their exercise history and I have been proved many times to be right but also wrong.I have done this through assessment.
The biggest tool any one dealing with sports injury can have in their tool box is a solid function based assessment process. This is a foundation to use all of our techniques from. If we are going to treat tissue are we being symptomatic?? So many times injury site is far removed from the source. In fact I will be as bold as to say that often the more better functioning joint in the chain is the one taking the hit. Chronic problems tend to be chronic because we take a symptom only approach to treating. That’s easy, point to where it hurts!! The hard part is having the assessment tools to truly find out why the tissue is in pain. Usually we need to look above and below the joint in question and many times it can be problems with both ends creating pain. The only way will know is to test and not ASSUME!!!