TRAINING WITH INJURIES
So, we all have gotten them. Injuries. Shoulder issues, strained hamstrings, lower back, achy knees, torn pec, etc. I can go on and on but I won't. Anyone who trains for physique competitions have experienced some type of injury to their body in their years of training. Including me. So what do we do? We keep training and beating on the injured area because in our minds we say "I can't miss a workout! I have to develop my body!, I need to get ready for competition next year!" This is a mentality that the mainstream gym people just don't understand. But what happens next? You may get to the point where you are hindered form doing certain exercises. Sot he next step is going to an orthopedic or sports medicine doctor. It starts with the x-rays and then the mri. Then the diagnosis. Something that all physique athletes cringe when they hear what type of injury they have.The doctor may tell you to rest it but in your eyes you are saying "Yeah right, I need to get ahead with my training." But what you don't realize that you are making it worse. I see this all the time! Training THROUGH your injury as opposed to training AROUND your injury is common. It will only set you up to be worse off than when first injured yourself. So what do you do?
What you do want to do to treat any injury you get within the first 24-48hours is an acronym that you won't forget: RICE. This means R-rest the injury, I-ice the injury 20minutes on and 20 minute off, C-compression, if you can wrap the injured area with an ace bandage, and E-elevation, elevate the injured area. After 48 hours, you want to use moist heat on the injured area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Doing this will greatly reduce the recovery time of your injury. It is important for healing.
First, if a doctor prescribes physical therapy, do it! Rehab and strengthening the injured area will not only help you recover but keep the range of motion of whatever joint or muscle you have injured. Another thing is rest. Yes, you hear me! The dreaded word "REST!". This allows your body proper time to heal or you will never get better and wind up re-injuring the area again or other areas of the body since you are compensating with them. And, if you plan to compete, you may want to sit it out. You know that you won't be at your best and then when the competition is over, you find yourself upset because the way your performance went. So it won't hurt you to take time off and heal. You will probably be even stronger than ever because you get that drive to overcome what you went through. I know I have that mentality. You say "I coming back stronger than ever and no one is getting in my way!"
One thing you do want to do when you come back is warm-up before you train. Not just biking or walking for a couple of minutes. Do some warm-up sets of the exercise you are going to perform with about 8-10 reps so you don't tire yourself out for the real workout. Also, doing some dynamic and active mobility exercises will help stretch and loosen the muscles so you are not getting these recurring issues. Your body will thank you. And remember, being stubborn, ignorant, or negative about the whole injury will only set yourself up for more failure. We have to remember that our bodies are not machines. We are human and we get setbacks here and there. I say take advantage of it and learn! You will only get better through time. Talk to you next time.