Not sure what to do about your niggles? Read on!

Everyone at some point experiences some kind of injury. Injury can be the result of a traumatic event (e.g. sporting injury) or from repetitive stress on a particular structure/body part (e.g. tennis elbow or postural strain). Generally speaking, the time it takes for an injury to heal can be dependent on the nature and the extent of the injury. If the injury is severe it may take longer to heal, compared to a minor injury which might take less time to resolve.  Other factors like age, activity and systemic health may also hinder healing times.

Nonetheless, it is important to address an injury sooner rather than later. BUT WHY?!

Well, the human body is equipped with mechanisms that switch on in the presence of an injury. In the case of a musculoskeletal injury, we may typically see:

  • Pain inhibition of deep stabilising muscles
  • Reflex inhibition of postural muscles
  • Protective global muscle spasm
  • Reduced local joint protection & sense of joint awareness/balance
  • Muscle wasting due to disuse
  • Altered movement

If an injury is not seen to, it can lead to long term muscular imbalances and altered joint mechanics of not only the injured body part, but also body parts nearby. We call these secondary compensations or compensatory patterns. This is why it is important to follow a consistent exercise rehabilitation program that is specific to your injury. Not only does this ensure that you strengthen the affected areas appropriately and safely, but it also ensures that secondary compensations to the original injury do not become an issue later on! In other words, the sooner you address your injury, the better. And the more consistent you are with your exercise, the better the results will be!

Written By Dr. Jena Chang (osteopath)

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You’re sabotaging yourself from recovery. Here’s how.

It must be very frustrating when you feel amazing after a treatment, but it doesn’t last, and all your symptoms seem to return for no apparent reason, and you feel like you need another session sooner than expected! We know you love us, but we know you don’t want to be coming in all the time, and we don’t want to be seeing you all the time either, because we want to know that you’re getting better!

There are a few reasons why this would happen, and hopefully they help you understand how to get better quicker!

  1. Getting better is NOT your #1 priority. Sometimes, if your pain or injury is holding you back, you just have to put other things on hold and focus on recovery, so that you can come back even better and more efficient than before. For example, give your shoulder a break by not doing housework, give the gym a rest to let your knee recover, but most importantly, DO YOUR EXERCISES/FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN NO MATTER WHAT.
  2. Following on from the previous tip, the next biggest sabotage is when we have given you amazing advice, and you have just put the information to the back of your mind because there are just too many other things to worry about. You think, I’ll do that exercise later, I have to lift that bed frame up the stairs today, or I don’t have time so I’ll only do the exercise once today, or I will get that spiky ball next time, or it’s feeling better, I’ll use the heat pack tomorrow. We don’t blame you, life does get in the way sometimes, but this is a major sabotage. The more you follow our instructions, the faster you will heal.
  3. Not getting seen early enough. You get injured and think, I’ll just wait and see if it will get better. You speak to your friends who had the same problem, and they say theirs went away in a few days. Or, you think it’s only a small issue, and try not to think about it. So you wait a few days, then a few weeks, then a few months… and it’s really starting to bug you so you decide to get it looked at. In most cases, the longer you wait to get it treated, the longer it will take to get better. So book in as soon as you feel any niggle. This is also why we are fans of having regular monthly, six-weekly, or bi-monthly treatments/check ups, so that we nip it in the bud BEFORE it even begins.
  4. You have been taking painkillers. We understand. It is painful and stopping you from being productive. However, research shows that taking anti-inflammatories like Neurofen, Voltaren and Mobic actually slow the rate of recovery because it takes the much needed blood away from the injured area. The more tablets you take, the longer it will take to heal. There are many natural anti-inflammatory methods out there, so please ask us for some ideas instead and you’ll be back on your feet much quicker.

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