We've all taken nasty knocks at some point that have left us damaged for a while with pain, broken bones and bruises.
I remember accidentally volleying the bottom of somebody else's football boot at around age 15 and having degrees of pain on that foot for around a year afterwards.
Damaged structures take time to heal as we regenerate our tissues slowly and unknowingly.
Strained muscles, ligaments and tendons heal similarly but don't tend to injure in the same way.
WE tend to hurt them. Us.
How do we do this; hurting ourselves without any unexpected external trauma?
In the great number of people I do sports injury rehab work with who haven't had some sort of impact injury, they have unknowingly used themselves poorly to lead them to a place of pain and injury.
Bad habits can lead to pain, structural inflammation and eventual structural damage.
The really interesting thing about this is that where structural damage takes time to heal, habits can change in an instant.
Let's define a habit as an almost an automatic reaction to a specific situation. I say almost because a habit is not a reflex, it's just something you've practised many times to the point of automaticity unless you make an effort to decide otherwise. Thinking about it further, habits aren't even things. "Habit" is a convenient word to describe a way of doing things.
You can change the way you do things very quickly with a little external coaching or by paying attention to what you're doing in a way you wouldn't usually pay attention. I have seen attending to parts of yourself that you would normally believe irrelevant to a certain movements or postures change them for the better immediately, sometimes ridding people of pain there and then.
This difference of attention breaks habits, pain and injury.
If you have a broken bone or soft tissue damage, time, Mother Nature and being clever about doing what you can to set the conditions for tissue healing to occur will all help.
If you haven't had some sort of collision or if you have pain that recurs or persists in the face of treatment of your structures, it may be worth considering the idea that the way you move and hold yourself is responsible and changing this will drive the recovery and comfort you desire.
Don't break yourself, break your injury.
Arton "Breaking broken" Baleci
Float Sting - Sports Injury Rehab and Performance
Harley Street, London, W1