When we get injured, we go through the 5 stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. We don’t seem to believe it at first and we think to ourselves that we can keep training and the injury will just go away. Eventually we lead down to acceptance after failed attempts to train through the pain. Once we accept the injury, we start to become smarter with our approach to training again. Health professionals say that once you’ve become injured you need to take a slow approach to a return to sport. So why do I need to build back following an injury? Continue reading to learn more about recovering from an injury.
What does a small injury mean?
It’s very important to continue with some form of training during an injury. However, we need to modify our load to allow healing to occur. Often, we are at risk of developing further injury following the initial incident. A small injury can be a precursor to a larger, more sinister injury that built over time. For example, a small calf strain can be a precursor to a larger calf strain due to poor training or biomechanical habits. For this reason, once we encounter a small injury, we still need to build back our training load over time.
Why do we get injured?
The body loves to keep moving, when we’ve put together some good, long periods of training we’ve developed a base of fitness. This base helps reduce the risk of injury because our body has become accustomed to load. However, if we suddenly decide to increase our training load too much, the body may not like this and is at more risk of injury. This is because of the adaptations that occur at a smaller level. We may feel like a change is fine, but our muscles, ligaments, bones, and tendons all take longer than we expect to adapt to training changes. When we overdo our training we can create small injuries to the afore-mentioned structures, if we’re not careful, these small injuries can deteriorate to worse injuries.
So why does this mean I have to build back following an injury?
Building back from an injury is a progressive increase in loading again. We would have taken time off or modified our training during the injury. When we start back up again, we may feel good but at a cellular level our body still needs slow increases in volume. Tendons, ligaments, and bones can take months-years to adapt to changes in training. While muscles can adapt in days-weeks. Therefore we’re at risk of a tendon injury following a muscle strain. We may have rehabbed the muscle strain effectively in a couple weeks but the deloading that occurred to the surrounding tendons will require a few months to build back up to its normal strength.
I’m Recovering from an Injury. What do I do?
It’s important to see a health professional who can educate you about why it’s important to build back after an injury. They can provide you with a detailed plan and ensure that you don’t overdo your return to training again. Therefore it’s important to take a structured approach in the build back to sport. If you take your return slow and steady you are at much less risk of further injury and will be more likely to return successfully.
If you have recently suffered an injury and would like treatment or a structured return to sport plan book in with our physios today to get started on your road to recovering from an injury.