If you have suffered a serious injury that put you out of action for a few months, or a sprain of some kind, or maybe it’s just been a while since you really trained and you are itching to put on your workout clothes and show yourself that this time off hasn’t knocked you back then read on…….
Feeling good again and rearing to go? Great, but guess what? You are already making a mistake by disregarding the effects of your injury on your body. Before you can get back to working out the way you used to, you need to acknowledge the reasons for taking time off. This is especially true if you had to stop training because of a particularly severe injury.
Before everything else, it is important that you learn everything you can about your injury and how it has affected your body. The good news is that there are so many sources where you can learn about the different sporting injuries, see 3D models and even videos and articles of what injuries can do.
Of course, another source of information will be your doctor who will answer any questions that you might have, as well as share their advice on how you should go about working out once again. You should heed their advice above anyone else. They know what they are talking about!
For example, if someone on an online thread tells you one thing and your doctor tells you another – go with what the doctor said!! Not all lower back injuries are the same. Not all ACL injuries are the same. Because of this, it is a bad idea to listen to anyone over your doctor who has all the facts concerning your particular case. Heed the advice of the professional. Never ‘Google’ your injury because before you know it you will have read something about amputation! And that’s the best case scenario!
Once you have been cleared to go back training, it is time to start easing into it. Most experts agree that this transitional period should last at least as long as the time you lost due to injury. In other words, if you hadn’t exercised for three months, you shouldn’t be going back to your pre injury routine for three months. But again this is dependent on many factors such as your rehabilitation, physio etc. But as a general rule that’s how it goes.
The biggest problem people have when returning to training following an injury is the argument between what their mind is telling them and what their body can accomplish. Generally, people want to burst out of the gate with all guns blazing. It’s even worse that your body is actually cooperating. It has had its rest and it is super happy to go along with this bad idea. So pace yourself! Its about the journey not the destination post injury! You will get there again but it just may take a little longer.
The reality, however, is that your injury still happened no matter how good you feel returning to training. If you start off at full speed, chances are that your recovery process will be set back for weeks or even months.
You need to be patient and think of the big picture.
We have so many clients that can and have picked up little and large niggles and I think between myself and my colleague Paul (and the rest!) we could write a 10 page list on injuries we have had. And i tell ya now, it doesn’t get any easier the older you get. So, if you do have a niggle that you are unsure about then ask us or tell us because chances are we have had them. We can advise on a course of action but ultimately if you are genuinely concerned, then a healthcare professional is is where you need to seek expert advice.
Until next week,