The power of language 🗣
This one goes out to my fellow health and fitness practitioners. In this industry, I cannot stress enough how important it is for us to be aware of the impact our words have on the patients or clients we work with.
In my experience working as a practicing kinesiologist/strength coach, there have been more times than I can count where an individual has come to me feeling discouraged and labeled their body as “broken”. Oftentimes, it is to no fault of their own, but rather they’ve been fed countless medical diagnoses for any small ache or pain they’ve experienced. Now I am not saying these medical terms might not have been accurate given their definition, but we must remember that throwing a bunch of “syndromes” at the general population is likely only going to cause them some unease or fear. In some scenarios I’ve worked with people who have received so many diagnoses that they now fear movement entirely which is a HUGE problem.
This is an area I try to be very careful with. If the ultimate goal to rehabilitate their injury or diagnosed issue is going to be movement - why not make a large focus in our communication be around the solution, not the problem. If pain science shows us anything - it is that empowering an individual to be active in their rehabilitation is effective at reducing sensitivity to pain and reducing chronic pain as a whole. But how do we do that if we throw scary medical terms at them that cause them to fear the very solution to their problem, movement.
Let’s come together and start a movement to stop telling people their muscles don’t work, stop telling people their body isn’t aligned properly, and stop telling them they have syndromes in their joints that can quickly be fixed by a few positional cues or mobility work! Rather, let’s give them the education they need to thrive in the weight room and in activities of daily living in general.
If anyone has any experience navigating these tricky situations I’d love to hear your story!