FIVE STRATEGIES FOR HEALING AND COPING WITH INJURY

FIVE STRATEGIES FOR HEALING AND COPING WITH INJURY

Everyone from occasional walkers to Olympic athletes is going to pick up an injury at some point. It is part of life and it happens to us all. What should we do and how do we cope?

1.    KNOW WHEN TO STOP

‘No pain, no gain’ they say – and there’s no doubt that physical effort can sometimes hurt. The important thing is to know the difference between muscle aches (during or after exercise) and an actual injury that needs attention. Here are some hints on when to pay attention to exercise pain.

Most of us will know ourselves well enough to spot that crucial difference. If in doubt, ease off and get the problem checked out.

2.    HELP YOURSELF HEAL

So it is bad news and you have an injury. It may have been creeping up for a while, or it may be an acute strain or sprain. For most injuries, the PRICE method is a good start (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). You may also need further treatment.

Be kind to yourself. Eat properly, get plenty of rest, get out in the fresh air.

3.    ADAPT YOUR WORKOUT

Gym staff or your fitness coach will have lots of ideas to help you if you are carrying an injury. So don’t hesitate to ask for advice. No competent coach will want you to ‘push on through’ – they want you to stay healthy.

4.    GET YOUR HEAD IN THE RIGHT PLACE

Yes, it is frustrating when you can’t do the exercise or sport that you enjoy. It is also inevitable that your performance will drop off as you age. All of us who love our sport have to face this.

Anger and sadness are understandable initial reactions, but they won’t help. You can’t think yourself better faster, but the right attitude during healing will lead you to acceptance. If you are faced with changing your sport, think of it as a new phase in your life and continue to look for something that you enjoy.

5.    THINK ABOUT PREVENTION

Learn from the problem. Was it incorrect technique?  Was it pushing yourself too hard? Was it skimping on the warm up? These are frequent failings, so remind yourself of the top tips for preventing further injuries. It is important to find out the cause so that you can reduce the risk of a recurrence.

Pushing ourselves and keeping fit does mean a risk of injury – but not to exercise and not to stay healthy risks far worse. Look at prevention, accept setbacks and remember that on balance, exercise is still good for you!


The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves boxercise, yoga, pilates, weight training and long distance running..

Comments

Callum M.
20 August 2015

Callum M.

Sometimes though, I would say people think they are injured when actually they only have a minor twinge - you shouldn't stop exercising unless it's really an injury!

Trevor D.
12 August 2015

Trevor D.

so frustrating when you can't do your favourite sport/workout due to injury. But I've learnt the hardw ay that patience pays off.

Pete R.
12 August 2015

Pete R.

It's easy to try and push through an injury, but resting is the best cure sometimes

craig t.
12 August 2015

craig t.

I think knowing when to stop is one of the main ways of avoiding injury. If you have a nagging pain anywhere, cut back on working that area. I should know - I currently have shin splints from running, and I really I should have cut down last week.

Mike D.
11 August 2015

Mike D.

I had a bad shoulder injury a few years ago, actually not sports related, but it meant I couldn't use the gym for weeks and I hated it. I felt quite depressed watching my muscles shrink. So the emotional side of injury is definitely worth taking note of.

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