Injuries, unfortunately, are a part of life. While we do our best to limit an athlete’s injuries, sometimes there are things outside of your control that can cause an injury. So what do we do once an injury has occurred?
A lot of athletes can get stuck in an all or nothing approach to training. If they have an injury and can’t train the way they would like to train, then what’s the point? This can be a toxic mindset as the athlete then begins to focus on the things they can’t do rather than the things they can do. When something you love to do (playing your sport) is taken away from you, this can be depressing and un-motivating. However this negative mindset can actually increase the time it takes to recover and increase the time an athlete stays on the side line.
There are two ways you can look at this time on the side lines. You can either have a negative mindset and still be injured, or you can have a positive mindset and commit to focusing on the things you can do, and decrease the time that it takes to recover from your injury. So what’s the plan? This article is not a rehab program and does not replace the Allied Health professional advice that you should obtain post injury, this is simply to show you that working around your injury can be a great way to maintain your strength and possibly speed up your recovery time.
Finding exercises that you can do while injured can sometimes be an experimental process where we can play with different positions and different variations of exercises. For example, if an athlete has a knee injury and has trouble squatting without pain we can do 1 of 3 things. We can manipulate the foot position, the hip position, or we can substitute the squat for a completely different exercise depending on the severity of the injury and the level of pain that an athlete is experiencing. Using a combination of science (knowing what structures may be damaged and what movements that it typically effects) and experimentation of how the athlete actually feels in different positions will see the best results not only in improving the physical injury but also switching the mindset of the athlete from a negative ‘I can’t do anything’ to a positive ‘I will focus on what I can do’.
Don’t get discouraged when an injury occurs. This is obviously easier said than done, however as an athlete you need to take reasonability for your own recovery. Ensure that you continue to move and train regularly as this can be a great time to focus on the basics and improve your movement quality and weaknesses that may be the reason why you got injured in the first place. Taking large amounts of time off can slow your recovery, dissolve your motivation and hurt your performance in the future. If you are injured, come down and see us and we can guide you through the recovery process.