Lets talk about getting back into exercise after an injury...
Recently, I suffered an injury to my right shoulder that prevented me from doing my normal exercise routine for about a month. It took about a month to have enough function to return to where I feel safe and capable of returning to upper body exercise which truthfully felt like a daunting task. However, through using the principles below, I was able to safely and gradually return to my normal routine.
About 4 weeks ago I suffered a training accident that resulted in a compression injury to my right shoulder (think falling straight onto your shoulder). Luckily, I was able to get an appointment with an orthopedic specialist the next day. They ruled out any major damage to the shoulder and cleared me to start exercising to my tolerance. This was a huge relief, but now I have to answer the tricky question:
How and when do I start returning to my normal activities?
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
It is very easy to progress an exercise if it is too easy. At the same time, performing an exercise that is inappropriate for where you are functionally can negatively impact your recovery. Our bodies can act as communication centers for pain There are often warning signs that what we are doing may actually be hurting us. This is why it is important to start slow and listen to your body when you are exercising after injury.
DON’T RUSH IT
It’s tempting I know! But rushing back into certain exercises can lead to further injury; especially if you are not ready for them. Take your time with your return, and have checkpoints to tell you where you are at. For instance, if I was to return to running a 5k, I might want to have a checkpoint in my rehab that I can first run 1 mile, than 2 miles, then progress to the 5k. By breaking it up into different parts, I can ensure my body is ready for the competitive challenges ahead.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO CROSS TRAIN
Personally, I have a lot of difficulty with this one. When I have an injury, it is easy for me to stay inside and rest. However, if the injury is something that will take time to recover from, it may be wise to get other muscles moving! This will not only help stimulate blood flow, but will give you the mental satisfaction that comes with a great workout.
ASK FOR HELP
I am very fortunate to work with some great therapists at Full Range, who helped me along my path to recovery. Through their guidance, I was able to slowly return to exercising regularly in record time. I felt confident in my ability to return to training jiu jitsu again.
If you are suffering an injury, or have questions on different health topics, give us a call at 610-241-2685. We’d love the opportunity to help you recover!