Injury & seeking the right treatment

With over a decade of racing Motorbikes and 3 years on the Obstacle Race scene I have had my fair share of injuries (broken bones / ligaments / tendons etc!) and something that I have learnt & wanted to share is that it’s vital in getting the right treatment & fast.

When I broke my collarbone for the first time in ‘99, other Motorbike racers told me to go and see ‘the bone welder’ in Ipswich (Brian Simpson – at the Brian earned the nickname from racers who were keen to get back out on track competing and needed to heal fast. It also references the laser that Brian famously uses to help the healing process (Harry Potters magic wand as far as I’m concerned)

Now obviously you can’t weld bones, however what you can do is assist the healing process if treated in the right way. Likewise you can also help someone understand their limitations, and the reverse – what’s still possible. With a huge % of sports performance being in the head, these understandings are just as important as the physical resolutions.

The NHS are ok at what they do, however it’s a blanket approach, intended to get you on your way and in my experience seeking private advice immediately after injury is the best way to heal fast, and properly. Obviously this appeals to athletes, however it’s also important in other walks of life – children, self-employed people, people with an important date in the calendar (wedding / holiday) even older generations who don’t need to impose limitations into their life.

I have been lucky enough to have been treated by Brian & team multiple times and generally when I’ve had a tight deadline to work with. He has helped me race a motorbike with a broken collarbone, get back on a bike after breaking my wrist, solved back problems and most recently helped fix my ankle.

I tore two ligaments in my right ankle two weeks ago. And I was distraught. After my recent endurance events I felt really positive about the forth coming races, Spartan Season was starting and I had the 24hr Xtreme Toughest race in Sweden lined up. Additionally 6 days after the fall I was to drive the Toyota.

NHS told me 2 weeks total isolation, foot up, it would be 2-4 to weight bear, and 6-8 to manage a jog. Jumping and running was a long way off indeed, and was told that rest was all I needed and keep off it. I went straight into treatment and after 3 sessions was walking well & managed to get my race boot on and race the Toyota to a class victory and 2nd Overall. Then a week later after more treatment I raced in Sweden. We covered 163km in 24hrs, (ultra-marathon distance personally) with jumps, landings, mixed surfaces, impacts and my ankle was just awesome. I was mindful not to risk it unnecessarily but I put it through a heck of a lot!

People think Physio’s cost a huge amount or it’s an effort to drive to one, but the difference it can make on recovery times is close to a miracle. My advice is if you get hurt, go and see a specialist ASAP (ideally within 24hours) the early hours / days are where the biggest gain is – get your treatment started so the body can heal properly. Rest is not always the right answer, using it in the correct way can actually help. Get proper injury advice!

Edit : Joanne Wraight used to work with Brian and has now setup on her own in Stowmarket, following similar principles, also an option.


About Luke Lawrence

@SpartanRace, Obstacle Course Racer, adventurer, extreme sports enthusiast supported by @biosynergy #makeithappen
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