Injury Myths & Prevention

me&my health up podcast episode #5 – Transcript

Anthony Hartcher 0:00
Me and my wellness, today we have a new and exciting episode of health up. It’s episode number five and today’s episode is on injury myths and potentially pain management. We’ll see if we get enough time. But today we have a very special guest and that’s Mitch Hooper from Longevity, PT. And I’ve known Mitch for quite some time. And he’s is amazing guy, he’s a power lifter, he can lift 380 plus kilograms on the deadlift and also run a marathon. So figure that! That’s body transformation in itself being able to lift such massive amounts of load as well as then carrying that body over a marathon. The other exciting point about Mitch from my perspective is that he follows the Parramatta Eels. So it’s very ironic to have a fellow eel supporter along with me today, but without much further ado, welcome, Mitch. How are you mate?

Mitchell Hooper 1:03
Thank you very much. Yeah, I’m good. How are you?

Anthony Hartcher 1:05
Excellent, excellent.

Mitchell Hooper 1:07
Okay, quite an introduction. Appreciate

Anthony Hartcher 1:11
incredible guys, so we’ll get a bit more into that. But yeah, I guess to start with, I’m really keen to find out your journey into exercise who’s physios physio physiotherapy? Is it exercise? No. Is ology sorry?

Mitchell Hooper 1:28
That’s right. That’s right. It segways easily into how we’re different from physios as well. I’m sure we’ll get into that. But yeah, so plenty of sports growing up, obviously, that comes with that is is heaps of injuries. And I grew up in Canada. And so I saw physios regularly and I thought that would be a good idea for me to do. And then I saw them and figured it wasn’t for me because the clinic setting it just it didn’t excite me didn’t invigorate me I wasn’t passionate about it. So after my undergrad in Human Kinetics in Canada, which is basically the degree that everyone does, who enjoys sport and doesn’t know what they want to do. I got my strength and conditioning certification worked for the pro basketball team for a year, I found that that wasn’t near rewarding enough for me. And then kind of sought out other options internationally. I came across exercise physiology in Australia, and thought that would be a great experience. And then yeah, yeah, really a fall in love with it since and that’s really fulfilled the athletic side that I really enjoyed, but also the fulfillment of helping people with chronic conditions.

Anthony Hartcher 2:32
Fantastic. Yeah, you’re certainly an athlete, yourself in terms of what you’re able to. It’s 380 plus, isn’t it? What are you up to?

Mitchell Hooper 2:40
That’s, that’s the that’s the goal. That’s the goal. 350 is my best just miss 362 in last years comp. But powerlifting is relatively new. So more experienced in marathon running than in powerlifting. But yeah, national record right now was 345. That was in comp so. Yeah, yeah.

Anthony Hartcher 3:00
Well, an outstanding powerlifter it’s such an accomplishment.

Mitchell Hooper 3:06

Anthony Hartcher 3:08
Just on the exercise physiology. So what is it exactly?

Mitchell Hooper 3:15
So Exercise Physiology not Physiotherapy. It’s it is primarily treating chronic pain and conditions using exercise as medicine. So when you talk about Physiotherapists, we’re often talking about a very clinical setting, like I said, so whether it’s in the hospital or right after an injury, that’s where their specialties, but our bread and butter is taking over after that. So if you’re in your injury rehab, or you have chronic condition that you need managed, we’re really good specialists in that. Okay.

Anthony Hartcher 3:49
Fantastic. And who’s it for? Ideally, you know, who, when, when and who should go and see an Exercise Physiologist?

