Healing and rehab take time, but it must be done.
We rarely associate homework with a good thing as an adult. It usually means extra work on top of what we already need to get done in a day. But what if that little bit of “extra work” could mean the difference between you and your next injury. Inconsistent training and lack of movement can lead to an increased risk of injury. Practicing movements with poor form will also increase your risk of injury. Rehab exercises are first to heal and then maintain healing. Neglecting them is holding you back from your favorite activities.
Movement has inherent risks. Whether you are stepping off a curb or competing in Crossfit games. Injury is a risk of movement. But what happens after the injury? How do you get back to the pre-injured state? More than likely, rehab. Rehabbing from injuries is a vital part of the path back to wellness and function. Without proper rehab, you are likely to get re-injured again and more seriously than before.
Say you got injured. You see your doctor and they suggest you go to physical therapy or take it easy for a while. Do you feel like you're up “Schitt's Creek”? Some people know physical therapy can mean discomfort. It could mean feeling shame because you got injured. What are the parameters for “taking it easy”? Frustrated, you spend more time on the couch than ever before.
Like it or not healing takes time. Returning to proper function can take weeks or months. Not moving however is just as likely to cause injury. Injury often occurs due to a combination of factors. Including; significant muscle tightness, poor body awareness, incorrect form, excessive load, or repetitive motions. Disrupting those patterns and reprogramming them takes time and consistent effort.
So what can you do? How do you battle excuses of not enough time or knowing what to do? Body awareness, professional guidance, and a plan are all key contributors to your return back to wellness and function.
Self-awareness in this content consists of 2 facets. 1 being your actual body position in space as you move. The other facet is, how does your body feel before, during, and after your rehab therapy? Can you determine the difference between stretch, pressure, discomfort, pain, and pleasure? Understand that your body is going to develop new and correct movement patterns. And when doing so,
it can feel very foreign and uncomfortable.
Discomfort is a natural part of the rehabilitation journey. Even some pain is expected as your body adapts to the new stimulus of your training. When you work with a professional you learn which activities are the most important. These are the exercises you should do daily regardless of your excuses. Creating a treatment plan with your professional will get you back to your favorite activities or back to work sooner. Hiring someone to take you through the rehab process will get you back to your old self sooner. A pro can help you see the path, adjust your mindset, and provide feedback on your progressions. They can guide you through the discomfort and help you establish proper form. Which is focused on the movement patterns you, uniquely, need.
Never underestimate the power of a good plan when it comes to your health. Life is always going to throw you curveballs and sideswipes. The goal is to be ready for them. But this is only one part of your plan.
Be prepared to do your assigned exercises on your own. This will take planning and a personal commitment to yourself and your health. Start with looking ahead at your week, what days are going to be the hardest for you to get your homework in? How can you mitigate some of the distractions or excuses likely to come up?
Try taking time first thing in the morning to do your movements. It may mean getting up a little earlier. This way you can get your movements done and keep a commitment to yourself. All before the world has an opportunity to sabotage you! If the morning is unrealistic for you, schedule the same time each day. If your injury is posture related, move as soon as you step away from the computer for the day. You can even use a lunch break. Remember you are trying to undo old patterns that caused or contributed to your injury. Consistent application of proper posture will help bust old habits.
In the end, getting back to your favorite activities after injury or illness takes a commitment to yourself, a plan, and a professional to help your track progress. Remember you are not alone on your journey. If you or someone you love is ready to get back to their life and you need some help, reach out. We are looking forward to helping you reach your healthiest year yet!