By Fred Braithwaite (Rock Doc & Owner at www.stronglines.co.uk)
The human body is remarkable. It has the ability to adapt and change to the stimulus we place on it day to day, what is more, it actually super compensates to the stimulus we place on it. This phenomenon of supercompensation is how we get stronger, fitter, faster, it is also how we heal.
When we get hurt, the same mechanisms that tells us where to grow fingernail, eyebrows, types of skin and organs get to work and restore the body to its former glory. This process is facilitated by being active in most cases. Loading through targeted exercise is the miracle drug that facilitates bones, muscles, ligaments, nerves and tendons to remodel and become stronger.
As new tissue is produced an appropriate load placed on it at the right time facilitates further healing and remodelling. You can see this in any cut in the skin you have had. Firstly, blood forms a sticky clot, then the clot hardens into a scab. Now, if you continually pick it or knock which would be overloading it, it stays at this level, a hard scab that bleeds every time you pick or knock it. The healing process slows, more scar tissue is formed.
If you don’t pick it or continually knock the scab off, you will find that the deepest layers of skin and scar tissue are allowed to remodel to a tougher complex similar to what was there before and they work their way up to the surface naturally healing nicely leaving only a subtle scar the becomes a functioning part of us.
Imagine this happening in a torn muscle, ligament, tendon or broken bone, if we overload it, it knocks off the newly formed structures and we go back to square one, if we load it appropriately, the new tissues is stimulated to adapt further and progress in the healing process.
This is why rehab is king in addressing neuromusculoskeletal disorders. The body thrives on the wonder drug that is exercise.
Finding the biological tipping point and continually progressing it in an injured state, in principle, is no different to progressing your training. Find the point at which tissues is stimulated to adapt, allow appropriate rest, repeat with slight overload.
Rest is as important as the loading itself. Think of it as taking a painkiller and the time it takes to wear off. The half-life of the drug depends on its strength, stronger drugs last longer. A stronger loading stimulus takes longer to recover from, the stress on different tissues also has varying time frames of recovery.
So, lets learn to not pick the scab and instead do everything to progress a healthy healing process. Stop overloading the system and depriving yourself of optimal adaptation. Apply thought and science to your training and recovery and discover what incredible things your body call heel from and how strong and resilient you can really be in building the FUTUREPROOF you!