The Responsibility of Injury
Injury is a frustrating part of training. It’s going to happen, expect it, don’t let it beat you. The human body is not invincible. On a micro scale, tissue breakdown is how we get stronger, faster, bigger, more explosive, the list goes on. We have a recovery mechanism there for a reason… To heal when we break down.
The problem of injury turning into something more sinister isn’t always in the mechanism of injury; it can often lie in the way we choose to rehab it.
An injury often opens the hatch to a slippery slope passing through weight-gainz-ville, unfit-village, weaker-valley and leading to frustration-station.
The best way to avoid this disastrous vacation from training for people is to act early. Take ownership of the injury and get an assessment to pin point which structure is injured and how badly it is injured but more importantly what you can do about it to recovery as quick as possible. There are highly trained people out there that can direct you towards recovery.
When something goes wrong with a car, the red light often flashes to indicate a problem. Taking the car to a mechanic is the obvious thing to do because not many people know much about engines. The mechanic can assess the issue, switch the red light off by removing the problem and then install a new part to return the car to it’s working order. Customer happily drives away with a maybe a one-line piece of information as to what was wrong. “Fuel Seal was worn down, mechanic fixed it though, all good”.
A healthcare clinician can only do half that job. They can assess it, offer some relief with manual therapy or electrotherapy to relieve the pain symptoms and switch the analogous red light off. But they can’t simply fix the worn down body part for you. They can give you the tools (exercises), and show you how to use them (exercise programme) but it is the patient who must perform work to improve the health of tissue.
The easier option is to show up to a physiotherapist or an osteopath and just lie on the bed like a car hoisted up and expect them to do their magic. But unfortunately the human body is far more complex than an engine and requires a lot more dedication and commitment to keeping it running properly. But it is also one of the only structures in existence that actually improves the more it is stressed.
The definition of fragile: “not strong or sturdy; delicate and vulnerable”. Nobody wants to be fragile... So what’s the opposite of fragile?
Robust? Strong and Healthy; Vigorous. But that’s still not the opposite of fragile. Like Nassim Nicholas Taleb highlights in his book, “Anti-Fragile”, robust only withstands stress, pressure or force, it doesn’t actually get stronger as a result of stress, pressure or force!
There is literally no words to describe the capabilities of the body.
After all that, remember to look after your body, give it the respect it deserves, stop putting off seeking expert attention to fix or heal your body because you are too busy or you are waiting for it to get better by itself.
Yes your body probably will get better by itself, but why wait eight days to recover from a chesty cough when you can get better in four, with with medicine or healthy nutrients.
The same principle applies with injury, it’s just a little but more work, than dropping your car to the mechanics or sipping some cough syrup twice a day.
Commit to the process, it’s your body, your vessel and you’re stuck with it for the rest of your life. Love it, look after it, enjoy it!