I recently heard a friend of mine say that they aren’t supposed to be deadlifting a certain amount of weight because it is bad for their back. But why? She does not have any structural issues in her back currently, so why would she think that she SHOULD not lift that much? Because her chiropractor told her so. That is the answer. No other reason at all other than someone decided that for her. Is it her goal to lift more than that? Yes. Does she have the appropriate structure and muscular system to lift that much? Yes. So why would someone tell her that she shouldn’t lift that much? Because she doesn’t need to be lifting that much was what she was told. But to me that is no excuse. Maybe she can’t lift that much currently. Maybe she needs to work on her form to protect her back and maintain proper muscular activation throughout heavier load. But to be told that she just shouldn’t lift that much because it is bad for her is absurd. She was not looking to be able to lift a car, or an unrealistic amount, but a reasonable amount for someone who had been training effectively. And even if she did want to lift an unreasonable amount that is way more than necessary, who cares. If that is her goal, it is our job as movement professionals and clinicians to guide her to be able to work towards her goal in the safest way while educating her on the risks and allowing her to make her own decisions. Maybe she is never able to stabilize enough to achieve that weight because it is too much, but by telling her that she SHOULD not, does nothing but make her feel that she is damaged and restricted in her life when she is not.
People understand the inherent risks of performing some tasks. Athletes know that they are at a higher risk for injury just by stepping onto the field, court, or trail. People understand that they are at a higher risk of injury the faster they drive their cars. It is a disservice to people to tell them they CAN NOT or SHOULD NOT do certain things just because there is a risk of injury or because someone else deems it unnecessary. Our jobs as professionals should be to help people manage those risks, train and educate the person to give them the best path towards their goal while minimizing those risks. No one should go to the Chiropractor or a Physical Therapist or any other clinician to be told what they can or can not do in life. Seek out the clinician that will find a way to achieve your goals and be in your corner no matter what you decide to do, striving to work with you the whole time along the journey however long it may be.