If you had asked me 8 months ago if I thought I was in good health I would have told you I had a few small issues. I had tight shoulders during stressful times or big work weeks. A little bit of gut dysfunction which I put down to being a FIFO worker doing shift work and my diet wasn't consistent, another casualty of working away and having to eat camp food. Fast-forward to now and I can tell you I was very wrong.
I'll give some background of where and when it all started falling apart and I’ll try and keep this short as I’m not a fan of talking about what I used to be or do. I played a lot of AFL Football as a young guy and I began to excel at about the age of 15. Life was great and I was taking all the right steps to follow my dream of playing at the top level. The injuries started when I was 17 and rather than bore you with the stories I will just list them.
- 2002 - Osteitis Pubis - Overuse and inflammation of the pubic bones, very painful and I couldn’t walk up stairs for 4 days after a game of footy
- 2003 - Serious Ankle Injury - Tore the cartilage of the bone, had bones removed from the rear of the joint and had cracks ground out of the ankle joint.
- 2004 - ACL Rupture – Very common injury.
- 2005 – 2nd ACL Rupture - If I look back now I feel I was dealing with some depression issues as the 3 connective injuries had killed my footy dreams.
- 2006 - Neck and Shoulder Tension – this is still ongoing and for me it defiantly has a lot to do with stress but my neck always goes out. I regularly pop ribs off the spine (that sounds bad but it's just a mis-alignment) and it's painful and regularly it impacts my life.
- 2007 - Compressed spine around the neck and shoulders - Mountain bike stack.
- 2008/2009 - Countless whiplash - Snowboarding in Austria.
- 2012 - Grade 3 Supraspinatus tear in the right shoulder
- 2015 - Two benign tumours removed from the left glute - Sorry but this has a story, it had been an ongoing issue for about 4 years. As soon as I raised my training load from 10k to 20k runs my whole left side would ache for about 3 days, it always felt as if I needed to stretch it out but when I did it made no difference. This was also the starting point of my pursuit into better living. I felt something had to change and I began using the foam roller, started working on functional movements and generally tried to improve and strengthen from the inside out.
- 2016 - Adrenal Fatigue - I had never experienced energy crashes like this before. A series of blood work tested for glandular fever, ross-river virus and 2 other blood inflammation markers which the doc later told me were possible cancer indicators before diagnosing adrenal fatigue
- 2016 - Aching of the Coccyx bone - this is still ongoing and driving me insane and I’m currently trying to work it out.
So as you can see I have done a fair amount of damage over the years, but somehow I don’t think I would be alone in having an injury list as long as my arm. As I have hit my wise old thirties and I watch my kids grow, I have come to realise that all this damage is having a massive impact on my life. I’m living with constant lower back, neck and shoulder pain and over the last few years I've made a real effort to start looking after myself. I get regular remedial massage, chiropractic adjustments and physiotherapy and before you think it, YES they are all very good at what they do as the list above shows its been a long testing phase. Rather then hit the gym I get on the floor and do mobilisation work, foam rolling, thorough band work, joint decompression and a full pelvic floor routine to help my lower back. Don't get me wrong, its all having an impact but I find myself asking the same question.
All this work and my neck and lower back still hurt?
My wife who is the mother of our 2 boys is also my biggest supporter so I find it hard that I have so many issues when she is raising our boys, helping start/run a business, study, budget and cooks great nutrient dense food for us all and that’s just the start of it. So when she says to me that the pain is starting to impact my life at home with the things that matter the most, I listen.
I’m about to embark on a completely new journey and to most people it will sound hippie and left of centre but to me it seems to make complete sense. I’m going to try Neurophysics and start to repair my system from the inside out by working on my central nervous system. If you’re thinking it sounds crazy just ask yourself if each time you go to the doctor have they ever actually healed a problem or do they just fix the symptom? Stay tuned for the next part of my story as I embark on a very new way of thinking or maybe it’s the old way retaught.