How come our worst injuries seem to happen with the most innocuous and simple things? It doesn’t make sense right? I’m writing this today to try and help explain this in a different way to perhaps you’ve heard it before. 

After one of our staff professional development days with the team at IMOVEU, they gave us an analogy that was too good not to share with you all. 

Are you familiar with the children’s book ‘Who sank the Boat?’ written by Pamela Allen (*Spoiler alert ahead*). To sum it up, a farm yard of animals are at a dock and are needing to cross the lake, but they only have one boat for them to jump in. So one by one they start filing in, first the cow, the pig and the sheep all jump in – of course the boat drops lower and lower into the water. This continued on and on until there was one last animal to get on the boat, a tiny little mouse. The weight of the mouse was just enough to make the boat sink, the other animals were all upset and blamed the mouse.

How is that all relevant? 

If we compare the boat to your body, the animals to stress and load, and the water is pain or injury, this will all start to make sense. 

The larger animals are the biggest stressors on our body, this is commonly things like work, the pig might be all the hours you’re sitting, the sheep is your exercise load. To this point your body (the boat) is able to cope (stay afloat). 

As the stressors continue to build up, this might be the equivalent of being tight, or restricted (water reaching the top of the boat), but then you bend forwards and lift something miniscule (mouse jumps on the boat) and Bang, you’ve hurt your back (sank the boat). 

So was it ‘poor lifting technique’ on that small item, or was it more likely sitting at work all day followed by the 10 beers you drank last night that had caused the damage? 

Granted, we won’t ever know for sure, our bodies work in wonderful ways. But what we do know is pain is multifactorial, when we are recovering from pain we focus on much more than how to lift up that item again, we address your exercise, your work habits, your diet. There are many choices we make in our day that will help keep our body afloat. 

It’s also important to note that we don’t all have the same size boat, or the same sized animals, what worked for Cousin Bob might not work for Aunty Mary and vice versa.

I hope this story allows you to look at pain a little differently, and hopefully understand it a little bit better. I know it did for me. There are so many great ways to explain pain, there are some great resources out there, some free to watch Ted Talks are great for learning.

Feel free to discuss this with one of our Osteopaths on your next visit! Book your appointment today online or call 02 60211975

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