The hard truth is, you may sustain a training injury at some point, whether you are training to compete or to feel and look better. Your injury might be a sore lower back, painful shoulder, or throbbing knee, each case is a little bit different. While a physician, physical therapist, or chiropractor should evaluate your condition, there are things you can do during the rehab process. Here are a few guidelines on how to recover from and train through an injury.
Analyze Your Training Program
The first thing to do after an injury is to analyze your current program.
When was your last day off?
Were you doing too much volume (miles, sets/reps, etc.)?
Were you using too much weight?
Does your technique need work?
Asking yourself these questions can help you identify training program deficiencies or excesses that might have contributed to your injury and may help you prevent future injuries. Far too often athletes get hurt, take a week off, and then go right back to what hurt them! Remember, many injuries are due to overuse. So try dialing back the volume or weight, analyzing your program, and consider working closely with a trainer to help you improve your technique.
Find Pain Free Movements
Another common mistake is taking extended time off. A few days may be beneficial, but stopping all activity for weeks could actually slow your recovery. Our bodies are amazing at regenerating after an injury and thrive with activity. Training uninjured body parts can actually speed up your recovery process! While you may not be able to do your normal routine, you can probably find some pain free movements. Continuing to train will keep you from regressing and allow you to make progress in other areas. An athlete with a shoulder injury can still train their core and lower half. Here at Paradigm, trainers take pride in helping you find ways to work through and around injury. Don’t be afraid to ask for a modification!
Know the Difference Between an Acute Injury and Chronic Pain
An acute injury can last anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks. Chronic pain could last for months with no relief. Athletes need to be able to differentiate the two. If you have been trying to train around an injury for months and have seen no improvement, it may be time to seek out a clinician. Working with a physical therapist or chiropractor can help you identify the source of the pain and find relief.
An injury can be a scary, painful, and frustrating experience. Remember to give yourself some time off, analyze your training program, find ways to train around the injury, and if necessary, consult a health professional. We have a great network of clinicians in Santa Cruz County if you need a referral!