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What Airplane Turbulence Teaches Us About Fracture Recovery

Brandt R Gibson, DPM
Podiatrist, Neuropathy Doctor, Father of 11 and Founder of Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute
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Last night I flew into the Newark Liberty Airport using a Delta flight.  The crew and pilot were outstanding and the flight was relatively uneventful, except for significant turbulence as we prepared to land.  People around me were anxious and the excitement from the bumping were significant.  This reminded me of a simple principle utilized by nature and utilized in that flight by an experienced pilot.

Scientist around the world are able to understand the environment and conditions that occured in nature from reading the rings of a tree.  In periods of ease, the tree will grow quickly and trunk rings will be further apart.  In periods of increased stress, the tree will maintain its energy for essential purposes and tree growth is slowed (ie rings are closer together). 

Similarly, a pilot will fly into turbulence at an ideal speed (usually slower) to provide the best penetration and the greatest ease (and thus the least discomfort for passengers).  These pilots have learned from nature and from experience that slower speeds are the key to limiting difficulties and problems.  So it should be with our fracture recovery.

As I have continued to return to regular activities and my running, I am progressing at a much slower speed.  Instead of speeding through the return to normal activities and having greater pain, discomfort or even increased risk of reinjury, I am progressing slower than I ever have.  This allows me to return to my running more quickly and with less pain.  Apparently nature knows what it is doing, and as I follow its example, things return to normal more quickly.

So as you return from a sprain, strain or fracture, consider progressing as nature would -- Slower, meticulously increasing back to the level you desire to be at.  I promise you greater ease and a quicker return to pre-injury levels if you follow this technique.
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