Tuesday 25 September 2018

Stop Blaming The Sport And Start Helping The Athlete

I have a bodybuilding client who has thanked me multiple times for my non-judgmental stance toward individuals in their sport. When seeing other healthcare practitioners, including medical doctors, they often don't find the help that they need due to an assumed attitude that their chosen activity is the inherent cause of any health issue; thus, the problem is their own fault.

Let's speak strictly from a pain and injury standpoint. (And I'm firmly putting pharmaceuticals aside from this conversation.) Yes, so we CAN safely assume that bodybuilding and its training style comes with a specific host of injuries and conditions; tendinopathies, back pain, even potentially arthritis. But do you know what other sports also come with their own set of injuries as well, though?

How about soccer, running, gymnastics, skateboarding, and every other physical activity in existence?

It's an easy fact that every activity has its own inherent rate of injury. That rate inevitably starts to climb as the level of sport increases. I recall one of my instructors in school, who worked with many of Canada's national athletes, state, "all high-performance sport is inherently bad for you." It's very true, with the high physical demands of high performance taking an eventual, heavy tole on any body.

Unfortunately, some sports, such as bodybuilding but also including others such as cross-fit or X-Game-type events, hit an unhealthier range before reaching as high of a level. That doesn't excuse medicine from taking a double-standard approach to it, however, treating any one athlete differently because any health issues are "their own fault".

It's not a moral qualm for me. Whether it's a bodybuilder, an ultra marathon-runner, or an extreme skateboarder, I'm well aware that these individuals may be choosing to put their bodies at risk for the activities they love. If they're aware of the risk, not putting themselves in critical danger, and they're not risking the health of anyone else, then it continues to fall in line with my drive to help by helping them to continue their sport, but in AS healthy of a manner as possible.

It's the least I can do. It's not my job to criticize, it's my job to help.


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