There is nothing more prevalent around active people than injuries, serious and otherwise. There is a common misconception that abounds and that is inactive people don’t get injured. Well that is more than wrong. Not only do they get injured but chances are that it takes a lot longer for inactive people to recover from injury.
Recovering from injury is one of the hardest things for athletes to do because it involves doing something they hate to do and that is rest. The old wives tale of working through the pain does not work! It makes it worse. An injury puts stress on the mind and the body and more importantly you subconsciously try to help the injured area with other muscles or bad technique making things worse and possibly creating a chronic pain in another part of your body.
Most people are afraid to lose all the gains that they worked so hard to get. Chances are that because you are in such good shape you will heal faster so don’t worry. If you are in bad shape to begin with, rest, get healthy and start right away when there is no more substantial pain. There is no reason that you can’t continue some type of training or exercise plan without using the injured part of your body. By the way, bed rest is not an option. You must keep moving even in a limited way.
Here is something that we are finding more about and that is, nutrition is integral to a good healing plan. When you are exercising and/or training the amount of fuel your body needs is more than when you are not - wrong. In fact, the body uses more energy to heal than it does when you are exercising but what you need to do is eat differently. You need to increase your intake of monounsaturated and omega-3 fats because they have anti-inflammatory properties. Another thing your body requires is a higher amount of protein, your muscles need it to recover. Your tissue will require higher doses of A,B, C, and D, as well a calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc to support repair and regeneration.
Another distinction that needs to be made is between acute and chronic pain. Acute pains include:
· Not being able to place weight on a leg, knee, ankle, or foot
· An arm, elbow, wrist, hand, or finger that is very tender
· Not being able to move a joint as normal
· Extreme leg or arm weakness
· A bone or joint that is visibly out of place.
Whereas as chronic pain cover:
· Pain when you play
· Pain when you exercise
· A dull ache when you rest
The first step with all injuries is the RICE method; rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Rest by reducing your activities or doing activities that use other parts of your body. Ice on the injury is important because healing does not take place in swollen or inflamed areas. Place ice on the area for 20 minutes at a time up to 8 times a day. Alternating between cold and hot is always a good idea because it promotes good blood flow which is essential. Compression by putting even pressure over the injured areas help reduce the swelling. Finally, elevating the affected area above your heart helps reduces the swelling.
It never hurts to go see your local expert sports medicine physiotherapist. They will be able to give you help with your injury, some exercises to help keep the range of motion, and a variety of other helpful tips to reduce the pain and speed the recovery.
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