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The Mental Toughness Developed by Physical Recovery

Posted on February 1st, 2018 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

For people who have never needed to retrain their bodies, going to physical therapy can feel like an admission of weakness. However, our orthopaedic specialists know a far deeper truth: that physical recovery makes our patients stronger in ways they can’t predict. Physical therapy is empowering—and today’s story from a guest writer and current service member explains why.

Here’s his story:

“Everyone has a plan for their life and a general idea of how their life will go, and I was no different. I had just finished my initial training and was anxiously awaiting my next trip; my next adventure that would send me to a new and exciting locale. I was young, I was fit, and I had a plan for my life that all came crashing down in an instant.

The doctors at the naval hospital were optimistic as they have seen and treated broken bone injuries identical to mine dozens of times over. But for me, a young athlete–a young warrior—this was the first time that my physical body had failed me, and it had me shaken to the core. I approached rehabilitation with a sense of contempt because I simply did not trust my reconstructed limb.

I felt phantom pains that weren’t there; intellectually, I knew they weren’t there…but they felt real in that moment. Every limp, every hesitation, every moment of pause was a constant reminder that I was going to have to rely on my mental discipline to get me through physical recovery.

Looking back on it now, I see that I was likely the toughest patient to deal with that my orthopedic clinic ever had to deal with. They helped me every step of the way with world-class treatment and constant reassurance that I was on the path to recovery.

At some point, the body relies on the mind to force it to take the next step. There were setbacks and obstacles along the way. As my body healed, the setbacks became less frequent. As my mental clarity improved, so did the benefits of my therapy. My muscles strengthened alongside my resolve.

Today, the scars of my surgery are all that remains of the physical tolls of my injury. The lines on my skin bear the reminder that now my body is whole, and the pain that was so present and stark has subsided long ago.

I have been able to continue my military career unencumbered by any long lasting pain or impairments. I owe much of my recovery to the team of doctors, and medical professionals who helped mend my physical body and had just the correct amount of motivation to keep my mental toughness pushing me forward through my treatment.

I am living proof that if you train your mind, your body will follow.”

Physical Therapy Is for Everyone

You don’t have to be a “young warrior” to experience the power and mental toughness that recovery helps us develop. If you’ve been dealing with an injured joint or limited mobility for a long time, orthopaedic treatment could be your way out. Combined with physical rehabilitation, you could reclaim painless mobility within the next few months.

Contact Orthopaedic Specialty Group for information today.