The intent of this article is to give you some tangible tools on how to deal with injury and thrive in training at the same time.
I’ve shared some of the thought processes that I’ve been through personally with my injuries and I’ve also outlined the step by step guidance that I provide my clients with when going through an injury/niggle.
Understand that injury is a part of the game and it can happen to anyone. Sometimes it’s out of your control and sometimes it’s your own fault. Regardless of how you got injured here is how to attack it:
Step 1: Assess the injury. What caused it? What’s the root of the problem?
Seek out different experts that you trust and whom are specialized in the area of expertise you need. Having more than one opinion is always a good idea in order to get a better understanding of what is going on, and how to approach the rehab process.
Step 2: Write down all movements that you can do pain-free in order to continuously train. You might have to go to the gym and test out things in order to get an overview here. If you don’t have a big “movement library” seek out a coach that you trust who can help you find more ways to work around your injury. Always be sure to stay out of mechanical pain during all training to not aggravate the injury and risk having to take a step backwards.
Step 3: Now that you have this list of “pain free” movements, you can use this to adjust the regular class that you attend or the generalized online programming that you follow. This will keep you in the mix with everyone else, and you therefore don’t need to stay at home being inactive. Unfortunately, I think that we in many scenarios are recommended by Doctors to stay home and do nothing when being injured (and I unfortunately think that this is the advice you are given for their own selfish reasons.) This can have some extremely negative affects on us physically and also physiologically. If we stop training completely, we get off track and we are no longer moving forward, getting fitter, becoming healthier and moving closer to our individual goal. The other side of it is the physiological side, where we can feel socially disconnected, anxiety, low self-esteem and in some cases even depressed. Therefore, use the list of movements that you made together with your coach and keep training, keep progressing and know that injuries come and go, and we shouldn’t let them knock us down.
Step 4: Create a “Rehab” plan together with your coach and physio. Be dedicated to it, and make sure that you communicate the progress with your coach/physio on a weekly basis.
Step 5: Overall my best advice is that you take OWNERSHIP over the situation. Everyone has their injuries and struggles, don’t let it drag you down, look at the things you can improve on in the meantime and make them driving force in your training.
By: André Houdet, Performance Coach