5 things to do immediately upon experiencing injury
No one want to suffer from an injury so bad that it keeps them away from the gym for extended periods of time. That being said, injuries are a part of this game we play and how you handle each injury (minor or major) will determine how long you have to be on the sidelines. Now, some injuries won’t require you to take any time off at all and you can easily find a way to train around them while others are not so forgiving. Regardless of the type of injury you experience, there are definitely strategies for dealing with them that you’ll want to put in place to initiate the healing process as quickly as possible. Here are five strategies for dealing with soft tissue injuries you may want to try.
I’m sure many of you out there know what this acronym stands for but if not here it is: Rest Ice Compression Elevation. This strategy is best applied within the first 24-36 hours post injury. There are rumblings out there supported by new scientific findings related to injury care that suggest a couple of the practices within the acronym don’t actually work, however many people have used it successfully to treat acute injuries. You decide for yourself if it works or not.
In the days post injury it’s time to take stock of what you are capable of doing and re-prioritize your training schedule and exercise selections. Your goal is to keep training at a level relatively close to where you were pre-injury so performing exercises that aggravate the healing process will only be counterproductive. I know this is difficult especially if you believe certain exercises MUST be done each week to grow. Be smart, listen to your body and make things work.
Adjust your caloric intake
Let’s say you injured your lower back and the big movements for legs and back are out until it heals. Well, those big exercises require lots of energy to perform and many people out there eat big the night before these days to ensure they have enough fuel to make it through the grueling workout ahead. If those exercises are no longer on the docket then there’s no need for the influx of calories the night before. Simply back off on the amount or type of food you typically eat in preparation for back and leg day so that your conditioning doesn’t fade.
Seek medical attention
If the injury is serious enough you’ll want to get in to see a doctor right away. If it’s a GP (general practitioner) that you see and you fear this injury is serious enough that it may take you out of the game for longer than you want, insist on getting referred to a specialist. They will be able to identify exactly what the problem is and give you the next steps in your care and subsequent rehabilitation.
Begin re-hab ASAP
The faster you can get to the point of re-habbing an injury the closer you are to getting back to firing on all cylinders once again. Find a reputable practicing re-hab specialist in whatever field you need and do everything they tell you to do. They’re specialists for a reason and as much as we want to think that because bodybuilding is all about the body and we know everything there is to know, we don’t! Unless you are educated in the field let the pros do their jobs. Far too many times people who think they know more end up doing more damage to themselves when there was no need for it at all.
Injuries suck; there’s no doubt about that. If you fall victim to one get going on whatever you have to do to heal as soon as possible. Time away from the gym is time you could have been growing. Be smart, be safe and take the appropriate actions if something ever happens to you.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, Endevr Athlete, SKECHERS Brand Ambassador, Sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.
For training inquiries contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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