Getting injured can be frustrating!
It can feel like there is nothing worse than getting injured when you are in a good place with your own training and exercise. It feels like weeks and maybe months of training and hard work will be wasted while you take time off to recover.
However, the reality is this doesn’t have to be the case. In fact an injury can be a good opportunity to learn more about how your body functions and work on areas you may have previously been neglecting. This could mean coming back from an injury in a better place than where you were before getting injured.
Benefits of training round an injury
For many injuries keeping mobile within sensible pain scales is an important process in recovery. Gone are the days where the advice for someone experiencing simple lower back pain is 6 weeks of bed rest. Instead the advice is to keep moving and mobile – this may mean you have to modify the things you do but it does not mean you don’t do anything.
Movement stimulates blood flow and circulation which can in itself aid in the healing of injured body tissues. There is also some evidence to show that working one limb can help strengthen the opposite limb which could be another huge benefit of continuing to exercise around an injury.
Exercise is also a habit and like any habit exercising can quickly go out of the window if we stop doing it for a period of time. We all know the general health benefits of exercising so finding ways to continue exercising is both good for our injury recovery as well as our general health. The mental health benefits of exercise are possibly beyond the scope of this article but who doesn’t feel better after a good walk or hard workout in the gym!
How to train around an injury?
This really depends on the type of injury you have and is where seeking the help of an injury specialist can be vital.
Generally there are two ways of continuing to exercise when injured:
- train body parts away from the injury site
- manage the load we put through an injured body part
Exercising when injured may be as simple as avoiding the injured body part and training other areas of your body for a period of time.
For example, if you have strained a muscle in your leg there is no reason why you can’t continue to train your upper body and core. Also training the opposite leg may be useful as mentioned above.
Another way of training around an injury can be managing the load you put through the injured area by:
- using lighter weights,
- undertaking fewer repetitions
- spending less time working the injured area
If, for example, you hurt your back squatting in the gym, whilst you might want to avoid lifting really heavy things for a short amount of time, squatting itself may still be a good exercise to ease the tension of your back and start the recovery process.
Instead of squatting with weights, you could try a modified bodyweight squat. This keeps your back moving but without over stressing the injured area.
If you’re currently struggling with an injury and need some advice on how to train around the injury while you recover our Osteopaths are here to help you, so any questions please get in touch with us at the Odiham Clinic.