Training Around An Injury

Where Do You Begin?

Let’s start by clearing the air. We are not doctors, specialists or physiotherapists - nor do we claim to be. We are fortunate to have some pretty awesome colleagues who are and we will happily refer out accordingly. We are also fortunate to have on-site Physiotherapists who works with us and over a dozen more that train with us regularly. It’s safe to say that should we be unsure, it’s no more than a simple phone call asking for some advice. 

Okay. I’m glad that’s out in the open.

So, you’ve just hurt your {insert bone/joint/muscle/etc here].

Let’s go with your right calf.

You go to the [insert individual here] and they tell you to rest. 

They tell you to go home, lie on your bed, close the curtains and feel sorry for yourself. And don’t you dare even think about exercise because you are broken! I repeat, broken!

Repeat this for [insert amount of weeks here] until you are miraculously fixed. For the sake of this blog, let’s say 6 weeks. 

Over the 6 week period, you’re advised to avoid exercise as if it’s the plague. 

You’re advised to rest because rest will fix you. 

You’re advised to do the exact opposite of the very thing (exercise) that’ll make you not only feel better, but help prevent the injury that you’ve just incurred. 

To make matters worse, let’s say your gym is quite social. You’ve been going there for 3-6 months and you’ve got a bunch of new mates. 6am Mon/Wed/Fri is “your” time and afterwards you go for coffee. You’re now able to get fit and healthy with some cool new people AND have a coffee afterwards. That sounds like an absolute treat. 

But forget about that. You are broken. Rest and wait 6 weeks until you can do that again. 

Once 6 weeks is up, now it’s time to go back into your chosen sport/activity/6am class. Naturally, you don’t want to go backwards or worse, be slower than your mates! 

The trainer tells you that it’s okay and to go at your own pace. That sounds reasonable and makes total sense.

I’d probably suggest the same thing. 

But deep down, you’re a competitive little bugger and that won’t happen anytime soon.

So what do you do?

You get straight back on the horse, and give it your all that workout. You feel fine and then you go home and relax. Moments later, your partner asks you to unload the dishwasher and you oblige. You bend down to get the dishes out and *POP* something else goes.

This time, totally different spot.

First, it was your right calf. Now, it’s your lower back.

Weird? Your back was totally fine before hand…

What is the problem here?

Was it the workout? Or was it the lack of inactivity for 6 weeks? 

There is almost always a solution to training around an injury. 

To quote Bret Contreras “You have 2 shoulders, 2 elbows, 2 wrists, a pair of scapulae, a spine and pelvis, 2 hips, 2 knees and 2 ankles. If 1/16 of your major joints are out of commission, train the other 15.”

If your right calf is busted and your group exercise class requires you to run - just get the battle ropes out and give that a go instead. 

If your lower back is sore, swap front squats to a single leg option instead. 

If you’re injured, want to train and don’t know where to begin, get in touch. We’d love to help you out.

P.S - it’s also possible you’ll actually maintain some strength in the injured calf by training that opposite calf. Imagine if you did that AND trained the rest of your body. See here for more.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17190532

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