If you have been working out for a decent amount of time, then you are aware with injuries that can cause pain and discomfort. Injuries happen, especially if working out is your buddy, but getting injuries over and over doesn’t have to be your new normal. An injury is a setback but it’s important to take time to rest.
As beneficial as workouts can be for your health and sense of well-being, they can also cause you considerable pain if you get injured. Most women don’t talk about this enough. Although experience can help prevent injuries, it’s sometimes not enough.
Sure, you might do all the right things –warm up, stay careful, and stick to known physical limits–yet one small mistake, and you’re face down on the ground, groaning because of the pain. I’ve been there and I’m sure you’ve been there too. I have experienced mild to extreme pain. Oftentimes it’s something as simple as a tight muscle, overtired muscles, or not taking enough time to stretch/warmup.
If you’ve been injured in the course of your workouts, it is important to do everything possible to get back to training and working out soon. Otherwise, you could lose all the strength you’ve built and the gains you’ve made. Besides, it’s very frustrating to pause and take time to heal. But believe me, the sooner you take time to recover, the quicker you’ll be back to your physical speed.
So how can you speed up recovery and get back to peak physical condition?
Rest the Injury
The first thing that doctors and fitness experts recommend is that you rest right after an injury. Rest that part of the body, in particular, to get some relief from the pain. You will only harm yourself more if you push through the pain and injured area/muscle.
So, if you sprained your knee or ankle, you’ll need to rest that and avoid putting any weight on that part of the body for at least 24 hours. I know it can be inconvenient and a set back, but it’s best to rest now so another issue doesn’t come up later. Of course it also depends on the severity of your injury. If you just have a sprain or a mild injury, ice and immediate rest for a few days might be plenty.
This will help reduce any inflammations or swellings and aid your recovery. Ice packs and heat packs can bring immediate relief to the inflamed area. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too much. I promise, you will get back into your game with more strength and endurance if you give yourself proper time to heal.
Apply Heat to the Injury
Heat shouldn’t be applied immediately after the injury. Wait at least 48 hours for the swelling to go down and for your body to start the healing process. Once you feel as if the swelling has dissipated, apply heat to the area. Heat helps improve circulation, pushes nutrients to that area, and speeds up the healing process. Also, if you need to elevate the part, do so –not all injuries require elevation though. If you can, get someone to massage the area with the injury. This promotes circulation and accelerates recovery. There are multiple remedies you can do at home to speed up your recovery process.
Compression works like ice. It helps reduce swelling and inflammation. To do this, use a bandage, elastic compression sleeve, or even KT tape. For example, if you sprained your knee, you can apply some KT tape to the knee.
Do it in such a way that it’s tight, but not so tight that there’s no circulation in your legs. If you’d like to see how to put KT tape on knee [watch here]. With the right compression material, you can get back to working out pretty quickly. I have used compression tape multiple times on injuries. The most common was a sprained ankle and wrist. While the tape doesn’t take the injury away completely, it can definitely relieve some pressure and discomfort. It also isolates the injured area so you’re forced to not overuse it.
Ease Back into Training
When you start working out again, make sure to ease into it. Avoid putting a lot of weight on the injured part. It’s tempting to jump right back into where you left off. But trust me, you might injure yourself in the same area or worse elsewhere. It’s not worth it to jump full force back to where you left off. Take a few days to warm up your body and start light.
Do lighter, easier, or even beginner workouts that won’t worsen the injury, and help you get back in the groove. Over time you’ll be back to 100 percent and able to use that body part fully again. The human body is an amazing machine and it’s important to be gracious to your body and follow the cues it gives you.