We all get injured sometimes, and it’s not always the fault of the doctor or the victim. Injuries are an unfortunate part of life, and injuries happen to everyone. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and prevent them. In this post, we’ll have a look at some of the most common sports injuries, the kind of injury they are, what could have caused them and how to prevent them.

over the past five decades, there have been significant increases in the number of people who suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than six months, and can be persistent or recurrent. While there are several theories about the cause of chronic pain, there is no cure.

Success is not necessarily defined by victories or the number of trophies; it can sometimes be characterized by one’s long record in a particular sport. Unfortunately, injuries often determine a person’s fate in various sports.

Ideally, of course, most of us would not suffer any injuries at all. But anyone who does physical or extreme sports will tell you that injuries are like death and taxes….. no matter how careful you are, they are inevitable.

Even if we do everything right, we may one day have bad luck and fall victim to an event we could not have foreseen.

This is not always the case in the gym. An injury can be caused by an accident, in other sports, by falling, slipping or simply by playing with children.

In my years of experience as a coach or instructor, I have seen injuries of all types and severity that have caused people to give up training altogether.

All my life I played a variety of physical sports and never got injured until I was 27 years old. Since then, I’ve had a few minor and some rather debilitating injuries, including:

  • Triple disc protrusion between L4 and L5
  • The left shoulder was partially separated three times
  • Patellar tendonitis in both knees at the same time
  • Adhesive capsular inflammation (frozen shoulder) in both shoulders
  • Fracture of the tibia at the base of the ankle
  • Hamstring joint
  • Tendonitis in both shoulders
  • Severe tendovaginitis in both elbows
  • All kinds of stretches for neck, back, ankles, wrists and knees.
  • Significant subluxation of the shoulder (partial dislocation)

Although some of these injuries were very painful and took a long time to fully heal, I never missed a practice and, with the exception of a broken ankle, I did not miss a hockey game due to an injury until January of this year.

I have been competing in bodybuilding since 1997. Coincidentally, I was seriously injured for the first time that same year.

Although I suffered some injuries as a beginner, not all of the listed injuries occurred in the gym. I’m convinced that one of the reasons I manage to stay competitive after all these years in various sports is what I call injury management. I would like to share with you my approach to this issue.

Ask for help!

The first step to overcoming trauma is to immediately seek professional help from the right people.  If you don’t know your body, ignoring injuries – even minor ones – can often result in more serious problems in the future.

Depending on the pain or injury, I have a team of different specialists that I trust and consult as needed. I usually go to physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists and doctors.

I have a few that I trust completely. If one of them is too busy to see me immediately, I just call the other.

Physiotherapist

A physical therapist with knowledge of sports injuries is an important tool in preventing and treating many injuries.

Physical therapists understand anatomy, physiology and biomechanics. A good physical therapist can properly assess the problem or injury, help speed up the healing process, prescribe exercises to strengthen the affected area, and suggest movements and exercises that should be avoided until the injury is fully healed.

Chiropractor

Although chiropractors focus on the health of the spine, they can also diagnose, treat and prevent conditions related to the pelvis, joints and nervous system.

A healthy spine is extremely important for the proper functioning of nerves throughout the body. It is not only vital for your health, but also extremely important for optimal performance in any sport.

Massage therapist

Not to be confused with a masseur. A massage therapist can help with problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Regular massage can improve blood flow to muscles and joints, reduce stress, relax stiff muscles and improve recovery time after an injury or physical exertion.

I prefer massage therapists trained in Myofascial Release or Active Release techniques for soft tissue therapy.

Doctor

While it is very difficult for many people to find a good doctor who is up to date on the latest medical and nutritional research, it is important to at least find one who is willing to work with you to find the help you need in a timely manner.

In Canada, you need a doctor to do blood tests, get a prescription for an MRI scan (unless you pay for it yourself at a private clinic) and get referrals to other specialists. Many health insurance companies also require a medical prescription for massage or physical therapy.

Personal trainer or fitness trainer
A good personal trainer or fitness trainer is always useful, especially in case of injuries. Creating an exercise program that is tailored to your injuries is critical to getting you from the couch to the gym.

A good trainer will help you avoid injury, take into account the recommendations of your physical therapist, and help you refine your technique to prevent further injury.

Other practitioners

There are many specialists in the health sector, such as acupuncturists, osteopaths, homeopaths, naturopaths and many others.

I don’t believe there is a field of miracles that heals or can heal everything. Still, I think most of them have their place in the industry and can work together.  Regular consultations with some of these specialists can be costly. If you have health insurance, use this option.

Understanding the problem

Another important step in trauma processing is getting to know the trauma. Familiarise yourself with the anatomy and physiology of the affected area. Try to understand as much as possible about the trauma in question.

This will help you understand how the injury occurred and, more importantly, what movements or exercises you should avoid until you are fully recovered. You will also be in a better position to discuss the injury with other professionals and form your own opinion.

By learning from the trauma and understanding how it happened, you are better able to prevent it from happening again. You may even be able to prevent other similar injuries.

The more you learn, the better you will feel in your body and the better you will know yourself.

Performance is important

John Berardi and other nutritionists have been preaching about the importance of good nutrition for years.  Proper nutrition is important for providing the body with the nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed to maintain energy levels, keep the immune system strong and regulate hormone levels.

