What I did to manage a fractured Vertebrae…

I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a strong core and muscle tone as we age into our 50’s.  There is general consensus that any exercise, be it strenuous or light, is ultimately beneficial and goes a long way to increasing our longevity, but only recently has strength training had its own pillar thrown into the conversation and the findings have been compelling.

I recently discovered this first hand and would like to share my recent “Lockdown” experience…

My hubby and I decided to take our ski boat out for a short cruise for something different to do in lockdown 12 weeks ago. I remember the date as its etched in my memory, we were unlucky enough to come across a huge cruiser wash in our small ski boat and were thrown about quite significantly! Unfortunately, on the impact my seat was ripped from the base of the boat and I fractured my L1 Vertebrae.

We have been around boats for many years and never have I experienced anything as frightening as this! I knew at the time of impact from the pain there was something seriously wrong!  Never having broken a bone in my body it was pretty scary… especially at age 55!

Anyway… 12 weeks on and I have recovered extremely well, fully healed and wanted to share my story.

My biggest fears were BMI increasing, fitness declining, permanent injury & not being able to get back to my favourite sport – waterskiing!

Did I lie down and rest for weeks? No.

Did I stop all exercise and wait for it to heal? No.

2 weeks after the incident I started clinical exercise rehab sessions with Megan. Twice a week for ½ hour along with gentle walking and regular stretching at home. I am amazed how great I feel. Honestly, 6 weeks after the accident I actually forgot I had a fractured vertebrae!  We have been working on core strength and posture. I am now 12 weeks post the accident and back into my regular training schedule.

I really believe my accident would have been so much worse If I was not able to brace myself with my strong core.

The clinical exercise sessions at Sans Souci Physio are specifically tailored to each client. Having worked here for many years I was always aware how patients were finding the benefits of each class as they keep on coming back! I was always more into gym sessions and hard cardio workouts. I am absolutely an advocate for this more subtle, targeted form of exercise! Wow and you actually work up a sweat!

Strength training has been linked to a decrease in chronic conditions such as osteoporosis, back pain and obesity as well as an overall improvement in quality of life. Greater strength means a greater ability to move around and complete day to day tasks with ease.  

Whether it be cardio, strength, Pilates or yoga, exercise has proven to be an effective tool for eliminating depression, anxiety, stress and in boosting mental clarity through the release of the “Hope Molecule”. Our bodies are hardwired to push us through and reinforce positive feeling towards exercise to help us make it a habit.

It’s not always easy getting started but keep consistent and diligent and over time your hard work will be rewarded with tangible results, not just of the mind but, the body as well.

By Kim M, Practice Manager Sans Souci Physiotherapy Centre