Tuesday, 30 October 2012
The past few weeks have been a bit tiresome at times. Two separate but related things have been going on with me. The first is obviously my struggle to recover from my recent climbing accident. The second is the thing I’ve been filling a lot of my time with for the past month while I cannot climb properly - working on my injuries book.
I’ve spent weeks and weeks of just reading, wading through scientific papers, medical texts, blogs and case studies. Sports medicine crosses so many specific fields of knowledge. It’s a huge picture. One of the most striking things about the science and art of treating sports injuries is the lack of hard unequivocal evidence in so many corners of sports medicine practice. You could spend your whole life reading the conflicting viewpoints and interpretations of the weak and limited scientific evidence available. The deeper you read into the detail of each field, the less seems reliable.
Of course, a bit of time to step back, digest and put into perspective what you have read makes things clearer. But while reading through the thick of the information, it’s hard not to get disheartened by the lack of hard rules and structure on which to build an approach to staying free of injury and solving existing ones.
One theme that does keep coming up is that humans do seem to be able in a lot of situations to find ways to overcome problems where the available evidence is not much help. When it’s not obvious what to do to either improve performance or recover from an injury, the single most valuable thing we can hold onto is that we have the capacity to literally try everything, to not give up and to work through problems and last the distance until either a resolution or a workaround is reached.
Lack of good scientific evidence to base our decisions is frustrating, but it’s crucial not to let this erode the one thing you can rely on to make progress - strong motivation.