The Injury Equation

There’s been a lot of talk of late surrounding injury prevention, injury risk management, tissue tolerance, tendon strengthening and a plethora of Instagram worthy catchphrases looking to draw attention and potentially overcomplicate a common issue in search for the oh so sought after “double tap “.

To understand Injury is to understand a simple equation, Injuries occur when the applied force is greater than tissue tolerance.

In= Af>Tt

The current paradigm for preventing, managing risk or even rehabilitating damaged tissue is to focus purely on the side of the equation that manages tolerance of said tissue. With no consideration of why that tissue was exposed to such levels of applied force in the first place.

Looking at performance through the lens of only occurring in the absence of pain is a very shortsighted way of improving performance.

As a therapist or as a strength coach Your sights should always be set on improving performance as the highest virtue and utilizing objective metrics of progress as your measuring stick rather than subjective quantifications of pain scale.

To focus on pain as an objective outcome, is to focus on improving only tissue tolerance in the equation of injury.
However, to focus on performance is to understand how to implement strategies that will allocate applied forces properly and uniformly through the body, to ensure that no single tissue becomes overexposed to an applied force.

A lot of the confusion around this equation stems from peoples inability to realize the biomechanics and physics are two separate fields of study. Physics would dictate that the shortest distance between two points is in a straight line. Where biomechanics works very similar to lightning- straight lines are never the intended path, and our bodies have a hardwired wantingness for efficient patterning, therefore, movements are dictated solely by the path of least resistance.

So the true art of mastering this equation is not in reinforcing the strength of tissues primarily, it’s figuring out where in the system we need to rewire a new path of least resistance that will diminish the amount of applied force on a tissue.

In short, and in closing you can’t out “corrective exercise” bad exercise. So before you go banding, flossing and rolling your next injury think about the equation, think about why is it that an increase of applied force would be applied to these tissues in the first place, think about those paths of least resistance that you’ve created to find yourself in this situation and begin to create strategies, a roadmap to navigate your way not only to pain-free but pain-free high performance .

Stay Strong,

Jordan Shallow

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