Injury Prevention: When Aches and Pains are Obstacles to Your Goals
Many of us have areas of weakness in our bodies from past injuries or recent little tweaks and pulls. Often these relatively minor injuries become major setbacks as we work towards fitness, weight, and athletic goals. Seeing a physiotherapist for a diagnosis and a program of rehabilitation can make the difference between giving up on your dreams in a fit of frustration and achieving your goal despite the imperfection of your body. Read on!
Minor pains in the body often denote areas of weakness that, when stressed by increased activity, become debilitating injuries. Often it is the very presence of these aches and pains that motivate us to make changes in our bodies. The problem then is: how do we approach a new and progressive training program in a way that not only allows for these weak areas, but rehabilitates them as part of the program?
Do you have an old injury that keeps coming back every time you try to amp up your fitness routine? Are you trying to start a program of change, but nervous that new exercises might make your symptoms worse? Are you considering ignoring your minor aches and pains because you feel that there is no other way to get fit, lose weight, or do the Vancouver Sun Run? Sounds like just about everybody huh??
Listen to your body and never ignore pain. Pain is your body’s warning system. When you have on-going aches and pains, come see us at Oakridge Physiotherapy and get your symptoms diagnosed. One of our physiotherapists can give you specific exercises that fit into your training program to rehabilitate and strengthen weak areas. Having an optimal warm up and strengthening program will prevent these minor concerns from becoming major setbacks. A physiotherapist can also tell you when certain tasks or movements are unsafe for you perform.
When you are training focus on the physical activity you are doing and observe how your body is responding to the demands you’re making. Notice what aggravates your pain and avoid these movements. Notice what makes it feel better – often stretching a muscle and starting your training session with slow controlled movements will make faster movements well tolerated later in the training session. Always use a cool down to bring the body back to baseline, drink plenty of water and refuel to get yourself ready for your next training session.
Know the 5 cardinal signs of inflammation: heat, redness, swelling, pain and loss of function. If an area of your body is inflamed it is best not to push through the pain. Deal with the injured area immediately by applying ice for 10 to 20 minutes. Follow up by protecting, resting, compressing and elevating the area until the inflammation is resolved.
Minor aches and pains are almost unavoidable in the world of the physically active adult. Using a good warm-up and a set of exercises specifically designed to rehabilitate these areas can prevent injury while allowing for growth and change in other areas of the body.
If you are launching yourself into a fitness program or an athletic endeavor and are concerned about some minor aches and pains, please consider booking an assessment and treatment with us. You may find understanding your pain better allows you to work with it effectively and slowly resolve it as you progress toward your goals.
If you have an injury or questions about your post-surgical rehab, give us a call for a consultation when you are ready. And don’t forget to like us on our Facebook page. You can also check us out on Twitter at @oakridgephysio.