Training With An Injury
Injuries..... most times they are preventable but if you're a weekend warrior like myself sometimes freak stuff just happens. Being a former collegiate football player I try to extend my career as long as I can, and currently this means playing in a local coed flag football league (it's way more intense than it sounds). Last week during a game I caught a ball and was tripped up and landed awkwardly on my wrist. At the time I thought nothing of it, I came out for a few plays, taped it up and went right back in the game. As I woke up the next morning and could not move my hand, I realized that a Dr's visit was in my near future. That afternoon I went to an Orthopedic urgent care center for X-rays, turns out I had fractured a bone in my wrist. Nothing too crazy but enough that it needs to be immobilized in a brace for the next few weeks, which also means no lifting, pushing, carrying...... even holding a coffee mug with that hand is a challenge right now.
The frustration sets in..... just as I was starting to see really great results from what we have been programming lately. I feel like most people who really push their bodies through sports or exercise go through an experience like this at least once or twice and at the time it can really feel detrimental. After I gave myself a day to let it sink in and really think about it I realized that even though it means that there will no Olympic lifting, kettlebells, or burpees for a while it doesn't mean that I have to stop my training completely. Instead, I just need to step back, rethink, and be smarter about what I'm doing and find new ways to challenge my body so that I can keep progressing. It's also an opportunity to work on some things that are weaknesses or that I may not enjoy as much aka running. Don't get me wrong I will do sprints all day but anything over a 400m just isn't my thing.
Bottom line, injuries can be a set back but try not to let them derail your training. Be smart, step back and look at some of the positives that can come out of it. Embrace being able to work on things that you may normally look past. Being injured is also a great time to work with a professional who can help to modify or come up with a plan that allows you to work around whatever your ailment is.
When training with an injury....
- See a professional to get a correct diagnosis
- Take time to let your body recover (this doesn't mean just sitting around, depending on the injury visiting a chiropractor, physical therapist, or even just foam rolling and mobility sessions at home can be extremely beneficial)
- Talk to a coach or trainer for help coming up with a plan that allows your to work around what is injured.
- Stay positive!
- Focus on Sleep and Nutrition. These aspects of recovery are often overlooked, but they play a huge role in how quickly your body heals.
- Find a new way or style of training (Bike, Yoga, Run, Crosstrain, Etc)
- Do further damage or create new injuries. If it is a severe injury, it does not make sense to make it worse. Also, if it is an injury that can cause an imbalance or doesn't allow you to stay true to form, rethink it.
- Dwell on the fact that you can't do something, the mental game is half the challenge when injured.
- Believe everything you read online, just because it worked for someone else does not mean it will work for you.
- Start right where you left off prior to injury. Depending on how long it's been you will probably take some time to get back to where you were in your training.