by Brittany Gillis
Injuries can happen anywhere. They can come from a trauma to your body like a car accident, or even something as small as bending over to tie your shoe. Injuries have a broad spectrum of severity. Some are super easy to fix, and some require surgery. Either way, injuries are something that get in the way of our everyday life and can affect our mental health as well. So what do we do when we get an injury, and what are some ways we can recover?
I have had a few injuries in the past that were minor and easily fixed by resting. Recently, my job has been extremely demanding. I work as an ER tech. Busy days, and 12 hours nonstop at a busy ER lead to sore feet, legs and back. Thinking that it was just a busy few days, I went home, took a hot bath and tried to rest as much as I could on my days off. After a busy Friday, on Saturday we helped my dad move some really heavy furniture. When we were done, I could feel that my back was super tight. I went home and again got into a hot bath and took some ibuprofen. A few days later, I still felt super sore and tight. I thought that maybe I needed to go to the gym since it has been a hot minute since I worked out. During the workout, I could feel my back light up but I kept pushing through even though I knew better. I didn’t go heavy or hard, but what I was doing was irritating it.
The next day I was down for the count. I could not sleep, I was barely able to get out of bed and had a hard time walking. OH NO…. Now what? I went to work and saw my NP who took me out of work, gave me prednisone and sent me on my way. After about two weeks I was starting to feel better!! Thank God!
Wrong. The prednisone was just masking the injury. Now back to square one, I was frustrated and angry. I was angry that I had this injury that completely took me out of training in the gym, doing activities with my kids and even cleaning my house. I lost control of my eating and emotions. I was so frustrated. I called the doctor and he advised me that I needed Physical Therapy and patience. (Haven’t I been patient enough? Not even close.) After starting therapy, I was starting to feel a little better but still angry that it wasn’t a “quick” fix. Well after listening to a podcast episode on accepting where you are, I realized that being angry at having an injury is not gonna make it go away. I had to accept where I was and do what I could. So switching that mindset, I started working on mobility. Not only was that helping my back but mobility is a HUGE part of training in the gym.
It has now been 8 weeks with this injury. It is slowly getting better but what do I do when I am 100% better? Should I jump right back in to doing a 290 deadlift or a quick Fran? No. Easing back in is the best way to recover. Building back up muscles and strength you have lost over the time you lost from an injury is only going to help your current recovery and also help prevent you from becoming injured again.
Although we would like to think we can jump right back where we left off after an injury, it is super important that you take it slow and ease your way back in. Mobility, rest, talking to your coach, scaling workouts and listening to your body are great ways to help recover and get you back to training!