Mitchell Hooper 3:59
Yeah, good question. So, really, broadly put anyone with discomfort would be super indicated. And often it’s prevention is better and cheaper and more effective than the cure. So a lot of times it’s it’s going to be that middle aged person who’s playing their sport and has what what you’d often call a little niggle and whatever it may be, whether it’s a back and knee, hip, a shoulder, probably the most common areas musculoskeletal wise, but then also people with those chronic conditions. Often times a doctor a GP, your case manager might not have time to explain these things to you. Where how do you how do you manage your diabetes? How can you exercise with your diabetes or heart condition or post heart surgery? We can really provide a lot of clarity and support around that. And something we pride ourselves on a lot is structuring your exercise and your week outside of our session. So we had the time to be able to do that and really help people out long term because a lot of people will will preach. You know, I only have so much time And there’s so much time outside of here. But we know through our other strategic partners if if a physiotherapist tells them, you need to do XY and Z, they’ll come to us or their GP tells them, they’ll come to us. And they said, Yeah, they told me to do this, this and this, and we go, that sounds horribly wrong. Call it the GP? No, no, no, I didn’t say that at all. Okay, so we really have the time to help walk them through take the time to help explain, and help them manage those those conditions or injuries.

Anthony Hartcher 5:27
Yeah, I, I find that the you know, that when you mentioned, when we asked, you know, or certainly what I asked, it was, you know, what does an exercise physiologist? Do? I love your answer. You know, we use exercise as medicine. And it is nutrition world, we say, you know, food is medicine. So, I love that synergy between, you know, as a nutritionist saying food is medicine. You know, it goes hand in hand with what you do is exercise is medicine. And what do you think about it.

Mitchell Hooper 6:01
Our bodies are magnificent, right in their ability to heal themselves and cure themselves. If you give it the right stimulus, you’d give it the right input. And we wouldn’t ever advertise, advertise ourselves as a replacement, either by some replacement for medications. But if you can modify someone’s lifestyle, to be able to have a, quote, unquote, empower their body to be more efficient, and to fuel their change, that’s always going to be more effective than something produced in the factory.

Anthony Hartcher 6:28
Yes, yeah. And it’s very similar to you know, the how we see nutrition and food as medicine is that we’re providing the body with the resources, it needs to heal itself, and it’s aligned with what you’re doing around exercise. And, you know, you’re initiating that healing through movement, you know, were initially initiating that healing through nutrition.

Mitchell Hooper 6:53
So yeah, exactly, exactly. We’re providing the stimulus, and then you’re providing the fuel to facilitate the change. Yeah,

Anthony Hartcher 7:01
yeah. It’s good. It’s great teamwork, isn’t it?

Mitchell Hooper 7:03
That’s right. That’s right.

Anthony Hartcher 7:07
Yes, so we’re here today to talk about injury myths. And, you know, first of all, I’d love to hear what they are, from your perspective, because you mentioned at the start of the conversation, that you know, your career, your athletic career was plagued with injuries. And you know, you’re constantly receiving physiotherapy when you’re growing up. Yes, obviously, you’ve experienced injury firsthand. And so I’m really keen to find out what these injury myths are. And you also mentioned later on in our conversation, that, you know, prevention is far better than, you know, dealing or managing the injury itself. So yeah, please, please explain these injury myths.

Mitchell Hooper 7:51
Yeah, yeah, well, I was I was really lucky that my injuries were all relatively minor, I was mostly just being a baby, but them. But the biggest one, especially when we talk about chronic disease and, and management of injuries, when we’re talking about 40-50-60 plus year olds, is, the body is not a car. And I say this to people all the time, your knees don’t have a number of kilometers until you need them, replace your your hips, your back is the same. And uses not that uses good uses what we need. And it’s it’s a classic, you lose it, you use it or you lose it. Theory. And so it’s it’s really bad for people to start thinking that, Oh, if I overuse something, then that’s inherently going to cause me issues down the track. Because that’s just not the case. And coupled with that, I’d say your pain does not mean that you have an injury. So arthritis is a really good example where you’re moving arthritic joint, and it feels bad, and I can appreciate that. But it doesn’t mean that moving in is causing damage. So it takes a good clinician to not say avoid pain, always at all costs, because then your arthritis would become horrible. For example. Same thing with injury rehabilitation. So I would say those are the two biggest mess. Yeah, the number of people who think that their body is going to break down just like a, like a machine, because it’s it’s natural to think that way, but it’s quite the opposite. Okay.

