Recovering in Record Time: From Fracture to Finishing in 5 Weeks

In this 4-part video blog series, Lesley Paterson reveals the remarkable recovery progress she made after suffering a pelvic fracture just 5 weeks before, and evaluates her performance in the 2017 XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon World Championships



Contributed By Lesley Paterson, from 

It’s never a pleasant thing when you first feel something “go” while training. Knowing deep down that you have just sustained an injury is very traumatic, especially when you’re only 5 weeks from the XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon World Championships.

Needless to say, I’d been there many times before and I knew what had to be done. Before doing anything else, I had to call up my physio (who luckily is one of my good friends) to get an assessment and form a plan of action.

The first step in my plan of action was to get my LightForce Laser on the area of damage. This technology helps to quickly reduce pain and inflammation, and speeds up the healing process, so I knew that the sooner I could start using it on my injury, the faster my recovery would be. After applying the laser over my hip for 11 minutes, it already felt much better.

The next step was to figure out exactly what was going on so I wouldn’t make the injury any worse while getting geared up to compete. I knew it had to dig a little deeper and get some imaging done.


After an MRI confirmed a pelvic stress fracture, I realized that I would have to treat this injury with everything at my disposal to make it to the start line of the 2017 XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon World Championships.

Once I sustain an injury like this, so close to a major event, the primary goal is to get things healing as quickly as possible and to figure out what activities I can do that do not cause further pain.

By doing daily physiotherapy and using my laser once in the morning and then immediately after activity, I know I’m helping to prevent further damage from happening, but I’m also reducing inflammation and helping hasten the healing process.

Unfortunately (and fortunately) I had a family “training” vacation planned in Europe. While I could not continue with my daily physio treatments, my LightForce Laser was portable enough to carry on flights and travel with me all the way to Europe. For me, the mental relief that came from feeling proactive about my injury was worth its weight in gold.


With only 10 days left to taper and rest up for the World Championships, my pelvis was starting to feel much better with my daily treatments. I was able to walk without pain and eventually I was able to run for 2-3 minutes at a time without really hurting afterward.

While I knew I would not be in the best shape for the race, my hopes were high that I would at least be able to get on the start line, and ideally also complete the race – an outcome that I wouldn’t have believed was possible when my injury first happened.

So, keeping up with my regular laser treatments, I watched my stiffness decrease, range of motion increase, and was able to work my way up to doing more and more activities without pain.



Race day finally arrived, and I am happy to say that I made it! After being diagnosed with a very painful pelvic fracture just 5 weeks prior, I was honestly excited to be able to even start.

Before the race began, I did a quick LightForce Laser treatment just to get the blood flowing to the area and reduce any last minute pain. I knew this would likely not be my best race, but I was still competing!

So, even though not as fit as I wanted to be coming into the competition, I finished the race and was able to do so with minimal pain. Of course I had not run that much in over 5 weeks, so things were still a little stiff and sore, but it honestly was a miracle that I was able to compete in this championship race, let alone finish.

The best part is that not only did I finish, I placed 5th! Not a bad finish considering all that I have been through with this injury.

If it weren’t for my LightForce Laser, I don’t think I would have even competed at all in this year’s XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon World Championships. This technology is truly incredible!