Are you training for a marathon, fun run, long walk or other event? Are you worried that you’re harboring niggles, or concerned that your body won’t hold up? Maybe you’re suffering from Maranoia!
If you live in Melbourne, we have a big weekend coming up for the weekend warriors! This weekend is OXFAM TRAIL WALKER 100KM WALK, as well as the MS HALF MARATHON. Training has already begun for THE TAN ULTRA as well as RUN MELBOURNE.
What amazing opportunities our city provides us with to get out there and be active, whilst challenging ourselves to complete something which requires dedication, fitness and mental strength. We applaud and support all of our patients undertaking these events – what an amazing thing to achieve, particularly when raising money for worthy charities such as Oxfam!
We treat loads of people who are busy preparing and training their body for the challenge that these events provide. It is realistic and to be expected that small barriers, niggles or injuries may occur when conditioning your body to do things it wouldn’t normally do.
Exercise is challenging because it adds load to a body part in order to get that body part to become more supple and strong. This cannot happen without stressing the body in order to create an adaptation or change. A positive adaptation is the development of strength, endurance or flexibility, and negative adaptation might be a small muscle tear or strain.
Sometimes, the negative adaptations are unavoidable. Most training regimes will not be a simple, linear, proportionate development of strength or speed over time. There will be niggles, aches and pains.
It’s important not to overlook these warning signs from your body, as there are plenty of things that our Osteopaths can do to help you resolve your concern quickly and have you back to training ASAP.
However, it is common to see athletes develop serious stress and concern over fairly mild injuries – worrying that they’re a sign of imminent catastrophe and completely ceasing their exercise in order to rest the affected area.
The problem with this approach is that taking more than 2 weeks off consistent exercise will lead to deconditioning of previously very fit muscles. This means that upon returning to exercise, the muscles will be less able to do what they previously could – further eating into training time.
It is also very important to acknowledge the role that stress plays in pain. Being hyper-concerned about small niggles is counter productive. Mulling or ruminating over painful complaints causes stress (usually in someone who is already nervous about their upcoming event) which drives the production of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is a stimulatory, excitatory hormone, which causes nerves become more sensitive. Sensitive nerves = increased pain.
We recommend not allowing yourself to enter the negative self talk cycle – yes, you’ll likely experience small niggles or injuries in the lead up to your event, but with the right advice, we can return you to training ASAP.
See one of our Osteopaths in Camberwell and Oakleigh so that we can accurately explain exactly what is happening and what steps you need to take to overcome your injury – most small niggles are not a sign of severe damage, and can be addressed quickly.
We want to put your mind at ease – remember, less stress = less pain!
Do you have any small niggles worrying you, or an event coming up? Let our Osteos help to place you in the best position you can be prior to your race!
B.Sci (Clin.Sci), M.H.S.(Osteo)
Member of Osteopathy Australia