Don't worry you're not the only one that gets these nagging pains or injuries. I talk to a lot of people who have things going on in their elbows, shoulders, back, hips, knees and ankles. Most have dealt with these issues for weeks, months and sometimes even years. Some have even went to doctors, physicians, and physical therapists with no real benefit. Now I'm not saying these aren't the right things to do, which they are. But a lot of times with the right knowledge and approach you can clear these things up rather quickly yourself. The reason why most people experience nagging pains and injuries much longer than they should is they are treating the wrong area. You may be saying "well if my shoulder hurts, I'm going to treat my shoulder!" well that is somewhat the case..... But heres the thing...... Your body does not only use one area of the body. Its built on the "kinetic chain" (don't worry ill write on this more in another email). What the kinetic chain means is that everything is built together.... Do a quick test.... Look down at your hand with fingers extended and open palm... Then try and pull just your middle finger towards your palm. What you will see is that your other fingers had to work to stay in place, your forearm was engaged as well as your wrist. So anyways, back to the injuries and how to fix them! Each injury is built on muscle, joints and tissue above and below the injury. What tends to actually happen with pain and injuries is they are created from OTHER AREAS in your body and then the pain is triggered in a certain area..... For example, coach Pat was dealing with some serious elbow issues for along time until we started to address the real issue and guess what.... It wasn't actually his elbow. Before explaining further I'm going to give a fantastic analogy that will clear this whole thing up before going further. I'm sure we have all had a door in our house that for some reason will just not shut correctly. When we look at the door we may try and close it a few times to see whats going on, maybe a rock is stuck under the door or something is going on. After a few times we have accessed what is wrong with the door. It may be the hinges, door knob or even the door seal. From our discovery we fix the issue that we found causing the problem to occur which was the door not closing........ Now that sounds really simple right???? Well when it comes to our bodies we do not do the same observation.... Going back to the door, if we did the same things we do for the body we would see that the door does not close properly. Maybe look at it a few times and notice that the bottom edge of the door is scraping along the floor restricting it from closing. Instead of looking for the real issue (maybe the hinge in this case) we decide to simply shim the bottom edge of the door to make it close better...... Now looking at these two examples if you had a door not functioning correctly which approach would you take? Hopefully you chose approach one. Now going back to coach Pat. He originally was only looking at his elbow (think about shimming the door) doing all kinds of stuff for only the elbow. But I took approach one and looked at what was going on above and below the elbow. By simply doing this we observed that it was tension coming from his bicep and shoulder causing pain in his elbow itself. Instead of continuing to work only on the elbow, we took our adjustments up to the shoulder and bicep and the nagging pain quickly went away! So long story short, pain and injuries are not caused at the problem area. They are just like the door scraping against the floor. The real issues are from other areas but are only seen in the pain or injury. So heres a quick 1....2....3..... punch for when things start to get a little off and start to cause pain or even for your current injuries. 1.Find the "pain or injury". This means if your knee hurts.... We just found THE PAIN... If your ankle was rolled a bunch a year ago we just found the "injury" 2. Look upstream and downstream... This means "look around the door for things going on". How you would do this for your body..... If my knee hurts I am going to start by looking up and downstream this means to the above and below joints.... The hip (above) and ankle (below). While looking at them I will check to see is I have normal range of motion or if I have any limitations or blocking. If I do the hip and realize nothing is wrong AWESOME. Ill then check the ankle and probably find that I have a slight limitation in range. This limitation of range will equate to a hinge being slightly lose. It will not cause pain at the hinge but result in the door (knee in this case) being slightly out of position causing pain. 3. Once you accessed up and down stream take what you found and start working on it. This might mean mobility drills, stretching, strengthening or correcting positioning. One thing to also know while self assessing..... Your body functions on what is called a "joint by joint" approach which means each joint is either a stable or mobile joint. Starting from the floor up Ankle - Mobile Knee - Stable Hip - Mobile Lumbar spine (low back) - Stable Thoracic spine (upper back) Mobile And working from finger tips in Wrist - Mobile Elbow - Stable Shoulder - Mobile Now go do steps one through three.... Find the pain or injury. Look upstream and down streams.... Then Address the muscle, mobility, positioning and tissue in what you find might be causing the issue in the pain area.