7 Reasons Your Injury is Not Getting Better

Doug demonstrates how a strong midline makes kettelbell clean and presses a cinch. Nice job Doug.

Doug demonstrates how a strong midline makes kettelbell clean and presses a cinch. Nice job Doug.

Workout of the Day--September 4, 2015

10 Minute AMRAP
7 Front rack lunge (135/95)
7 Burpees over bar
7 Toes to bar
7 Squat cleans (135/95)

Strength: Back squat 3-3-3-3-3

7 Reasons Your Injury is Not Getting Better

This article arrived in my inbox along with about a dozen other advertisements for gym equipment or supplements, solicitations for participation in competitions, or general marketing for some product or service that I most certainly do not need. I am glad this one didn't end up in the trash bin along with the others as it has some sage advice. Credit for this article goes to Breaking Muscle (breakingmuscle.com). Despite the name, they post a lot of information on recovery, balance, and being realistic with your training. I don't agree with everything they post, but this is definitely a worthwhile read. Please note...I did not write this article and it is not passive-aggressively directed at any of you. We all deal with injuries at some point. If the shoe fits... 

Here is the edited/abridged version; for the full article go to 7 Reasons your injury is not getting better at breakingmuscle.com.

1.) You Don't Train: When injured, it is absolutely true that you may need to rest from certain activities or decrease the intensity or frequency of your training. But you don’t (and shouldn’t) cut exercise out entirely. Your training will almost certainly include more mobility or stability work. There may be some modifications of certain exercises, additions of others, and even a few deletions. Whether your injury is from a trauma, muscle imbalance, or overuse, training will help speed up your recovery time. 

2.) You Don’t Take Time for Recovery and Regeneration: This isn't rocket science and it is not in conflict with #1. I'm talking a foam roller, lacrosse ball, yoga, stretching, massage, etc. Please don't complain that your injury isn't getting better if you aren't doing at least a subset of them. Yes they take time, but they are absolutely critical.

3.) Your Nutrition is Less Than Optimal: Your body needs the good stuff to heal. Sometimes when we are exercising less, we intentionally or unintentionally also cut our caloric intake. This makes sense from a calories in/calories out standpoint. However, too little protein, fat, or overall calories can inhibit healing.

4.)Your Alcohol Consumption is Too High: When injured, there is definitely the tendency to have a drink to dull the physical or psychological pain of being hurt. There is also a tendency to replace your gym time with social time that is often centered around drinking. I'm not throwing stones here, but know that alcohol negatively affects muscle recovery, slowing down the healing process and ensuring your injury stays around much longer than necessary.

5.) You Don't Sleep Enough: Sleep is one of your body’s best defenses and plays an important role in the regenerative process following injury. It is during sleep that your body secretes important hormones that are essential for a strong immune system, increased muscle mass, bone strength, and energy. Missing out on this critical time can lead to muscle atrophy, as well as the loss of ability to efficiently build and repair your muscles.

6.) You are Trying to Go It Alone:  injuries can be tricky little things. They can fool you. Your knee hurts, so it must be coming from your knee, right? Well, unfortunately it isn’t quite that easy, and often when you have pain in one place, it’s due to a dysfunction somewhere else. This is why you need a professional who can assess your injury and your movement, determine what the weak link is, and help you to fix it. Otherwise, you are just going to keep rolling and icing your knee while the cause of the injury remains problematic. 

7.) You Have a Poor Attitude: This may seem like a minor detail, but attitude really is everything. You have to be more than just willing to get better. You have to want to get better. Be eager to get better. Be prepared to do whatever your physical therapist or coach asks you to do. Be committed to your rehab exercises, take part in your therapy, and ensure you are eating well, sleeping, and doing lots of recovery work.