Fucking injuries. While preventable, for the most part, are bound to happen at some point along your journey. We’re going to spend this month’s mental health check focusing on the mental game that happens when an injury occurs, and some basic suggestions on how to come back from an injury… without adding more injury.
SO, YOU’RE INJURED, NOW WHAT
- First of all, if needed, you’ll want to consult your doctor to figure out the severity of the injury, and what your next steps are from a medical professional. (This includes your physical therapist, if you had to work with one)
- If after you’ve consulted with your doctor or other medical professionals, they may tell you to “take it easy” here’s what they mean:
- According to webmd: You shouldn’t return to your sport or activity until the pain, swelling, and stiffness have improved a lot. Pushing yourself too soon could make your recovery take longer or make your injury worse, so be sure you get the green light from an expert.
- When your pain, swelling, etc improve, you shouldn’t go full bore back into the activities that you were doing, you really need to ease back in. You may not have lost strength, or your run times, etc, and you’ll be able to get back to where you were at, if you’re patient
- A good rule of thumb is to come back at about 50% of your normal level, and only increase your activities by 10-15% each week.
- Of course this comes with the caveat that you haven’t had any of the symptoms of your injury flare up
- We’ve stressed the importance of warm-ups and stretching, but you absolutely want to make sure that you’re warming up before your workouts or walking/running and stretching after your movements when coming back from an injury.
MENTALLY PREPARE YOURSELF
- Don’t forget how you got injured to begin with. Ask yourself some questions on how you got there. Did you warm up enough? How was your form? Were you pushing yourself TOO hard, to your body’s limit? Were you ego lifting? Did you make time and take adequate rest periods between sets etc?
- Keep in mind that most injuries are temporary, you will just have to be patient, listen to your body and go at it slowly.
- This can fuck with your head, but try your best not to let it.
- We’re not saying to focus so much on how you go injured, we just want you to keep in mind how it happened so that you may work on tweaking things so it doesn’t happen again, or you don’t aggravate an injury, keeping you out or on a modified version of your journey for longer than you were expecting.
- The whole point of this topic point is twofold, prepare yourself mentally to be patient, but also listen to your body and don’t ignore pain. Actual pain (not “no pain no gain”) is your body’s way of telling you to stop or something is wrong.. We promise.
IT’S NOT OVER
- Prepare to be underwhelmed. You’re going to be so happy to train but you’re going to get annoyed because you’re not as strong as you were or your ROM is shit. These things happen when you take time off, come to terms with it now and it won’t be as frustrating when it happens.
- TAKE IT SLOW. Bodies are resilient amazing things but some things need time to heal. What’s worse than injuring yourself? RE-injuring yourself. Don’t expect to go 0-100 in two weeks if you’ve taken several months off.
- Don’t let your injury give you an excuse to slip into old bad habits either, it’s easy to do when you feel crappy. Find another healthy outlet for your frustrations if you can’t get into the gym… I play videogames.
- This isn’t the end of the world, you’ll get back at it soon.
Don’t forget to eat well, drink plenty of water and get some damn rest when you’re coming back from injury. Taking it slow is important, of course, but so are all of the other tiny pieces that you’ve put together on your journey. We have mentioned trusting and falling in love with the process before on this podcast, and that’s no different when you’re coming back from an injury.