Whether it be in the gym, on the field, or by chance of some freak accident, injuries are always a possibility. I’ve had aches, pains, and broken bones...but by far my worst has been a joint injury. My shoulder, as a matter of fact. Not that this injury was particularly more painful than the others, but rather, it was far more difficult to manage and heal. You see, a joint injury can result from a number of things which aren’t always reversible. That’s why it’s important for us to take preventative measures when it comes to joint injuries.
That said, it’s too late for some us to start thinking about preventative measures. As such, I’ve listed a few ways in which you can manage and overcome your joint injuries.
Taking Enough Time Off
One of the biggest mistakes I made after my initial shoulder injury was not taking enough time off from the gym. I suspected I partially tore my rotator cuff as I had all of the symptoms, and my doctor agreed. As such, I was given a 4-week period to recover and an additional 2-weeks to train lightly. After about the third week, I had reduced pain in my shoulder and I was able to move it around freely. Naturally, I thought it would be okay to go to the gym following. A poor decision on my part.
I ended up re-injuring my shoulder and consequently, ended up taking even more time off than I would have initially. This was mainly due to my impatience and my yearning for exercise. When you’re injured, think of your recovery as a gym milestone. You’ll need to focus on recovery because that will take you to the next step when it comes to making progress with your fitness goals.
Mobility and Stretching
After your joint injury has healed, you’re more prone to developing scar tissue and stiff muscles. Once these ailments set in, blood flow to these injuries becomes a little more difficult. Because you need that blood flow to continue the healing process, you’ll need to work on mobility and stretching when you get the okay from your doctor. Your mobility routine will vary depending on your injury, but your rehab physician should have enough information for you to get started.
There are also several sources online you can look into to get a better idea of how you should be moving your body to heal your injuries.
Once you’ve been injured, you’ll have to take note of your physical limitations. You may not be able to exercise as frequently as you have before depending on the severity of the injury. As an example, I used to train my upper body at least 3 times per week prior to my injury. Following my injury, I’ve taken note of a sweet spot that allows me to train frequently without aggravating my injury to the point where the pain is unbearable. I now train my upper body 1-2 times per week and manage to maintain my strength in this way.
Take note of how often you can train and which movements you feel comfortable doing. Just because you have some limitations, doesn’t mean you can’t attain your goals.