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  • Writer's pictureDr. Clint Woo, DPT, PT

Be Careful With Online Articles That Start With "How to Fix So And So Pain"

I hear the same response to my question during my evaluations "what exercises do you do to address your pain"? People always respond with something to the effect of "well I do laundry, vacuuming, run around after the kids, go for a nice walk, play (insert sport) with my friends, and garden". While these are all very involved activities, they aren't exercises that specifically address weakness or inflexibility to address your pain.

Even if you go one step above that and find an exercise routine online that promises to address, let's say, shoulder pain, there is no way for that article to accommodate your specific issue and thus the vital adjustments necessary to avoid worsening the issue! An exercise plan made for everyone is made for no one. You don't want to get in the habit of choosing the most convenient physical therapist/personal trainer/doctor based purely on just location and price! It would be like going to your local big box store and they only sold medium sized dress shirts. Yes the medium shirts might fit those who need x-large or x-small, but it is not the best fit. Sure the ill-fitting shirt will maintain your decency and protect you from the elements, but a shirt several sizes too small will wear out fast and be uncomfortable. A shirt several sizes too large can billow around (decency and weather protection lost) and snag! Custom is the superior option! The tailor can accommodate a drop shoulder on one side, shoulder width, torso circumference, spine curvature, arm length, bicep circumference, and the list goes on! Those who have worn a custom dress shirt claim it is even more comfortable than a t-shirt!

So getting back to the topic, you need a routine that is built to accommodate your specific presentation. A program design for someone with a shoulder impingement vs osteoarthritis vs biceps tendonitis may share some exercises and advice, but each diagnosis has its own plan of care! You can get so much better (and so much faster) if you go custom! Some people will in fact look up these articles and feel better whether it is because the diagnosis happened to match up or just pure muscle weakness was the issue, but that was a gamble not everyone should take. Even for the people who did get better with just finding an online routine, once they return to their prior level of activity and notice their pain comes back, what then? The question on how to progress the rehab routine isn't there!

Treat your physical rehab the same as getting a custom fit (except this is your health we are talking about). Seek out a competent PT, personal trainer, or doctor who can accommodate your needs!

This is not intended to be professional advice. Please speak with a physician or physical therapist. Invest in yourself by bring the physical rehab to your home! We at Woo Physical Therapy and Wellness are proud to serve the Anne Arundel, Howard, and Prince George's counties in-home and online anywhere in the U.S.A.!!

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