…Or cycling, tennis , football or golf. There are SO many exciting and exotic way to injure yourself.

I was at the Exmoor Beauty last month, providing post event massage to the tired cyclists, and I found myself saying “ah yes, lots of cyclists have that problem…” and doing the same treatment over and over. Perfectly adequate when administering a 15 minute post exercise rub down, but it’s hardly a thorough analysis. A cyclist may have problems because their bike doesn’t fit them, or a golfer could injure his or her shoulder through poor form, but equally the bike or the golfing may be inconsequential in relation to the injury.

This was brought home to me recently when somebody came to see me with shoulder pain and when I asked what exercise she does I was told climbing (all well and good) and…silks. Something to do with lawyers perhaps? Nope, she dangles on long strips of material, known as Aerial Silks. Think Cirque du Soleil, but in Devon. I met a member of an all-female tug of war team last month and was impressed by that, but the silks were something else. So was her problem with the climbing, or with the silks? Or something else entirely?

Bodies are different, sports are different, injuries are different…but we all have the same muscles – and permanent, surgical changes notwithstanding – the same basic structures. It’s not just incorrect tennis technique that causes the condition we call tennis elbow, but gardening, weight lifting, and (I suspect) poor tugging o’ war. I have another client who developed carpal tunnel syndrome, a common pregnancy complaint, not while she was pregnant but afterwards from holding her baby’s head when breast feeding.

So if your knee is twinging with pain don’t automatically blame the run you did last week but consider how you pick up heavy objects from the ground, your position on the bathroom floor as you bath your baby, that time you were kneeling on the kitchen floor with your head under the sink, trying some DIY plumbing. You may get sore from running, jumping, climbing trees, dangling on aerial silks, riding a horse, driving a car, or playing online poker so try and tune into your body and think about how you are doing these things. If you need a break, take a break. If you need to stop and stretch, then stop and stretch. Take a pause to reassess your form and make sure you’re not hurting yourself.  All ok? Then, carry right on doing what you love, whatever it is.