Anthony Hartcher 9:21
Now that that’s great to hear. Because, certainly, you know, myself with sport, you often think, you know, is it time for me to have a shoulder reconstruction because I’m feeling a bit of lack of movement or in roads, you know, range motion in my shoulder, you know, is it just packing it in because it’s been overused. But, yeah, it’s most likely something else that either have some weaker muscles or something around that that’s not helping it. It’s, you know, there’s too much load on a particular area. I mean, what are the common injuries that you see all the common considered over use muscle

Mitchell Hooper 10:03
Yeah, so it’s it’s a really timely one to hit this because it’s remarkable when you walk nowadays and everyone thinks they’re a runner since the gym is closed, and we’re prepping ourselves for I mean, you talked about normal joints ago and ankle, knee, low, back and shoulder are probably going to be the four most common. You hit a couple of those, but just a matter of doing something too much too soon. And it’s funny use the phrase, you know, it might might have a bit of a mobility is not as good and my shoulder, do I need a replacement. To me, I inside a scream, No, you shouldn’t move it. You can’t move it. So keep trying to move it and get it strong and get it strong as many ways as you can. But yeah, I mean, it, what we normally see is someone doing anything too much too soon, the body can do pretty much whatever you want it to. And as you’ve said, my athletic background, I live that reality. You just have to be smart about doing something, we’re all gung ho about our fitness journeys. And we always have that client who has done nothing. And now they’re, they’re keen for three hours a week of intense exercise. And you guys, it’s not the time, it’s not what you do. And unfortunately, that’s how we get a lot of our clients out. It’s people who do nothing, and then they decide they’re gonna become an ultra marathon runner, and then they’re in seeing us because they’re, they’re incapacitated.

Anthony Hartcher 11:20
Yes, that’s the weekend warrior going from zero to hero.

Mitchell Hooper 11:28
Exactly, exactly. Actually, it’s funny that the injury risk, it’s just the same as on the other side. So if you’re someone who regularly went to the gym before, and then gyms have obviously shut down, dropping your activity off leaves you predisposed to the same amount of injury risk as ramping it up real quickly, which a lot of people don’t don’t realize, yeah.

Anthony Hartcher 11:50
Now, that’s that’s a really good point is because certainly I’ve, well, you know, I guess I’m one of those persons that can go from it’s all or nothing, you know, like he got all my warmup period, it’s just straight away, you’re trying to compete with the professional thoughts or try to do at a professional level?

Mitchell Hooper 12:11
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah, it’s just the same as being a quote unquote, expert in anything, you got to be an expert in exercise to be able to exercise well, every day, on a regular basis. And so you got to focus more on how precisely can I hit my targets? How precisely Can I run my first kilometer? Rather than how many kilometers can I run? And there’s, there’s a lot of variation in individual circumstance around that. But it’s a it’s a science, that’s an art for sure. For sure.

Anthony Hartcher 12:44
And as you highlighted there is that step by step process and realizing that it’s a it’s a journey, and you don’t just arrive at that destination. There’s a lot that goes in in terms of preparation and, and doing you know, repetition, but doing the right things repetitively and repetitively doing them well. is what gets you there without that injury and, you know, ultimately get that success.

Mitchell Hooper 13:12
Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. And we’ve had some good chats as well, but the the nutrition side, and it applies just the same way. If you look at someone’s full nutrition, you would never say, Okay, enough with that, we’re doing this, just the same. You look at someone’s exercise history. And if they go, I walk one kilometer a day to get the mail, and I do nothing else, and I sit at the desk all day you go, Okay, let’s modify that slightly to then maybe do some sit to stands at your desk, or whatever it may be. But yeah, you always got to tweak lifestyle, especially when we’re talking about health. It’s a tweak and tweak and tweak. And it’s almost like the principle of compounding interest, where we’re doing 2% more every month, and you’re looking at yourself in two years time, and you feel like you’ve done nothing month after month, and then you look back and you’re a different human being so yeah, yeah, that’s a lot of the education that goes on.

