Apart for my low back issue back in the day (which is now fully recovered) I never had any major injury in my body. This is a huge personal win as I would expect my body will struggle way more after almost 20 years of competitive sport and, at that time, lack of the knowledge how to take care of my recovery.
Well, it turns out that I just a human being. Over the past three weeks, I have been battling with the knee pain. It’s not an ordinary pain, some days I can hardly walk 😤. No way this battle is over just yet but I would like to share with you what I have learnt so far from the experience and I am hoping some of it could help you too.
1. STOP GUESSING
After one or two weeks of no condition change, get Ultrasound, MRI or X-Ray. This is so important because no matter how much knowledge you have, you can not see inside the body, nor your practitioner can. This information can potentially point you to the right direction and speed up your recovery process.
2. REACH OUT FOR HELP
Sometimes, we think we can save the world (literally). We think we know everything and that we can fix it. It's a mistake my friends, there is always someone more experience than you who could, again, fasten up your recovery process and set the right path for you. I reached out to two of my mentors I fully trust and a local osteopath. It's ok to admit we don't know everything. In the end we are stronger as a team. Just do it.
3. HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS
Dealing with the injury or even a health in general is never about that one thing. It's about to understand how multiple small interventions can create a major outcome. When we are injured, we tend to put into the body some medications or creams. We do almost anything to immediately stop the pain or get rid of the inflammation.
Well, inflammation is the first physiological process to the repair and remodelling of tissue. You cannot have tissue repair or remodelling without inflammation so chose wisely what you are using. So no icing for me. Ice constricts blood flow and impedes the inflammatory cells from reaching injured tissue. The blood vessels don’t open again for many hours after ice is applied.
I personally believe in the power of essential oils, an Arnica cream, consistent movement, proper hydration and lastly, my own patience! Boy, you have to be very patient.
4. CLEAN UP YOUR NUTRITION
When you are injured you need to, almost, religiously follow the anti-inflammatory nutrition plan. Whole-non-packaged and collagenous/tissue supporting food such as bone broth, avocado, cruciferous vegetables, herbs or blueberries are on top of my list. Be strict, it’s just temporary.
5. DO NOT STOP MOVING
One of the biggest mistake people do when they are injured is they stop moving. It can be because of the fear, too much pain or someones recommendation.
Keep moving! Respect your own pain threshold - move millimetre by millimetre. You probably heard this, " water still = poison, water flow = life". Support all bodily processes by keeping consistent movement IN THE RIGHT DOSAGE.
I go for a slow but regular walk, use vibration technology or perform daily mobilisers and restorative postures. One more thing, I don’t focus on knee. Look above and below.
6. SET YOUR MINDSET RIGHT
Oh, this one is tough and huge at the same time! Especially for someone like me...movement is EVERYTHING to me. It gives me the energy, a self-confidence, improves my mood, keeping my body fit and healthy and it's my job.
Therefore, it’s very easy to lose the battle and literally cry. If you have a day like this, it’s fine, just cry! I certainly did BUT the next day you HAVE to be back. Strong and mainly positive mindset is paramount for quicker healing. YOU GOT THIS!
I will definitely create a second part of this journey but for now, this is all I can advise you. This isn’t over yet but I am very very close to my second huge recovery win.