Turn your injury into an opportunity!!

Yes, this is possible. Have you ever been told to 'rest' due to injury? I'm sure you have and it's the dreaded word for any active person to hear. 

Rest can be an essential part of rehab but knowing when and how long for is key. Too much rest will lead to detraining and a reduction in tissue strength and adaptation. Too little rest can result in overload and overuse issues. So how much rest is enough? 

The answer is in the diagnosis and the irritability of the condition. The best thing to do is always ask questions: 

Ask your health professional why? How long for? What's the evidence for that. If they don't know why, then find someone who does. 

So, you have been told you need to stop certain activities e.g. Running, jumping, or lifting for a period of time. This initially will feel like a very negative experience. "If I can't Run, then I can't train right?" Wrong. 

Here are a few suggestions on how you can turn injuries into opportunities 

1) Diet – it's all about planning. Planning which takes time, which normally you don't have. Now your resting, you will have the time to get this essential part of training right. Planning meals for the week and month ahead. A major problem with getting the right diet is the inconvenience of it. Get a shopping list that is broken into meals and snacks. Get some plastic tubs and make things easy for yourself. A final tip, especially when fat loss is a goal, is a food diary,  which includes everything I.e. fluids and fruit as often these are left out and can contain a lot of calories. 

2) Weak points: working on other parts of the body especially areas where you maybe very weak. Unless you are a professional, equipment like Anti gravity or underwater treadmills are not accessible to most people  but there are plenty of others ways to train. For example, a fractured wrist won't stop you squatting with a weighted vest on or using the leg press machine. If mobility and flexibility is something that does not excite you normally, then make friends with it, as you will see the benefits once you give it a chance. There can obviously be more complex and less straight forward examples but this should be discussed with your health care professional to optimise your training and recovery. 

3) Get some Control: Pain is complex and this Facebook post is too short to go into any kind of depth. However, getting control over what you can and can't do will immediately have a positive affect on pain. It is therefore essential to speak to someone who can lay out a plan for managing pain. If you learn how to focus on 1 or 2 things in a positive productive way e.g. Improving diet or performing a certain pain free movement; it will enable you to gain control and this will enable the brain to interpret movement in a positive manner, which will therefore improve mood. This is commonly used in Sports psychology where athletes use task specific cues (1 or 2 points) so that they can block out any other distractions, which could affect performance. Mental health is key in recovery and like physical training, mental training requires practice. If you are interested in pain science and the mechanisms behind pain then follow @bodyinmind on Twitter. If you are interested in learning some practical ways to improve your sport psychology, then get 'football, raise your mental game by Richard Nugent. It applies to all sport and not just football. 

4) Coaching: if you can coach your sport you will be better at your sport. Take this 'rest' time to analyse and critique the movements in your sport. Follow and learn from the best coaches. These need to be the best coaches worldwide and not just the best in your village. If you want to hear from a world class coach, follow @coachgambetta on Twitter and get started on becoming a better athlete. You will be surprised how much you didn't know when you to try to coach someone your own sport. 

So if your told to rest, ask why? And then turn your injury into an opportunity so that you, come back stronger. 

At ProCare we tell you the answers 

Here is a must for a rehab playlist 


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