My name is Christopher Dinh and I am doctor of physical therapy in Huntington at Universus Physical Therapy & Wellness. I have worked with hundreds of patients dealing with chronic pain and have helped to mitigate their discomfort to live a more active life. I wrote this article based on I hear from patients all the time and I composed my thoughts on the matter in this blog to reach other who may be feeling similarly.
Fighting the Concept of Invincible to Inevitable
One of the most challenging aspects of aging is the concept of fighting Father Time. By this, I mean fighting the natural regressions that our bodies go through as we age- degeneration of our joints, mental fatigue, and decreased capacity for doing the things we normally would take for granted in our daily lives such as:
- Playing with our kids
- Walking the dog
These are all things that we as aging humans have to learn to manage. One of the biggest concepts that I promote to my patients is the concept of “invincible to inevitable”. It’s an age-old tale and one that we hear very often in the clinic and in the real world.
“I used to be able to hike for miles. I used to lift hundreds of pounds in the air. I used to be able to work for 60hrs a week with no problem. I used to..I used to.. I used to.”
The Concept of “Invincibility” Explained
When we are “young” and “healthy”, we feel invincible in the sense that we tend to bounce back and recover from injury or increased load in no time. Even when we are in pain, we find the ability to push on and get things done- sometimes seemingly to a fault. In our grand feeling of invincibility, it becomes easy to forget that our bodies require elements of rest, recovery, and preparation for the demands that we place on it.
I’ve met so many young adults in their 20s, who brush off injuries, recurring pain, and the fact that many of them work demanding jobs simply because they are still able to get the job done, and eventually recover.
Admittedly, this invincibility complex is not all bad. In fact, this concept of moving through and around pain and allowing our bodies to adapt centers around the idea that pain should not be the only factor guiding the way we live our life. Pain is not the steadfast deciding factor of whether we do something or not.
The Concept of “Inevitability” Explained
Somewhere along the time continuum, there is a shift in many people’s mindsets that their bodies suddenly have become fragile. Whether this is following an injury, or just the sudden realization that they aren’t able to do certain things anymore- this shift in mindset leads many people further down that same path.
Suddenly, we’re doing less, or finding that normal activities are growing more and more difficult. The idea that, “Oh, I’m getting older and thats the way it is. This is inevitable”, is such as easy concept to believe for the same reasons why we believe we are invincible when we’re young- we just don’t bounce back like we used to.
Humans Are Extremely Adaptable!
Through all of this, it is so important to remember the amazing capabilities that our bodies have to adapt to load. In a very general sense, the body will either adapt in a positive manner- or follow the opposite path and adapt in a way that can be perceived as negative. It will either adapt to a load and become stronger because of it, or adapt negatively and make us more prone to injury. So, knowing this, what can we do? There are innumerable ways to push our bodies to create these positive adaptations.
Building a sense of resiliency within our bodies, or working on improving our control over how we move in our environment are all complex ideas but can be interpreted simply as “Moving Better”. This is not to be misunderstood as saying that there is an optimal way to move, but instead as- if you can control your body with greater ease and efficiency, you may find that you are feeling better and are able to meet all the demands of daily life without being stopped in your tracks by pain.
Don’t Let Pain Stop You
Again, pain should not be this steadfast indicator that something is wrong and that we need to stop doing the things that we enjoy. Additionally, age is not an indicator of what we should be able to do and what our bodies are capable of.
The amount of master athletes out in the world today are testaments to that fact- and while we can’t all expect to be master athletes, we can use them as prime motivators for improving our overall resiliency and decreasing frailty. Fight the narrative of going from “I feel invincible” to “My aches and pains are inevitable” and make the changes now to ensure a high quality of life now and for your future.
How Can Physical Therapy in Huntington Help You?
In order to make those changes, one way you can do so is by contacting a physical therapist. They will evaluate your body for any misalignments or malfunctions and design a program specifically for you. If you are suffering from pain, this is the perfect way to take action in your life as a PT can mitigate pain in your body and allow you to continue doing things you enjoy without having to sit on the sidelines.
If you are interested in trying physical therapy in Huntington, contact us today to get a FREE consultation (a.k.a. Discovery Visit). you can do this by simply visiting our website or giving us a call at (631) 533-2888. We look forward to working with you!