Anthony Hartcher 14:05
So the takeaway is for anyone taking on a new goal in a new area, that they may have had never had any experience or had some experience, but not to the extent in which that goal takes them to, to really get in touch with, you know, someone like yourself an Exercise Physiologist that can really help them, you know, set the goal well, in terms of allowing enough time for the body to be in a good state to prevent that injury. That’s essentially and then you obviously, you know, set them a training program, is that what you do, you know, help them with?

Mitchell Hooper 14:42
Yeah, so it really depends. And if someone comes in has a goal, it’s the nature of exercise physiology, that it’s not a one size fits all approach. We, we don’t necessarily have, this is what I’ll send you off with. Oftentimes, it’s it’s a lot of we have to To adjust things frequently. So if it’s a once a week, catch up once a week, see how things are going. Because anyone who’s undertaking a fitness journey or an injury rehabilitation, it’s it’s far from a straight line. Even if you do everything perfectly, you might roll your foot on a step or something, roll your ankle. So it’s it’s about those smart increases in load increases and tolerance increases in activity. But yeah, you just need someone educated and smart to do it. I think a lot of people are looking for a cheerleader when they want to undertake a new journey, or they’re looking for, or they’re looking for a mom when they get injured, and I want you to rub it and make it better. And unfortunately, neither of those are going to get you get your real father. So you just need someone to talk some sense into sometimes I suppose.

Anthony Hartcher 15:54
But at the same time, you do provide some of that, you know, that support in terms of encouragement and you know, helping them along that journey?

Mitchell Hooper 16:03
Oh, emotionally. Of course, I’m talking about physically rubbing it to make it better. Yeah. But no encouragement. It’s not

Anthony Hartcher 16:11
exercise, video therapy.

Mitchell Hooper 16:13
That’s, that’s right. That’s right. But in terms of support along the way, that’s one of the most important roles that we can play. And, you know, giving someone a heat check, because if they come and they want something, they want an injury to get better, they want their disease to get better, in a month or a year, we’re not going to be their cheerleader to get it better. In one month, we’re going to say, Listen, I’m taking the journey with you, I’m here with you the whole time start to finish, let’s build a relationship and work through this over the long term and get this sorted for good. And yeah, yeah, that’s what I mean, when when we’re not cheerleaders were the relationships that were we build with our clientele is really quite special, and probably one of the best things about the job.

Anthony Hartcher 16:58
Yeah, that’s fantastic. You’re that coach element that you’re, you’re really educated and, you know, understand exercise, understand injury prevention, understand the, I guess, mobility of the human body, what it’s capable of doing, and what sort of pace and timing it’s, you know, that should be done and, and really helping the person, you know, develop the ideal program to help them achieve their end goal, you know, optimally, essentially.

Mitchell Hooper 17:26
Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. Whether that’s a performance or an injury recovery or, or disease management. Yeah, any of that.

Anthony Hartcher 17:34
And what’s your top tips for injury prevention, because no one wants to go out there and injure themselves. Everyone ideally, want to perform and perform every day, whether it be a work or you know, doing a new sport, or a new activity or a new goal. Yeah, bad injury.

Mitchell Hooper 17:54
So with this, I always put it in the context of my history, training athletes, and whether I have a 95 year old lady or a 30 year old Olympian. Either way, it’s you are an athlete, and it just, it’s a different sport. And so you got to look at what challenge are you trying to overcome, and for a nine year old, it might be standing up. For an athlete, it might be breaking a four minute mile, whatever it is, it’s a matter of beginning relatively low relative to yourself and what you’ve done in the past, and building slow. And then, like we said, every movement where you go, this is it feels a bit weird, I’m not sure. You have to be smart about it, and certainly consulted professional on an individual basis. But you shouldn’t be afraid to move and make yourself resilient. And so everything from overhead pushing from spinal flexion to spinal extension, the body’s made to do at all and so as soon as you stop doing something, or you decide that, okay, I’m going to become a runner, and so I’m not going to be strong anymore. Huge mistake. So I’d say yeah, I would say get a, maintain your strength. That’s the number one injury risk factor for multiple injuries, maintain your strength to be the biggest one, and then build low and start slow. Okay,

Anthony Hartcher 19:13
I like that bill. lifestart slide. It’s something that I keep saying as an affirmation for myself. Because your idea here is my problem.

