Tips for training with an injury
Exercise • • 1 minute to read • By INFS Faculty
Author- Asmita Shah
When it comes to exercise, injuries are an unfortunate reality and get in the way of training for someone who is into proper training. No pain, no gain is the biggest lie in this fitness industry which does more harm than good. When someone experiences injuries, avoid pushing it through. The main goal should be to work around it. Exercising through discomfort/ pain just makes matters worse.
What Causes Exercise Injuries?
- Poor training practices
- Being in poor physical condition
- Improper warm-up and cool-down practices
- Inappropriate workout gear
- Improper nutrition
- Muscle overuse
- Not recovering well from previous injuries
Training with an injury usually results in one of the two outcomes:
- More tissue damage and subsequent injury
- Increased CNS sensitivity and resulting in increased pain.
The brain is the source of pain. Pain is the body's defensive response, an output of the central nervous system, prompting to take any action and adjust behavior accordingly.
There are approaches to coping with injuries so that even while dealing with an injury, athletes can work on their goals by making certain alterations.
Seek Professional Advice:
If you have an injury, seek professional advice. Discuss it with your coach, if that’s not feasible, discuss it with a health care professional. Medical professionals have the knowledge and abilities to offer expert advice, and information, and provide a rehabilitation plan for recovery.
Train around it:
Post rehabilitation, complete rest is rarely required. If a certain movement causes pain, manipulate the movement to continue training without training the injured part. When dealing with injuries, form, and technique becomes even more important.
Find a technique to move effectively without hurting yourself. Injured individuals can train by making modifications with altered grips, changing variations, bar position, knee positioning, etc. It can change the amount of strain placed on an injured joint or muscle.
For example, An injured individual with an injured lower back can change from back squat to front squat. The front squat has a more upright torso and this simple modification can help individuals having back pain train pain-free. Slight modifications, such as adjusting the grip angle, can help individuals suffering from shoulder pain.
Limit Range of Motion:
Modifying the range of motion is one of the simplest methods to keep exercising when injured. For example: if a person has strained his pectoral muscles, limiting the range of motion by changing variation will help train around an injury. Instead of a traditional barbell bench press, consider doing a floor press without hampering recovery ability.
An individual’s injury or condition may get worse if load management is not done correctly. Load management is a key risk factor for injury. Focus on high reps / low load while recovering from an injury. An individual should strike a balance to develop training loads gradually to prevent re-injury.
Cross education phenomenon (CEP)
CEP refers to gaining strength in one limb when training the contralateral limb. This phenomenon is helpful in trained lifters undergoing recovery from a past injury. Thus, if the lifter cannot train one limb, exercising the other limb should attenuate strength decreases in the injured limb. A literature review has shown that strength in the untrained limb may increase up to 22%, with an average strength increase of approximately 8%. The increase in strength of the untrained limb is accompanied by significant EMG activity in that limb, thereby suggesting that a central neural adaptation accounts for the majority of strength gains.
(Howatson et al., 2022)
Physical problems may have a significant influence on mental health as an injury might affect not just the training but also career, personal life, and relationships. Not to mention the increased CNS sensitivity that comes with depression and poor mood, resulting in more severe pain and a longer recovery time. It’s very important to stay positive and take this as an opportunity to correct weaknesses and imbalances. The mindset is an under-valued recovery tool.
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