A good diet also helps fight the damage that can be caused by too much sun, smoke and pollution. And it plays an important role in the fight against serious diseases.

We also know that proper nutrition is essential to maintaining or achieving a healthy body composition. Finally, nutrition plays an important role in improving performance in various physical activities and sports.

Don’t eat too much, but eat a full meal

It’s easy to get depressed after trauma and start eating uncontrollably. Most of us have done it, and most of us know it’s the worst thing we can do to our bodies.

Good nutrition becomes even more important when we suffer an injury, as one of the body’s priorities is recovery.

A balanced diet will not only keep you healthy, it will also provide the wound or affected area with the nutrients it needs to speed up the healing process.

Proteins and amino acids are important for the maintenance and recovery of muscles and tissue. Good herbs, phytochemicals and a balance of oils help control inflammation.

It is important to eat good quality food, but also enough of it. Berardi found that sports injuries or minor surgeries can increase the basal metabolic rate (BMR) by 15-20%. If the body receives too few or no nutrients, the healing process is delayed or the affected area does not heal properly.

Chances are, if you already have a good diet when you get injured, your body will have a head start. Not only will you heal from your injury faster, but you will also maintain a healthy body composition and be in a much better position to return to your original form once your body has fully recovered.

Staying active

One of the worst things you can do when you are injured is to stop physical activity. Rest of the affected area and adequate sleep are essential for proper recovery. But that doesn’t mean you have to become a benchwarmer.

Unless you are in a cast or on a hospital bed, there is absolutely no reason why you cannot work around an injury.

Change of training mode

Once you understand why or how the injury occurred, what is making it worse, and what needs to be done to improve and strengthen the injured area, you can easily adjust your training program to work without the injury until it is fully healed.

Depending on the type and severity of the injury, adjustments to the training program can be as simple as changing the grip on an exercise or replacing one exercise with another.

If the injury is a little more severe, you may need to change your exercise program and exclude one part of your body completely.

In extreme cases, this may mean that you can only do rehabilitation exercises in the gym. In these cases, you can focus more on abdominal exercises and do more cardio.

What is the alternative?

We already know that if you don’t move a certain part of your body, you will likely lose strength and possibly muscle. A total lack of exercise has negative effects on the whole body.

Is there anything more depressing than a simultaneous loss of strength, muscle, cardiovascular fitness and a negative change in body composition? The only way to prevent this and limit the damage is to stay active.

An additional motivating factor is that only a fraction of the intensity, frequency and volume you trained at before your injury is needed to maintain a certain level of fitness.

Mental health section

Staying active is much better for the body and also plays an important role in psychological recovery.

Not only will you recover faster, but you’ll also prevent depression and be able to get back into shape once your injury is fully healed. Cross-training can even open up a whole new world of activities that you never thought possible.

How soon can we return to our former activities?

Once the injury has healed, the speed with which we can resume our former activities may depend on several factors.

How serious is the injury?

A slight sprain of the shoulder, of course, has far fewer consequences than a complete dislocation of the shoulder. The more severe the injury, the longer the recovery time and the longer it takes to get back into shape.

Are you looking for help from the right professionals?
By seeking professional help, you will ensure that the injury heals properly, help manage it, and minimize the chances of the same injury occurring again.

Do you do rehabilitation exercises?

Depending on the injury, your physical therapist will prescribe rehabilitation exercises to help you strengthen the affected area and recover faster. These exercises are forgotten or ignored by many, and they certainly have an impact on the speed of recovery and the likelihood of re-injury. Besides, why pay for advice and not follow it?

Are you staying active?

Being proactive and in control of your body is the key to a speedy recovery. You help limit the damage by reducing the loss of muscle, strength and cardiovascular capacity.

Combined with an appropriate diet, you can also maintain ideal hormone levels, a healthy metabolism and a favorable body composition.

Are you eating right?

The importance of proper nutrition in promoting healing should never be forgotten. For more information on nutrition and injury, John Berardi and Ryan Andrews have written an excellent article on the subject. You can find this article here.

How old are you?

Although many of us don’t want to admit it, age plays an important role in injury recovery. As we age, hormone levels change, metabolism can slow down if not stimulated, and we just can’t treat ourselves the way we did when we were younger.

But it gives us an even greater incentive to stay fit as we age. Finally, come up with an alternative.

Supplement

Injuries really suck.  But if you don’t fight them, you can often make the problems worse, both physically and psychologically.

As I understand it, there are two ways to treat an injury. We can sit on our asses and cry, or we can get up and do something. I prefer the latter.

Read more

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you cope with injury?

I have a lot of different coping mechanisms. I’m a big fan of self-care and I try to take care of myself as much as possible. I also like to be active, so if I can’t run or do yoga, then I’ll go for walks or bike rides. I also like to be creative and write.

How do you mentally deal with an injury?

I try to stay positive and focus on the positives. I think about how I can still do my job, even if it’s not at 100%. I think about how I can still contribute to the team.

How might an athlete try to cope with an injury?

An athlete might try to cope with an injury by focusing on the positive aspects of their life. They might also try to distract themselves from the pain and focus on something else, such as a hobby or sport.

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