Training in Pain
I get asked at least 2 or 3 times a week whether a person’s injury will prevent them from training – normally there is concern that all the hard work so far will be wasted by having time out.
The answer is not a simple one, as it all depends on the severity of the injury and whether or not the training can be adapted around the injury without causing various other compensatory problems. When answering this question I try not to restrict exercise but in the majority of cases, training has to be adapted, reduced or stopped to allow the damaged structures to recover and repair.
When answering this question I try not to restrict exercise but in the majority of cases, training has to be adapted, reduced or stopped to allow the damaged structures to recover and repair.Pain is there for a reason, we can mask pain, work through
Pain is there for a reason, we can mask pain, work through the pain and sometimes compensate enough that we can kid ourselves it isn’t a problem anymore. Information from pain receptors takes high priority when information is relayed to our central decision making processors – this is because something is wrong and we are causing damage – this can be to bones, joints, ligaments, nerves and muscles.
So, what should you do when you’re injured?
Adapt your training – once you have been assessed and the therapist has decided you can continue to train but exclude provocative movements, then you will need to work with your trainer to ensure you adapt your exercise effectively.
- Sprained ankle – change to core work in sitting and lying, include some upper body weights without weight bearing
- Rotator cuff injury – try squats and lunges but keep the arms close to the mid line of your body
Listen to your body – you know you really well and know ultimately whether you should be training or not.
How long until I can train again?
Another very common question – and again the answer is not simple, lots of factors come into play – age, fitness, nutrition and severity of the injury.
It has to be remembered that it is better to rest and let an injury recover for a shorter period of time than train through it and potentially worsen the injury and be out for months.
If you are unsure about an injury or your pain go and see a therapist (osteo, physio, sports) to get some answers/ reassurance.
Alternatively, speak to your Instructor – they see you train week in week out and probably know if you should be training well before you do!!