Mitchell Hooper 19:26
Yeah, right.

Anthony Hartcher 19:28
I like that’s excellent tips there, Mitch. So um, yeah, wait times getting away from this and I certainly don’t want to brush over pain so I’m really keen to have your back really discuss pain in detail. I think it’s really important because you know, that injury and pain, you know, goes hand in hand. You know, when your in pain, it prevents people from moving, you know, and it flows on to poor sleep and low energy can result in depression. So, really keen to have a special, dedicated topic to the pain subject. So definitely we’ll have you back and look to book that time in with you really?

Mitchell Hooper 20:11
Absolutely. Yeah, that’d be absolutely, absolutely.

Anthony Hartcher 20:15
Just whilst we’re still in that sort of semi ISO phase where we’re not fully liberally liberated or fully back to normal, and if we ever get really keen to get your tip as to what people should be doing and not doing during this period of ISO.

Mitchell Hooper 20:35
Yeah, I mean, it’s really the theme of the podcast is don’t don’t start into a new journey diving headfirst into the deep end. So I’d say my two best tips are do everything you can to maintain and build strength. It’s certainly possible up to a very reasonable level when it comes to help them injury prevention with nothing other than your body weight. I would say that and second is move, move your legs, go for a walk. But move your shoulders, move your hips, move your back, move your neck, move everything, you can change your posture as much as possible. Because in the end movement movement is medicine. Yeah, yeah.

Anthony Hartcher 21:14
Yeah, love it Mitch, you’ve summed it up so well. And it’s been really insightful talking to you. So you know, really appreciate your insights, your wisdom, your knowledge. Now, for viewers that are looking to start their big, audacious, hairy goal or you know, sit and so during this period of Islay or, you know, adventure into a new sport. Ideally, they should be getting in contact with you and starting their journey with you. How can they get in touch with you? What’s the best way?

Mitchell Hooper 21:45
Yeah, so, I mean, we’ve got a phone number 1300 964 002. We’re also if you google this Longevity Exercise Physiology, where Longevity PT, on Instagram or on Facebook. And like you said, If you’ve decided that you’re going to take up a goal on your own and you have that you have that pain, and you need to manage that pain. We’re also here for you. And exercises are professional exercise is our specialty, and working with you to see what you can do. And how can we keep you fit? Is our objective, not? What limitations do we need to put on you? Even though there are some sometimes yeah, yeah.

Anthony Hartcher 22:26
That’s great. Yeah, really loving your underlying philosophy there. Mitch. It’s fantastic. And looking forward to cheering along with you. It’s wonderful to have you on. I really appreciate you putting aside the time and educating us on that injury myths, providing us those injury tips, and you know, what people can do to avoid injury and how they should get started. So really appreciate it. I mean, fantastic, Mitch.

Mitchell Hooper 22:57
Yeah, of course. Of course. It’s amazing what the body can achieve when you do it properly. Absolutely.

Anthony Hartcher 23:02
You know, from powerlifting 350 plus kilos to running marathons. Well, the other way around. You did it but pretty it’s remarkable. Yeah. One’s real massive amount of strength and the other ones that endurance. So but yeah, he’s certainly the man that understands exercise and how to move the body and transform it in different ways to do different sports that require different you know, conditioning.

Mitchell Hooper 23:31
Yeah, yeah. Well, just the same general population, you can make that same swing, you can go from sedentary to active, you just got to do it very carefully. And you got to do it properly. Yeah, but it’s no different. Same attitude.

Anthony Hartcher 23:42
Yeah. Yeah. Well done. Mitch.

Mitchell Hooper 23:44
Thanks, man. I really appreciate it.

Anthony Hartcher 23:46

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