Exercising After An Injury
Regular exercise is essential for regulating weight, improving mental health, reducing the risk of disease and can increase the chances of living longer. But what happens when you CAN’T exercise?
Sustaining an injury can be devastating for various reasons. For individuals who exercise regularly or who are involved in sports, getting injured may seem like the end of the world, but it doesn’t have to mean you’ll never be able to work out again. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may be able to eventually go back to exercising as normal, or you might have to simply change the intensity of your routines.
It might take a while before you even want to think about going back to an exercise routine after an injury, but that’s normal! Exercising after an injury is a practice in patience and understanding.
Common Injuries That Can Affect Exercise
An injury can happen at any moment’s notice. Whether you are injured because of an accident, like a bad slip and fall or car accident, or because of improper exercise techniques, you may find yourself in a physical setback. Many different injuries can prevent you from exercising including:
- Sprained or torn ligaments
- Herniated disc
- Golf elbow (pain on the inner side of the elbow)
- Tennis elbow (discomfort of the tissue connecting the forearm to the elbow)
- Pinched nerves
- Torn ACL
- Joint dislocation
- Back injury
- Swimmer’s shoulder (shoulder impingement; when tendons rub on the shoulder blade due to repetitive shoulder movements)
- Pulled muscles
- Shin splints (shin pain due to torn muscle fibers of the shin bone)
- Fractured bones
What To Do When Returning To An Exercise Routine
After an injury, most doctors will prescribe rest. The goal is to stop or minimize as much movement on the affected part of your body to avoid further damage. If the pain is excruciating or it has not eased up after a few days, you should consult a doctor. A medical professional can assess your injury through basic examinations or medical imaging such as an X-ray or MRI. This will let you know the extent of your injury and what measures you need to take to heal, whether that be medication, an orthopedic cast or sling, surgery, or physical therapy.
Once your doctor gives you the okay to begin exercising again, you’ll be advised to take it slow. You will not be able to go back to your normal routine and in some cases, you may have to start from scratch and relearn your body throughout the healing process. And don’t be embarrassed about possibly using smaller weights or not being able to run as far as you used did pre-injury. This does not mean that you will never get back to your original capabilities; it’s only going to take time to get there. Set goals for yourself and keep a positive mindset.
Physical Therapy For Exercising After an Injury
Getting back into exercising after an injury can be a daunting task but having an experienced physical therapist by your side can make the process go much smoother. A physical therapist is a trained medical professional that knows how to assist injured individuals in improving their physical health safely and naturally. Physical therapy can significantly help speed up the healing process, but it needs to be done under the care of a highly regarded team like those at Physical Therapy Now.
Give us a call to set up your first appointment today at (800) 481-4582. We are here to help!