T.W.I – Training While Injured! Yay or Nay?
Injury, an instance of being injured (OxfordLanguages, 2021). There are three main categories that athletic injuries can fall into, and they are acute, overuse and chronic (PT&Me, 2021). In this article, our primary focus will be on acute injuries and the advice around training with such an injury.
Please note the following is general information only. Consult your GP or other health and medical professional for specific information regarding your condition or injury.
The first thing that you need to do when you suffer an injury and you want to resume training, is acknowledge (or find out exactly) what type of injury it is. Some other factors to consider when looking to return to training with an injury include your level of experience in training, your ability to modify your training and most importantly identifying whether or not if training will make your injury worse.
Once you have established the extent of your acute injury, deciding if you can continue training immediately or calculating the amount of time needed to return to training is the next step to take. As a rule of thumb, with an acute injury you want to make sure you rest the injured site. This might mean taking a few days off from all forms of training. Now if you decide that your training is not going to be for the injured site, you should keep in mind that there are many exercises that impact multiple areas of the body. So, the question you must ask here is this, is the workout I’m going to do, going to impact my injury even if it’s an indirect impact?
To aide in the recovery from an injury and potentially speed up your return to training and sport, the use of allied health professionals can play an important role. This can range from physiotherapy, acupuncture, and remedial massage. The treatments they provide can alleviate the pain of your injury, as well as reduce discomfort experienced in other parts of your body because of compensating for your injury.
In making a return to your sport, training, or recreational activity here are some things, from my personal experience, that you should consider:
Seek medical clearance – depending on the extent of the injury, you might need medical clearance to return so that you don’t do further damage.
Be realistic – in the early stages of your return, you must understand that there is a good chance you won’t be returning to the exact same level and intensity that you were at pre-injury.
Be patient – it is important to start small, and progressively increase the load & intensity at which you are performing.
Stay motivated – there is the likelihood that you will have a setback, or two. When these come along, don’t let it defeat you. Focus on your goal of returning to your activity.
Commitment is key – knowing where you can and want to get to, you must be prepared to be committed and consistent in doing the seemingly small tasks. These small tasks added up have a big impact on you being able to successfully return to what you enjoy doing the most, at the level and intensity which you are accustomed.
Acute injuries are never enjoyable, and when they happen it can be such a disappointment. But with the right attitude, guidance and well-structured plan you can make sure that your return to training, sport or recreational activity is more than successful.
Some of the above suggestions are also useful if you have an overuse or a chronic injury, but for information relating to your condition, please remember to consult your health professional for the best course of action.
References OxfordLanguages. (2021). Injury Definition. Retrieved from https://languages.oup.com/google-dictionary-en/ PT&Me. (2021, April 14). 3 Types of Athletic Injuries. Retrieved from PT & Me - Your guide to physical therapy: https://ptandme.com/three-types-of-athletic-injuries-and-how-physical-therapy-helps/