Are you anti-fragile?

Old Man

This well known book (Antifragile) got me to thinking

Something I see quite a bit of is the fear of breaking ourselves when we’re having an episode of the back or neck pain that likely got you into the office in the first place. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had patients tell me stories with the general theme that they were told in another office (be it chiropractor, orthopedist, or what have you) that they had “severe degeneration,” or a “bad back.”

This sets people up for failure. The reality is people come back from multiple disc herniations to win powerlifting meets after only a year. The more you refuse to lie down and take the pain the faster the pain will leave your body.

The book, Antifragile, is what got me thinking about this. I haven’t read it yet, but it keeps popping up as something that I should read. The general theme (according to the reviews) is that there are plenty of things (like you) that get stronger with use. In physiology there are two laws that back up that idea: Wolff’s Law and Davis’ Law. These laws state that bones (Wolff’s) and soft tissue (Davis’) remodel to adapt to the forces imposed upon them.

This is why I am such an advocate of exercise, especially weight lifting. It makes you more injury proof up until the point where you get so strong that the risk of getting stronger from lifting greater loads increases your chances of injury. Most of us will never get that strong–including me. It doesn’t stop me from trying though.

So don’t let the words of another make you fragile for life. Sometimes you have to nurse an injury. Sometimes you really need to rest to allow for healing. But when that time has passed, it’s time to work to become the stronger, and therefore better, version of yourself.

Until next week,

Dr. Eric O’Connell