Tips for dealing with an injury
If you have been dealing with an injury or you’ve been injured in the past you are likely to be familiar with feeling frustrated, angry, scared, in pain. There might be screams, tears or bursts of anger. I can empathise, it’s a horrible feeling! I’m there at the moment (in pain, scared, frustrated) I’ve had months of feeling great, not thinking about my injury but I’m not in a great place right now. I always have feeling of fear that something serious is wrong and this will set me back months or maybe another surgery is required (eek). However this time there has not been any tears (yet) I’m trying to focus on getting myself out of the flight or fight stressed state where I can think about my injury calmly and put in place all the things I’ve learned over the past few years and stop giving myself a hard time.
In our culture we tend to always push the limits, live fast paced. We are always go, go, go and love the word busy. An injury can be a huge inconvenience but in my experience a sports injury can show up when you need to listen to your body. Obviously there are occasions where an accident happens that is out with our control. I often find when I’m stressed or exhausted a little niggle will show up or maybe something worse. I’ve felt a little pain in my low back for weeks and this week it’s much more than a little niggle. I’m worried and frustrated, in pain and panicking. I immediately fear that it could be related to my hip in someway. When this happened to me in the past, I would just get on with things and push through it, but my training has taught me to listen to the signals, to breathe and most of all be patient and kind to myself.
Here are some of the things I do when I'm dealing with an injury
If it’s an injury from playing sports or an accident, you may need medical help visiting the Dr or going to A&E. While medical treatment is fantastic and necessary for many things if you have back pain for example, often what happens is the doctor will give you painkillers and maybe refer you onto physiotherapy. My go to treatment for recovering from an injury is getting KCR followed by connective tissue release (CTR), I will sometimes get a massage, I love a good deep tissue or thai massage but anything that helps the body to relax will release tension and relax your nervous system.
Ice or Heat?
Basically Ice is for injuries, heat is for muscles. I often prefer heat to ice but there is a good article here explaining this in more detail. At the moment my hot water bottle is my best friend! https://www.painscience.com/articles/ice-heat-confusion.php
We truly underestimate the power of rest. Being constantly on the go and over exercising can be detrimental to your health, it can be the cause of stress, anxiety, digestive problems and weight gain. A stressed body cannot digest food properly. During sleep or rest period our bodies can heal and repair. When we take the rest our bodies need we can then go on having a productive day with more energy. Rest is ESSENTIAL to our wellbeing.
“In meditation, healing can happen. When the mind is calm, alert and totally contented, then it is like a laser beam – it is very powerful and healing can happen.” - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Focus on what your body can do.
This is a biggie for me! I still like to move when I’m injured but I’ll have a shorter workout and only focus on what I can do, the past two weeks has been upper body and some ab work focussing on keeping my pelvis stable. A shorter workout is enough as I’m fighting an injury so I feel I get tired more easily, if I keep it short and sweet most of the time I can beat frustrations, knowing that I’ve done something useful but still in a way that serves my body. I will also practice more restorative yoga postures to help stretch off tight areas or to relax the nervous system.
Be compassionate towards yourself, stop giving your body a hard time. Don’t create unrealistic expectations. Take time to enjoy and care for your body, have a bath, read a book, go to bed early.
I drink ginger tea daily and I’ll often have shots of ginger when I’m feeling a bit low on energy or have a cold. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s great to try instead of painkillers (obviously if you are in a lot of pain, painkillers can be necessary) ginger helps to reduce muscle pain and soreness, it can help fight infections and is good for nauseas or menstrual cramps.
This is the hardest thing, we don’t know how long it will take to settle down. Be patient with yourself and know that you will come back stronger.
More details on the full extent of my hip injury here