I wouldn’t be the first to tell you that most quick fixes do not work. But every once in a while, there is something that actually does what it promises.
When it comes to pain, there are a lot of things out there that you can try. Most do nothing, some make it worse, and some act as a bandaid.
However, what I want to share today is something that we use at Mint all the time to help people move better and hurt less.
It takes less than 30 seconds and can (at times) completely relieve someone's pain in movement.
What can you do to get out of pain quickly?
In today’s video, Coach Bradley is going to show you some of the drills we use day-in and day-out to get people out of pain quickly.
The drills we are going to be showing are simple but effective joint movements. Before we dive in, though, I want to explain why these work, because without some explanation, it is going to sound like voodoo.
To keep things simple, let’s talk about one joint that often hurts: the knee.
Many of our clients have knee pain now and again, and when they do, the first thing we do is something called a mirror drill.
A mirror drill is when you mobilize a joint that is on the opposite side, and opposite level (upper vs. lower body) as the one that hurts.
So if your knee hurts you would want to mobilize the opposite side elbow. Coach Bradley will show you what the actual drill is, but I want to tell you why it works.
There are two key things to understand before this will make sense:
1) Pain does not equal injury, injury does not equal pain. If you have ever cut yourself only to discover it later and then it starts hurting, you will understand this.
Pain is a signal from your brain that something is wrong, but it can actually be very imprecise.
Sometimes your brain will send pain alerts because of stress. You don’t actually have an injury, but your brain wants you to stop doing things, so it sends out a pain signal.
Sometimes your brain will send a pain signal to the wrong area of the body. The area that is “hurt” is actually above or below the painful joint.
I say all of this to help you know that when your knee hurts, it does not necessarily mean that your knee is the issue.
2) Your body is wired neurologically in an X pattern. The easiest way to think about this is your walking pattern. When your left leg is forward, your right arm is forward. They move together to allow you to walk.
The wiring that allows this to happen means that your left lower part of the body and your right upper part of the body are connected in the brain.
Now that you know those two things, it helps to explain why doing something at your right elbow can help your left knee, and vice versa.
You are stimulating brain signaling at the elbow and knee at the same time, which helps your brain to have better communication with those two joints.
When your brain has better (clearer) communication with joints, it has less reason to send a threat (pain) signal and does not see your knee movement as a potential issue.
You are now able to move pain-free, and it took just a few elbow movements!
The Fine Print
If you are thinking, “This is too good to be true!” then this is for you. As I mentioned before, mirror drills can be amazingly effective, but they are not always a quick fix.
Take a real, full-blown injury for example. If you tear an ACL, then a mirror drill is not going to solve the problem. You probably need surgery and rehab.
However, you actually can decrease the pain and shorten your recovery time by regularly incorporating these drills into your day.
Anything that improves brain signaling to an area will improve how well that area functions. So, as you go through your rehab, do some mirror drills to improve your results!
Another thing to know is that load matters a lot when it comes to the effectiveness of a mirror drill. Load = how much challenge there is.
Doing a few elbow circles can work wonders, or it can do nothing, depending on if it is the right load. Your brain needs to be challenged, but not crushed, so make any exercise effective, including mirror drills.
If your pain does not change, try changing the load. Increased load might look like standing on one foot while you do your drill. Decreased load might be lying down while doing it. You can also change load by adjusting the speed of the exercise, or the resistance (adding band resistance if needed).
I say all of this to let you know that there is more to this than just moving a joint and it working 100% of the time. But on the flip side, there are many times when it actually does work just like that.
That’s why it’s always the first thing we try. The time it takes vs. the results that it has can be amazing and definitely worth the 30 seconds it takes to test it out!
How to Get Help
I do hope that you can use some of the drills Coach Bradley talked about today and see results. Many of you will because they are just that effective!
If you are not getting the results you want, however, there may be some other factors at play.
So, if you feel like you need help knowing what exercises to do to get and stay out of pain, or to just feel at your best, I would encourage you to check out our 28-Day Kickstart Program.
In this program, we will take you through a full evaluation and then design a program with the exact exercises you need to start feeling better. You will then get a coach to show you how to do them correctly, and keep you accountable to your plan.
Here is what is included:
- Full fitness and goals assessment
- Personalized fitness coaching to teach you the exact exercises you need to safely and effectively move better and build stamina
- A simple meal plan to help you decrease inflammation
- 1-on-1 success coaching to help guide you as you work to change your diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits
The truth is that you can move better, hurt less, and do more of what you love, you just need a program that can show you what is right for you.
Click here to learn more and take back control of your health and fitness today!
Mint Condition Fitness empowers people to take control of their fitness and fully enjoy the life they have built.