Think of your body as a train

Imagine you are walking through a field and stumble upon a train and two of the cars are derailed. You are a problem solver so you try to figure out how someone would get the train back on track and moving again. The obvious solution when looking at only one small section of the train would be to just put the cars back on the track using some heavy machinery. But is it that simple? Is the answer to a complex problem always the thing staring us in the face?

Little did you know at the time, the train had to slam on its brakes because a large boulder fell on the tracks 30 minutes previously. Because the tracks were blocked, the repercussions of immediate braking were such that one area of the train, the weakest link perhaps, derailed. The problem isn't with the derailed cars, but with a blockage of normal movement.

Instead of talking about trains, let's talk about the human body. There can be an area of "complaint" that is similar to the cars that were derailed. They are a problem because they are derailed, but they aren't the problem. You have to assess the whole picture. You have to look at the whole person. You have to look at the whole movement. Don't overlook a boulder.

Say for example someone has elbow pain with overhead squatting. Is the elbow really the problem or is it just where the cars are coming off the tracks a little bit? You can't just look at the elbow. You have to look at the wrist, the shoulder, the thoracic spine, the shoulder blades, the hips, the ankles, the knees, etc. You have to find the boulder blocking the tracks.

The key to getting the train back up and running is twofold. 1. You have to clear the tracks. 2. The derailed cars aren't going to put themselves back on the tracks, so they will need some help.

The key to getting the elbow feeling better in the overhead squat may also be twofold. You have to find the boulder and clear the tracks. You may also need some work on the elbow.

So which are you? A person who just puts the cars back on the track or someone who removes boulders? Not everything is as it seems at first glance.