The process of recovery from a physical injury affects people in different ways. My clients tell me of the frustration of feeling reasonably OK one day, and then the next day the pain stops them in their tracks. It is a journey of self discovery, learning to cope with the pain and to know your physical limitations but then, also being able to challenge your body and train it to be stronger and fitter.

However recovery is not all about the physical, it’s about the psychological too. My clients often tell me, “it’s what it does to your head”. On a good day it’s tempting to push yourself to do all those jobs that have been on your ‘to do’ list for weeks. The next day you’re down again, and the discomfort reminds you that you are not out of the woods yet, and you still have a way to go. It’s common for people who manage pain daily to get annoyed, mostly with themselves for pushing too hard the day before. The frustration affects us in lots of ways, and one of my clients admits that in the early stages of his recovery he tended to push his ‘self destruct button’ and turn to food as a coping mechanism. Now he says “I realise that it’s not knowing at what point I’ll feel fully able and well again that’s my main concern, but I can accept the fact that something has changed”. I know this acceptance in my client opens the gateway to a process of psychological adaptation. A mind shift occurs and they begin to use their exercise to manage their pain, and start to take control of their lives again.

Servicemen and women from around the world suffering with long term injuries, lost limbs and psychological trauma, met in London to compete in the Invictus games organised by Prince Harry. One of the athletes, Lcpl. Maurillia Simpson says, “the key thing is learning to adapt” and that “being injured is not the end”. Watch the video and be inspired to ride your peaks and troughs.