It’s not all in the mind; it’s you as a whole.
Whether it’s under or over hydration, poor nutrition, stress/worry, under or over training, infection, stomach problems or knee pain: It’s All Connected.
I’m always being asked why a simple injury won’t get better quickly. Faced with the frustrated runner here’s my usual general explanation.
The key to successful recovery is to think in a connected way about the problem. What do I mean by connected? Our attention is always drawn towards the site of pain or injury. While this is important it’s even more import to remember that you’re connected; other parts of your body may have set you up for the injury.
For example a niggling hip problem may weaken your ankle. You then sprain or strain your ankle. All your attention is on getting the ankle better. Weeks later you’re still not able to run. The minor hip problem is impeding the recovery of the ankle.
Try and think about what may have been hurting anywhere in your body before the injury. It may be on the same side or it may be the other side. It may be internal (past chest infection or constipation). Your monthly cycle can affect your balance or deep abdominal discomfort. This can put you at risk to twists and falls. A minor right-sided hip/back problem that you can run with may put strain on you left knee.
You may have sat in an awkward position on a long drive to race meeting. Days before you helped a friend to move home. All that lifting may be good for you but may have resulted in a sore low back. That dodgy curry left you with a sensitive tummy. Through the nervous system it’s all connected.
Primary and Secondary Causes
You’ve injured your knee or have pain for no real reason. Thinking in terms of Primary and Secondary Causes seems to help my patients. We’ll call where it hurts, the knee, the Primary Cause. Any factors such as dehydration, irritable bowel syndrome, menopause, and hip or back pain we’ll call the Secondary Cause. Other than the obvious knee location the Secondary Cause my not only have set you up but will lengthen your recovery time. Your body is connected and knows no distance between your injury (Primary) and the source of the trouble (Secondary).
Why is this Important?
It means you can deal with the Secondary Cause while dealing with the Primary Cause at the same time. Whether you need medication, manipulation, rest or exercise dealing with the Secondary Cause will always help. It also helps to think like this in cases of recovery from surgery.
Hope this helps.
Walter has over 30 years clinical experience in osteopathic sports medicine. Covering areas as philosophy, psychology, trauma, & coaching. Sports covered include running, American football, rugby (both codes) and tennis. He is an international lecturer and author.
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Disclaimer: There is no substitute for a trained and experienced health care professional. Asking on social media, your mates, and your mum or dad (unless they are health care professionals) only leads to confusion.
15 July 2016