You are one month into 2021. You resolved to get off the couch and into shape. This is YOUR year. But this morning you have throbbing knee pain. The thoughts rush to your head like a flood… What did I do? What does Doctor Google have to say about this? Do I need pain medication? Surgery? It hurts so bad!
Injury Meltdown can lead you down a rabbit hole to nowhere. You can drive yourself crazy trying to find the answer to your pain problem. We’ve been there, so we thought we would chime in and help.
Here Are Three Tips for Avoiding Injury Meltdown in 2021:
1. DON’T PANIC.
Our knee-jerk reactions to pain can cause us to go into a state of panic and distress. We feel helpless and can only think of the worst-case scenarios.
Understand that you are NOT ALONE. Many that have jumped into a new fitness routine have experienced the same thoughts about the injury as you have. The good news is that there are ways to overcome pain and modify workouts so that you can keep pursuing your goals.
Take a deep breath. This is not the end of the world or your fitness journey. Pain and injury from training are often a result of doing too much too quickly or loading your body in a way that it is not yet ready for. Don’t panic! There are answers to your concerns.
2. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Pain has a very distinct function in your body. It can tell you when enough is enough. Your body uses pain as a tool to detect potentially dangerous situations for you and your body. We have to be able to listen to our body and figure out what it’s trying to tell us. Don’t get stuck in the “no pain, no gain” mentality when your body is telling you otherwise.
Muscle aches and soreness the day after a work out are typical. It can actually mean you’re working out the right muscles! Muscles need to breakdown a little bit to build up stronger. However, if the pain doesn’t seem to go away with rest in a few days, it may be something more significant.
If a nerve has been irritated or inflamed, you may feel some numbness and tingling or “shooting pains.” This type of pain often travels in a specific pattern and can be accompanied by weakness or tightness in your muscles.
Sharp pains that are brought on by specific movements can be attributed to a number of factors. Generally, if the pain is severe into specific motions (Ex: bending over), your body is sending a signal indicating that you may have done a little more than it could handle.
Regardless of your pain, you need to listen to your body. Expand your pain vocabulary so you can target the issue and determine the next best course of action.
3. GRADED EXERCISE PROGRAMMING.
One of the most overlooked aspects of injury prevention is graded programming (think “baby steps”). Often times, we just jump right into whatever we think will get us into shape. Whether that’s a CrossFit class that your buddy talked you into doing or going out for a 5-mile run, we tend to get started at full speed without thinking of the consequences.
Properly graded exercise programming allows your body to slowly adapt to the new stresses that exercise will encounter. Rather than shocking the body or trying to relive the glory days on Day 1, you introduce more and more activity incrementally which decreases the risk for injury. Basically, instead of going zero to a hundred right off the bat, we’re approaching exercise stepwise to give your body the best opportunity to adjust to your new level of activity. You may have heard of the analogy of eating an elephant – you can’t swallow an elephant whole! You just have to focus on small bites, one a time! This way, you can avoid injury meltdowns and continue to make incremental progress toward your fitness goals.
2021 is STILL YOUR YEAR. When (not IF) you experience pain, don’t panic, listen to your body, and consult an expert if you’re confused or frustrated. The staff at Limitless is here to help you steer away from injury meltdowns and move you toward the healthiest version of yourself!