Have you ever had a sore knee or back or other body part, and instead of finding out the cause and fixing it, you just put up with it by taking anti-inflammatories?
I’ve had a swollen knee for a few weeks now; not too sore to start with but increasingly uncomfortable over time. Very quickly I wanted to get rid of this persistent and annoying swelling which was impacting my movement.
So off I went to various practitioners to be treated.
If you have been to a good physio you will notice that sometimes it feels like they spend longer asking questions and moving your limb around than they do treating you! But a good medical practitioner knows that prescribing anti-inflammatories might address what you think the problem is, but it doesn’t address the cause.
Find the Source of the Problem
To stop more swelling and pain the physio had to work out the source of the problem. We found that some muscles were overworked while others were switched off altogether! I had to start asking my lazy muscles to step up, gradually at first with some simple exercises and building up over time. I also had to release the knots in my overworked muscles.
But my physio wouldn’t stop there. He kept asking what I had done to bring this on – had I been bumped, had I over-extended my knee, had I been doing any strange activities, and so on. He was searching for the deeper answer, the ‘why’ the muscles were misbehaving. Together we came up with a number of hypotheses that I will be watching out for in the future – potential causes that I can go and test.
And importantly I now have solutions to avoid this happening again.
In your company do you have overworked muscles, and some that are completely switched off? When things don’t go right, are you getting to the cause, or are you ignoring the pain by taking anti-inflammatories?
There are some terrific techniques for helping find the cause of problems that are easy to implement in the workplace, similar to the techniques a medical practitioner might use. Make sure you have them in your leadership toolbox.