Resilience is an interesting word. Dictionary.com defines it as the:
-“capacity to recover quickly from difficulties”
-“the ability to spring back into shape”
Those three definitions might sound about the same but they are completely different when it comes to how they apply to the body’s resilience to injury! Let’s break it down.
Capacity could refer to the size of a stadium or the number of people that fit into a minivan. But it could also refer to the ability, potential, and the amount of something that can be produced. CAPACITY of a muscle includes its ability to produce the necessary energy for functional activities throughout the day.
However, TOUGHNESS suggests an inherent state of being tough. If you’re tough, you might be a little less likely to be injured from an accident or may have protections in place to reduce the severity of an injury. (Think about having tough hands or wearing leather gloves. Both protect you from injury.)
And the ability to SPRING BACK to shape might say less about the actual injury and more about the way that the body recovers from the injury.
The path to resilience requires all three! If you step off a curb and twist your ankle, the CAPACITY of your ankle to turn in a funny angle without injury requires the tolerance of ligament, tendon, and muscle strength and flexibility. The TOUGHNESS makes sure that you are able to redirect the misstep by using balance, the other leg, and your hands to right yourself before a serious injury occurs. And the ability to SPRING BACK to shape means that the injured structures have enough good nutrition, rest, and care to recover quickly.
Capacity, toughness, and spring back is the way toward physical resilience. And Physical Therapy can help! In fact, it’s kinda what we do… Check us out on PTandMe.com to find a location near you.