When you are injured, you want the pain gone fast. I fully understand that. I want to be back to normal immediately anytime I am injured. Unfortunately, it does not work that way, especially if you have been dealing with your issues for a long time.
I often talk with athletes who have had pain for months or years and have been doing band-aid methods for it so they can continue training or simply ignoring it completely and attempting to train through the pain. Either of these methods continue to make the problem worse, continue to add more compensations to your list of things that need to be addressed, and prolongs the recovery process once you are ready to get proper help.
Let’s talk about what goes on with the body when injured.
Prolonging the process
Your pain is there as a warning sign that something is wrong. Ignoring it long term causes major issues. You can compare it to the ‘check engine’ light on your vehicle – if you ignore that for too long, something is going to happen that is going to be extremely time consuming and costly to repair. The same thing will happen to your body – ignore your pain signal for too long and the result will be more time consuming and costly than it would have if you had addressed the issue up front.
Someone I worked with in the past put it perfectly: “I dealt with my pain for 7 months before doing anything, so I expect it will take at least that long before I am back fully again.” Is there a standard timeline like that when it comes to the recovery process? No! But it is a great rule of thumb. The quicker you address the issue, the quicker you return to 100%. The longer you let things linger, the longer your recovery process takes.
These are the most difficult and time-consuming elements when dealing with injuries and the recovery process because your body is amazing at creating compensations for anything and everything:
That ankle sprain ten years ago probably resulted in some compensations in your body without you realizing it…and those compensations likely contributed to your current injury.
That pain you developed two weeks ago is causing you to compensate in some way so you can function with as little pain as possible.
The postural habits you have developed with how you do your job and other daily tasks create a multitude of compensations.
When I work with clients, the majority of our time together is spent on correcting the compensations rather than the fixing the actual injury. This part can take several months to correct depending on how many compensations are present, how long they have been there, and what new things present themselves as other things are corrected.
Once the compensations are corrected and your body understands how to move, then it is a matter of training your body to be strong and stable in the new patterns. While beginning the rebuilding process, your bodyis going to feel much weaker with certain movements compared to how it felt before. On a positive note, though, once you gain the stability and control in the new pattern you will be even stronger because that new pattern is a more powerful pattern to move in.
Dealing with long term issues and not sure what to do next! I would love to talk with you. Schedule a Discovery Call with me to figure out your best next steps.
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