Work with your Injuries instead of against them!
Work with your Injuries instead of against them!
Have you ever been injured? I know I have! Injuries are something that can happen to us at any time or any place. No injury is truly preventable, even with all the right training in the world, accidents happen, people fall and play contact sports, people have vehicle crashes and so on.
A common first thought especially when it comes to training is to stop everything, to postpone your training and rest. Did you know this might actually be one of the worst things you can do when injured?
Injuries depending on the time can lead to numerous negative health effects.
From a movement perspective.
- We may start to change our movement, take an ankle injury for example. You may start to change how you walk or run or jump to prevent that ankle from taking pain – remember you body is highly adaptable. However, in my experience this generally only lasts for so long before we get another ache or pain further along the line. Leading to pain in your hip or knee for example. This is a prime example of compensation; your body utilizes other areas to accomplish a job.
Think of an employee doing one job (the one they are paid to do) and then a few staff leave so they take on more responsibility, now they are spread thin trying to accomplish multiple tasks. Eventually they burn out, lose enjoyment and potentially quit. Our body can’t quit but it can complain with aches and pain!
From a strength perspective
- Our strength and size, generally within six weeks we lose a significant amount of strength from inactivity, our nervous system becomes less efficient at generating force.
- We become less efficient with movement patterns in areas of form and technique thanks to the principal of reversibility.
From a wellbeing perspective
- Injuries may leave you skipping events, functions and social activities with your friends.
- Your mental health may change due to the feeling of not being able to engage in activities you used to.
From a work / relationship perspective
- You may shift your priorities to a business mindset, neglecting your health. The problem again with this is like compensation, we can only do this for so long before we get negative outcomes from neglecting our health! Your mental capacity, productivity, mood will change as a result leading to a business that may be affected in more ways than one!
- Your relationships may suffer, with them now taking on a greater role of caring for you depending on the injury, there is often an economic cost from missing work or not being able to drive and so on.
General ways you can stay active with injuries can be found HERE.
The general notion I want you to take away from this is that Injuries Suck.
Again, I will say, why not work with your injuries, rather than against them?
This can be a game changer for you, the factors and scenarios I ran through above and more!
The first way we can begin working with our injuries is through our mindset.
- First, we must accept what has happened. Some of us can be in denial and still try everything we did when uninjured, it doesn’t work like that. Accept that your body needs time to heal.
- Take control of your emotions, thoughts and feelings. This will go a long way to stop you reacting to the situation in a negative way. To do this practice ‘staying in the moment’, this means be present! Don’t let your mind escape you into every possibility of what could or might happen. Anxiety and depression are often linked with being too far in the future, or too far in the past leading to an array of thoughts about ourselves. Staying present through grounding techniques may assist you!
- To ground yourself – Look at 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 good thing about yourself.
This is sensory grounding, a technique that plays on your senses to encourage you to be present!
- Move! Injuries don’t mean you have to stop moving. Instead, it’s about finding the activities you can perform safely that won’t lead to further harm of the injured area, depending on the injury you might actually need to move for it.
- Take a low back injury, rather than lay down in bed, get up and go for a gentle walk letting your arms and legs swing effortlessly.
- Hurt your arm? You can still train upper body! Training your uninjured side can actually help your nervous system on both sides leading to maintaining or reducing the negative physiological effects of not training the injured side! Win, win!
- Train within the ranges that you can, maybe you get sore by moving your elbow or knee? We can still perform plenty of exercises, such as isometrics. That is where your muscle length does not change shape. Think of doing a slight lunge and then holding that position with out dropping down further or standing up. This is an isometric. Or holding a part of the push up position with slightly bent arms.
Working with your injuries, is empowering! It will help you take control of your mood, your body and leave you more resilient to overcome obstacles in your path.
I look forward to hearing your success, share it with me @ email@example.com