How To Minimize Injury & Heal Quickly If You Are Injured
In my experience, the instance that led to an injury is often not the actual cause of the injury.
Let me explain.
Most injuries that we experience (outside of tragic events such as car accidents) are a result of an accumulation of stress on the body-mind that eventually leads to a breaking point in which one of the weak links is affected -- whether that's a physical injury, an illness, or a mental/emotional dis-ease.
The thing is, this accumulation of stress can come from many different sources.
And before I continue, I want to make it clear that a certain amount of stress is necessary to live and grow. Gravity is technically a form a stress; but we wouldn't be able to survive in our current condition without it. This is true for all of these major forms of stress listed below.
Here are six of the major sources of stress:
All of these combined create what is called your allostatic load or your overall stress level.
As you can see, when it comes to physical health and physical injuries, physical stress is only one form of stress. This means that what can manifest as a physical injury may actually be caused by a combination of other stressors that are not physical in nature.
For example, having poor posture is stressful on the system -- every centimeter your head is forward relative to your center line compounds the weight of the head your muscles, ligaments, and tendons have to support; and this can create further imbalances down the chain. This is just one example, as these imbalances can occur in many ways throughout the body.
Now imagine you've got two athletes with identical postural imbalances. One athlete (Athlete A) is eating right for their body, getting adequate sleep, and has a generally optimistic and loving approach towards life. The other athlete (Athlete B) is not eating or sleeping well and is chronically finding him/herself in challenging relationships and life circumstances.
If you put these two athletes on the same training program, Athlete B will almost always experience some kind of breakdown (injury or otherwise) way before Athlete A. Athlete B may even see a physical therapist to address the physical imbalances, yet still may find that their performance is less than Athlete A even though Athlete A has done nothing to address his/her physical imbalances.
This is how powerful the accumulation of stress of all forms can be.
So when addressing physical injuries, it's often not enough to only address the physical imbalances.
This same principle is true in the healing of injuries.
Of course, you want to optimize the physical system as best as you can -- posture, technique, program, etc. -- but this is only one fraction of the whole.
My job as a rehabilitation specialist and holistic lifestyle coach is to look at the whole picture and help athletes/clients manage all forms of stress as best as they can.
In my experience, as a general rule, it's never just one thing that causes a problem and it's therefore never just one thing that will fix it.
If you want to take a deeper dive on this topic and hear me get into some more specific recommendations, I invite you to watch this recent video I made breaking down the whole injury process from start to finish.
A quote that I feel called to share:
"There are only two ways to heal, now or later."