Whoa where did this week go? We are already staring Wednesday in the face and some of you have already conquered half of your tasks by 7 am! I started my day with a killer booty workout at 4 am and focused on exercises that I NEVER do. I performed kettle bell swings, overhead squats, jump back lunges, band walks, single leg dead-lifts and single leg vertical hamstring curls. OUCH. I have a hip that causes grief and I have been rehabbing for a long time now. During one of my lifts, it was barking at me and instead of pushing through the pain, at that moment I decided it wasn't worth finishing the last 3 reps. Instead I spent time with mobility and flexibility training, which to me is more important when it comes to an injury.
A common question I receive as a trainer is, “I hurt <insert body part here>, but I want to keep training. What can I do?” Well the answer to that is “It depends.” First, we must examine what the individual was doing at the time the injury occurred and the second item to analyze is movements that cause the pain. It is very important to understand the current state of the injury in order to determine where to go/ what to do with a plan of action.
Start with where you are. If a client tells me that they hurt themselves yesterday and they hurt so bad they can barely move that body part, you bet your butt I am sending you home! Now they may huff and puff and be frustrated that they cannot train today but it is NOT about missing one training session, it is about long term. When dealing with an injury, the goal is dealing with it and recovering, definitely not making the dang thing worse! If there is any question in your mind about whether you should be training or not because of an injury, the answer is do not train. **This is simply MY advice.
You’re injured so what now? Focus on recovery! I am not saying that recovery is sitting and doing nothing. Recovery could be working with a foam roller on mobility work or working with a physical or massage therapist. It could be icing the injury for 10 minutes on every hour or two or maybe you incorporate active recovery like yoga a few times a week until you feel better. Maybe it is visiting a doctor to determine what is really going on with your body and listening to their advice.
If you are still training with an injury, be very conscious of the injury and avoid any exercises that will make it worse. If you feel pain while doing something, do not try and work through the pain for if you are hurting it you are not healing it. If one side of your body is hurt, do not solely train the non-injured side for this can create imbalances and problems in the future, especially if you are looking at a long recovery period.
Lastly (and most importantly), there are no quick fixes. Injuries suck, this I know but if you cut corners just to get back to training, you may set yourself up for an even longer recovery period when the injury worsens. I once had a doctor tell me that a cortisone shot would lessen the degree of pain with a meniscus injury; however he failed to mention what it would really do over time! Temporary relief may seem like a good idea at the time but over time, it could only make things much worse.
The goal for all of us is to be healthier, stronger and fitter for the course of our lifetime. Take time to heal and recover, it is the best thing you can do for yourself!