This article will discuss the 5 essential strategies to recover from an injury
Yes, injuries can be so frustrating. They just get in the way of your training, your life and they can just linger!
Why did they occur in the first place and why is it still here! I have been resting and icing it and taking anti inflammatory medications, this should be gone by now! All my fitness is getting lost in me resting this injury!
If you currently have an injury, you may be searching for answers online or watching you tube videos on ‘how to fix knee pain’ or ‘how to fix lower back pain’. The truth is, injuries are very fixable and there are a few key things to bring to the table when trying to fix them!
Hot Principle # 1
Recovery needs to be ACTIVE not PASSIVE
What is the difference between active and passive recovery?
Passive recovery refers to when you sit back and hope that your injuries get better on their own. Passive treatments include modalities which don’t require any real effort from yourself. This includes pain medications, ice and heat packs, braces and tape and ongoing rest. Over time all of these practices will result in the following:
- Deconditioned muscles which can lead to dysfunction and muscle weakness
- Reliance on pain medication to relieve pain
- Lowered confidence in managing the pain by yourself without these modalities.
Active recovery refers to when you are actively and purposely involved in the rehabilitation process. You are active in the process of relieving your pain and not reactive to when it happens. Being active is about being proactive about your pain and not allowing to it to flare up. The pain is under your control. Being active will include doing things like:
- Understanding what flares up your pain and modifying that activity
- Performing a consistent exercise and rehabilitaiton program
- Having a strategy in place if you get a flare up of your pain
- Positively thinking and dealing with your emotions instead of becoming frustrated by them
“Being active about your injuries can improve ‘locus of control’ which is the confidence in yourself that you have control over your pain, instead of ‘it’ controlling you”
Hot Principle # 2
You need to find out the diagnosis
This is essential as knowing the diagnosis will do several things
- Gives you clarity about which body tissue is involved, muscle, joint, tendon, ligament, nerve, disc or referred pain.
- Allows you to target the pain area with specific exercises
- Allows you to avoid positions and movements which may flare up the pain
For example, pain in the knee can be referred pain from the knee joint or it can be from a tendon. Both will require different time lines and strategies for recovery. Both will also require different exercises including reps, sets and rest periods etc.
Hot Principle # 3
A rehabilitation program is essential
A physiotherapist gives you a rehabilitation program for a reason. They aren’t thinking: “I’ll just give them these exercises to make their spare time boring and frustrating.” The exercises are there for several reasons including:
- Prevents muscles and ligaments from becoming deconditioned
- Allows you to manage and improve your pain with stretches and positions of ease
- Allows a faster return to sport and recreational activities
- Gives you control of your pain and how you can manage it without a Physiotherapist
- Gives you more body awareness and knowledge of your body
In simple terms, the rehab program is there to get your body back to how it felt before the injury and to prevent your body from becoming injured again!
“A rehabilitation program is known as your prescription, just like when you go to the doctors and get a prescription based on your diagnosis, a series of exercises can be given as a prescription for your diagnosis”
Hot Principle # 4
Stop seeking our MRI scans and X-rays
Most of the time we think that in order to fix an injury, we need to see it under a scan. This could not be further from the truth. Most of the time with an injury, if we get the injured body part scanned it can lead to worse outcomes compared to if we had no scan at all.
That is right, imaging a body part can lead to worse outcomes!
Why is this the case, well scans can do several things including:
- Labeling effect: Getting a scan will most likely find something…you then end up with a diagnosis which you continue to carry around and tell people about, further reinforcing the fact that you have an injury…”My scan shows I have a bulging disc so I shouldn’t bend over” A bulging disc is not a diagnosis and is not a reason why people have back pain…the 2 do not go hand in hand.
- More likely to lead to surgical interventions and injections: If you get a scan, the doctor will recommend either surgery, injections or arthoscopes to fix it, all of which can delay your recovery time, lead to muscle wasting and weakness and further pain! Unless it is life saving, you most likely will not need surgery.
- Findings from a scan poorly correlate to pain: The findings which people find in a scan do not match up entirely with the pain we feel. Someone can have bulging ans slipped discs in their back but be in no pain what so ever. Vice versa someone can have mild changed on x ray and MRI scans and be in chronic pain. Scans to not correlate to pain, yet we think that is the whol reason why we go and get them!
Hot Principle # 5
Go and See a Physiotherapist
What do Physiotherapist do?
Physiotherapists are experts in
- Finding out what is causing your pain, why it happened and the body part involved
- Performing an assessment on your body and lifestyle to create a plan on how you can resolve it
- Performing hands on treatment to relieve you pain
- Prescribing exercises which can help you strengthen the muscles around your injury and to prevent it from happening again
- Giving you a clear understanding on timelines to recovery and what to expect.
Just like you would bring your car to a mechanic to get it serviced, you would bring your body to a Physiotherapist to get the pain resolved.
Are You Frustrated with Your Pain?
If you are after answers, we have them!
Book into your Initial Assessment for your pain and you will learn:
- What is causing your knee pain
- Exactly what you need to do to fix it
- A corrective exercise and strengthening program
- A clear plan and guidance from a professional who understands knee pain
Book Online for your initial assessment