Healing My ACL Injury Naturally
In May this year i run out on to the football oval for the first time in my life. At the young age of 39 i decided that i wanted to step out of my comfort zone. It was (in the words of Nadine Champion) my 10 seconds of courage. I run out there nervous and freezing but pumped up and excited as well. It was an amazing feeling! I was out there with an awesome bunch of strong ladies that had also stepped out of their comfort zones to challenge themselves. We had a great game although we lost big time, we all felt like we had won, because we had all over come our fears.
The following weekend we had an away game and it was also mothers day. My family had given me a framed pic of myself taking down a girl from our first game. I was so proud that my family was so supportive of my football. We were all excited to travel for my game that day, we got there early and kicked the ball around with each other. Once the whole team was there we warmed up, we were all nervous again but excited too. I was playing mid field and was struggling for breath so at half time i went to the forward in the third quarter. I went back to the center for the fourth quarter. The first bounce went up and it was tapped my way so i reached up to my left to grab the ball. As i got my hands on it i heard a pop in my right knee and dropped the ball and fell to the ground holding my knee. I knew straight away it was not good as the pain was pretty intense. I remember hearing everyone fussing around me then the next thing i remember i was being stretchered off the oval. Its funny how the body and brain go into shock and blackout for a few seconds as a way to protect itself. The overwhelm of it all and the pain made it hard to hold back the tears.
I made it home in quite a bit of pain but i refused to take a painkiller. As a qualified health coach and I’m well aware of food as medicine. So in my mind i needed to do everything nutritionally correct to help with the healing process. To reduce the pain and inflammation i started adding fresh turmeric and celery to my green smoothies. Both of these are proven to reduce inflammation and reduce fluid retention. I’m also a big believer in quality safe non toxic supplements to help support the body, so i started taking anti inflammatory tabs, krill oil, liquid minerals and muscle and bone tabs to help with the repair of cells and muscle. I also made bone broth to drink twice a day to help with the connective tissue healing. A safe muscle rub cream with no petroleum combined with a cold pack was how i spent every evening on the lounge and a compression stocking while sleeping to prevent swelling.
At the end of the first week after going for exrays and MRI i finally found out that i had a grade A tear of the ACL (arterial crucial ligament) I could not believe it. I was not in lots of pain and although i was relying on the help of friends to get to appointments it did not feel like it was that bad. At each appointment i kept being offered scrips for the pain, and every time the doctors were shocked to hear that i had not taken any pain relief nor did i want any. That’s when i became aware that everything i started doing from the time i got home that day was helping with the pain, inflammation and healing.
I went to see a surgeon because the doctor makes you feel like there is no other option. So the surgeon checked it out and then told me i needed surgery and that it would not heal without it. I said i was going to heal it naturally through food, supplements, physio and exercise. He told me i could try any mumbo jumbo i like but it wouldn’t heal. I told him i was offended by that and i was going to do it my way. So i left his office that day feeling confident in my knowledge and the journey ahead. I was not able to go back to work as my knee was still weak and would still collapse if i put to much pressure on it.
In my head i knew that i had been given an opportunity to use the time off work to start building my health coaching business and also prove that you can heal the body with food, nutrition, a good recovery plan and positive thinking. I started physio a week or so later and i was super excited when the physio was keen to see how she could help me with my recovery without surgery. You see in my experience if you challenge the status quo and do thing differently most professionals don’t like it. They either make you feel silly for thinking differently or they refuse to work with you altogether. She gave me an exercise and stretching program the following week and we started dry needling to help relax the muscles and help with the inflammation.
It was great to finally get back into the gym only 4 weeks after tearing my ACL. I started with just light training on the spin bike in the altitude room for 45 mins along with my strength and stretching program. I was still taking all my supplements and eating a diet of lots of greens, veggies and protein with good fats and plenty of bone broth. Each week i was getting stronger. Around week 9 I was doing weighted squats, lunges and back to walking on the beach, which i had missed. However i was still not given the all clear to go back to work, so decided to discuss with my boss about me looking for another job as it may not be suitable for me to return to that line of work.
For me it was just another push i needed to keep working on my business.
Its now about 14 weeks ago since i did my injury, i spent the whole season on the bench cheering our team on and saw the girls win 3 games. They were truly inspiring and it just made me hungry to get out there next season and play again. I have no intention of getting the surgery done, i know the body is capable of amazing things and if you tell me i cant do something I’m going to make it my mission to prove i can. So please follow my Instagram page and my Facebook page to see all my journey pics and videos. If you want a health coaching session to learn how you can help heal your body or you want to know more about the safe non toxic products i use, please feel free to send me a message on FB and i will connect with you or you can call me on my contact details on this site.