In the case of rehabilitation of tissue disruption, the answer to the union is often fairly well understood. This may range from 4 -12 weeks depending on the type and severity of damage. Damage and disruption of nerve tissue is extremely slow, about 1mm per day. Recovery to normal function and a pain free state is more complicated as it depends on a multitude of physiological, emotional, personal and environmental factors: presence and degree of scar tissue, disturbance of nerves, pre-existing injury, base line knowledge, ability to assimilate new knowledge, ability to apply what is known, level of daily stress, and accessibility to support.

The question of recovery for soft-tissue injuries is not just how long it will take – but how much effort, time and resources you are willing and able to put into your healing process. The availability of resources and your effort, really determine the length of recovery and what result you end up with. I can’t answer those questions.

Allison Tai, Spartan Super Seattle Washington Photo: John Tai

It will most like going to be a struggle, but you will get through it!

Day to day challenges in life can be difficult to manage. Adding unexpected injuries can overload a person’s ability to manage. Stress and the lack of proper attendance to the recovery process can complicate any recovery timeline. In case of third party involvement, ICBC or WCB, the need to validate one’s injury can increase stress. The challenges to recovery can rise exponentially.

A stereotypical injury case illustrates a client expecting insurance support to fix everything while he/she goes about life as usual albeit with the inconvenience of added appointments in the week. My experience is that this scenario does not end well or simply does not end. My ideal approach is look upon coverage as a helping hand that facilitates accessibility to therapy while self-care measures are developed. This latter scenario offers the tools to better manage life. As stated already, life in itself is typically a challenge to wellness. Unfortunately, the support by third parties offer some financial help to therapy but does not compensate for the time needed to attend these sessions.

I have had 3 motor vehicle accidents and approached my therapy as per the first scenario. ICBC supported some therapy and the my assumption was what they supported should be enough. But the added appointments to my week added more stress to a life that already had too much. Not only did I have to find time for the appointments I had to find time for added self care that should have taken place. I only found time for the therapy sessions. Despite an already strong background in fitness, that wasn’t enough, nor did I apply it to predicament at the time. I was too busy chasing my dream. But to be fair, I could not exactly afford to stop chasing. There was no immediate income in self-care. The dream at minimum was to pay the bills.

Years after the support for therapy ended, juggling the impact of the accidents and the complexity of life, my body finally stopped me and presented an end game I did not want. Fortunately I had the support of my family. I discovered massage therapy training and started on a path to heal. 25 years and counting, my journey has been invigorating and the learning endlessly stimulating. My goal as a therapist is to support others to avoid my first decision and to embark on my second choice sooner. If you don’t stop to fix your car that has a small problem or simply to fill the gas tank, the car will stop moving or breakdown … story for another day.

My wife Alli was a rather sedentary young adult with very little health and fitness awareness until she discovered running in college. The few years of addiction to training long hours for ironman competitions helped her later in managing a traumatic accident where she was rear ended by a truck on the highway while cycling. She broke many physical parts but not her will. The doctors said she was 24.5% disabled and would never run again. With no credit to me, she made my second choice right away. While in her hospital bed she studied to become a fitness instructor and learned about what she needed to fix in herself and how. When she was not actively training, she dreamed about it. Getting well was more than a job, it was her life. 10 months post accident she completed a half ironman: 5 hours to swim 1.2 miles (1.9K), bike 56 miles (90K), and run 13.1 miles (21.1K). Later that year she ran 80 miles in a 100 mile race. 10 years later she was a Spartan Race and Tough Mudder superstar who stood on many podiums. In 2018 she won the 24hr Enduro World Obstacle Race World Championship in Australia. Not only did she run, she ran 124km in 24hours. She was once told not to carry groceries. Now she carries 100lb sandbags for fun.

Alli gave everything to her recovery. With no credit to insurance support, she was able to access therapeutic support several times weekly and sometimes daily for many years. Fortunately she had considerable resources outside of insurance coverage. She continues to self-manage the cumulative strains of an active and eventful life.

Insurance companies often ask how many therapy sessions do injury claimants need. My question is how much support are you willing to offer?

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