Oh, glory! You’re finally ready and you’re coming back from an injury. What a great feeling.
Being down with an injury is tough. It’s hard on you physically and mentally. You’re usually focused on your workouts and training and then wham! Something happens and you’re down. You lose all the benefits of working out, including all those endorphins and other feel good hormones. It’s easy to feel down and defeated.
Then comes the moment when you realize you feel better or your doctor says you can begin to resume your routine. Great news! However, before you get too carried away, here are a few tips for coming back from an injury successfully.
Coming Back from an Injury
- First, listen to your body! When you first start working out again, you’re going to feel muscle fatigue. That’s normal. Personally, I like feeling that muscle fatigue. It means I’m getting results. However, if you’re feeling pain, whether while working out or later, reevaluate what you’re doing. Maybe you’re pushing it too fast. Consider scaling back on what you’re doing. If you’re running, slow down or do a run/walk routine.
- Listen to professional advice. If you’ve been seeing a doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist, now is not the time to decide you know better. Instead, be sure to follow their advice.
- Continue to do the therapy exercises or preventative exercises that you’ve been doing during your recovery. This is not the time to stop that stretching or targeted exercises. Some of those exercises are things you may want to continue doing for a long time. For example, Chris has written about the work she continues to do to avoid problems with her Achilles tendon.
- Next, be patient. You’ve been out of commission for a while and you can’t expect to start where you left off. Don’t frustrate yourself by comparing yourself now to where you were then. Instead, where you were then can be the goal of what you’re working for. In the meantime, start slow and celebrate what you’re able to do now.
- Finally, consider that if you’re starting over with your training, now is the time to try to correct any form issues that you might have. If you’re running, consider working on your gait as you work to recover speed or endurance. Similarly, if you’re working in the gym, focus on your form as you deadlift or squat. I know that when I squat, my knees tend to move inwards. Since I’m just coming back to doing a squat, I can now really focus on getting my knees going where I want.
Congratulations on being ready to resume your physical activities! Truly, this is an exciting time. Just be patient and careful and listen to your body. Take it slow and work hard to avoid having a relapse.