A commonly held belief is that certain exercises or sports become off limits as a result of pain, age and injury.
While this can be true in extreme circumstances, such as Formula One racing in your 70s with a significant cardiac history, or cage fighting Ronda Rousey after multiple spinal fractures, for the most part I believe if you work hard enough at something you can get back to it. This is because more research shows hard exercise stops you getting injured, sick and frail. All that may have to change is the level you were participating at. But isn’t this sort of normal? Who is faster at 40 than 20, or stronger at 60 than 40?
I think where this belief comes from has many influences. A major one is the structural framework sports medicine has worked off for years, that pain is linked directly to tissue health and tissue changes are inversely proportional to prognosis and performance.
Research is slowly changing our management models, but still doom and gloom tends to accompany the diagnosis of many people’s pain and injury.
The other is the language we use to describe what most of the time is pain. Stuffed, Gone, Shot, four-letter-worded. Even when you do serious damage, damage heals, rehab takes place. Recovery happens. Often what stops us getting back to where we were is life.
Whether injuries are an excuse, a barrier or a fear, plenty of people avoid hard exercise because they think it is bad for them, their tissue or their old injuries.
And in 90% of cases this is simply not true. (Figured randomly pulled from Dave’s brain – but i reckon it’s pretty close).
Here is some research giving an early indication that the size and health of your intervertebral discs can be increased through regular endurance running.
While no means definitive, this is completely opposite to commonly held beliefs that exercise makes stuff wear out, running is bad for your back, everything else you have heard.
Loading your tissues regularly, intelligently and progressively is good for you. Don’t just take my word for it. Have a read and see for yourself.
Think about the reasons you have been avoiding moving more. If you need help with a specific pain or old injury – no matter what you have been told or how long it has been around – Newcastle Performance Physio can help.
Until next time