From My Favourite Sport to Sports Medicine

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This blog is another opportunity to feel grateful and thank you dear Universe: You continue to bless me with recovery and overall health.  

Each contemporary age group has much to contribute in every sphere of life. Talking about sports, today’s generation is a lot into video games, and that’s how even the latest Play stations promise more power and development than ever before, they are acknowledged and loved because of their ability to offer interactive fiction, compared to the generation where the approach was traditional, and players preferred to sweat it out and win as a team. Indeed, the school days were so much fun when my energy towards sports was at its peak and that energy, just meant everything.

It all started during a casual evening walk in 2016 when I was caught with leg cramps and aggravating pain in the lumbar region. A plethora of clinic-aid investigations were done before being diagnosed with a rare disease, Isaacs’ Syndrome (a rare neuromuscular disorder), and subsequently with chronic conditions like Lyme disease, Glaucoma, and Membranous Glomerulonephritis.

I was introduced to ‘Sports Medicine’ as a part of my Alternate Healing Therapy: – generally health issues are all about medicines, doctors, therapies, heavy expenses, blah blah but never did I know that someday I would need to take up my favorite sport as therapy and sprinkle some fun to regain health.

It was in early 2018 when some friends came over to cheer me up on my birthday and were strictly instructed to be subtle about the day’s plan. We landed getting motivated by a movie character, loved by millions – Forrest Gump (in this fictional drama, he is a table tennis pro). The movie got us talking and I recalled how Table Tennis was so much fun during childhood and had also rejuvenated me during my hectic work life. But this time I was contemplating taking this up as a ‘Sports Medicine’ (therapy that focuses on treating and preventing injuries through activities like sports and exercise). Instant phone calls were made connecting specialists who had the expertise to tackle musculoskeletal issues (it includes muscle, ligaments, and tissues). Family members were made to convince and so that’s the story behind getting a Table Tennis table installed at my place in an attempt to overcome years of pain and stiffness in my muscles. There were interesting facts that I discovered about Sports Medicine, initially, I thought it fixes only professional sportspeople however after dwelling deeper into the subject I realized it is much more than that. Medicine and related fields are constantly evolving and therefore there is always something new to explore with better and quicker results. It has the ability to treat chronic injuries as well.

My initial hand movement assessment was done by a close friend along with a specialist who qualified in fine motor skills. Finally, the day arrived when I decided to try out my new racket and the table. My favorite pre-session food was a bowl of superfoods with a mix of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

I was advised to start slow, had a set time limit, keep hydrated, listen to every whisper of the body before it shouts, wear the activity tracker band to record personal metrics, and incorporate other forms of cardio with some stretching and mild warm-up exercises. Though healing methods are faster these days yet it seemed essential to improve flexibility as a crucial part of the overall treatment regime and take no chance. It was such a struggle initially as my muscles seemed to have no past memory of playing with friends, the roars, running around like hooligans, and eating favorite meals during breaks. Due to Glaucoma, my eyes watered and it was hard to focus on the flight of the ball that bounced towards me and changed frequent directions. I remember how after a couple of sessions, every shot I hit took me closer to feeling a notch healthier though the frequency of breaks increased due to lack of stamina.

During one of the sessions, I hurt my back and suffered a severe spasm that knocked me down for three days. It’s true why NASA studies mention table tennis to be a difficult sport to practice because of its complexity in the use of muscles. Though my doctors had cleared a slow return into activities that supported physical fitness however at times it felt I was not quite ready. The road to recovery was difficult as I felt a sense of fear and many mental blockages post-diagnosis. In today’s world, although we have a deeper understanding that our psychological well-being plays an important role in our overall functioning, it was quite evident from my actions that I needed some words of wisdom, a dose of motivation, an optimistic outlook, and some relaxation therapies to move to the next step and continue playing. I had internal counseling to address my thoughts on the injury and was recommended Home and RICE treatments for pain management (rest, use ice, compression, and elevation).

Most of the times, the unimaginable becomes unforgettable and stays forever. My overall experience was overwhelming.

My takeaways

A Change is indeed possible, use today’s technology to benefit, correct postures can do wonders, a sport can add to a disciplinary lifestyle, explore new ideas, constantly educate, and clearly differentiate between ‘what one should do and ‘what one can do, there are two ways to conclude a match or battling a disease, you’re either in or out, being deprived of winning a game or any suffering disease is a temporary phenomenon, therefore never quit, and try finding something that gives joy, and that joy will burn away the pain.


The views expressed above in this article are the author’s own and do not represent any kind of medical advice.

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