When Injuries Strike
Sports injuries really suck. How often do we train, everything is going well and then we are struck down, preventing us from achieving what we want?
I’ve Have my fair Share..
from breaks to sprains to tears I have had my fair share of set backs. They push you not only physically, but mentally too and when they keep happening they can eat away at you and you can find yourself giving yourself excuses not to train. You ever done that?
I cannot do that because xxxxx
I am scared to try because xxxxx
It is easy to give yourself an excuse to stop. but is that true?
Is the reason why you stopped really the injury or an excuse that you cannot train your legs, arms any more. Again is that really true?
When I injured my left wrist, I trained my right arm. I saw an opportunity to train my weaker arm, not to sit on the sofa, watch tv and get fat!
Injuries shouldn’t stop you
Injuries don’t necessarily need to stop your training. If you injure your knee for example or tweak your wrist, work around them. If you can’t do lower body, do upper body. Switch it around do different types of strength training (Maximal, speed, explosive), even upper body conditioning is possible depending on the nature of your injury.
If you box or use the heavy bag as a conditioning tool and your wrist is hurting, use it as an opportunity to train your other arm, improve skill work, just keep things moving.
A knee injury years ago prevented me from martial arts training and squatting so I switched it around I decided to use running from sprint training to middle distance. I even went a bit crazy and was able complete 5 half marathons, and let’s face it everyone has to be crazy to run half marathons and insane to run a full one!
Work Around the Injury
The point is this, every time I have had an injury preventing some type of training, I have adapted to train in a different way. An injury is NO EXCUSE to stop training. This doesn’t mean to say I am advocating training an injury, just adjusting my training to work around it.
Too many people get a niggle and just stop everything, gym visits stop, TV goes on, job stopped. It does not have to be that way.
Now I am not saying go gung ho and ignore it, hoping it will go away, but by being sensible about it there are more options that you might realise.
I once had a wrist injury, I reduced the volume of training with the wrist but I still performed mobility drills and performed in a range motion so as not to aggravate it.
For example: I did one arm dumbbell exercises, hell I even boxed the bag one handed. It didn’t stop me and it shouldn’t stop you.
Prevention is KEY!
I have learnt over the years that you have to have a proper program in place to protect yourself. For a long time I took that as warming up before strenuous exercise as my training is always strenuous (is there any other kind?) and stretching. But it is much more than that. Daily stretching and joint mobility work is a must, deep tissue massage is a bonus if you can find a good masseur and better yet a chiropractor or an osteopath.
Tennis Ball /Foam Roller
If you can’t find or afford a masseur or physical therapist all is not lost. Foam rolling is an effective form of self massage and goes a long way to ironing out any knots and adhesion’s. For more specific areas a tennis ball is ideal, but are an inexpensive way of keeping you injury free.
There is so much you can learn here. In fact I would say for longevity in your training, mobility work and foam rolling are as important as your training sessions. Look after your joints and muscles!
Getting it Treated
In the past it has always been the sticking point where to turn to. there are many avenues and not all of them are what you need. I see physical therapy as a tool and it is important to get the current tool for the job. In my colourful injured past I have been to see and talked to many people and I know it can be a minefield. Therapists usually care for their clients and will try their best to help them, even if their “tool” is not the right one for the job. You wouldn’t use a screwdriver when you needed a hammer and this is true here too.
Word of mouth is scarce, but I have come to know some excellent therapists. There is always someone out there, keep looking and trying until you resolve the issue. But don’t spend a fortune seeing the same person when the treatment only lasts a few days before the problem returns. That is treating symptoms and not the cause. the cause will always perpetuate the problem until it is addressed first.
Don’t ever give up on something, if you know there is a problem, keep looking until you find someone who can help.
Be strong and intelligent, Take care of yourself!