If you exercise, most likely you’ve experienced physical pain. They say that 42% of exercisers hurt themselves every year. As I read about pain and injury, I realize that there are many kinds of pain as it relates to exercising. I can’t be sure, but I believe the 42% refers to the percentage of people who actually damage their bodies during exercise, not those who simply experience a few hard workouts and feel “pain.”
I can’t tell you how to heal yourself or diagnose your injuries. I’m not qualified to do that, although I am extremely familiar with the concept of inflicting damage to ones body as a result of exercise. I am going to share a few bits of wisdom that I have accrued over the years. Maybe they can help you; they pretty much keep me alive.
- Feeling pain? The first thing you need to do is to figure out if you have an actual injury, or just the pain that results from a hard workout. Pain that comes on gradually over the course of the workout is most likely just the lactic acid and carbon monoxide that builds up during exercise. A sharp, sudden or constant pain is the kind of pain that requires rest and possibly the attention of a professional.
- If you’re healing from an injury or simply a hard workout you should not stop exercising. Activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to help mend your body as well as boosts your spirits. All you need to do is find something that doesn’t aggravate your injury. Try something new.
- RICE. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Generally speaking, if you feel you have an injury to a muscle, ligament, tendon or bone the basic treatment is to begin RICE’ing immediately. Example: I tore my Achilles recently, the first thing I did (after I dragged my poor wounded carcass home) was to put on my magic compression socks, lay on the floor, put my leg up on the couch resting on a big fat bag of ice. That ladies and gents, is RICE.
- My favorite part of healing is the mental part. If you focus on your pain and the doom you feel, your pain will seem more intense and last longer simply because you’re focusing on it. When you focus on pain you stress yourself out which in turn puts stress on the body and keeps it from healing. It’s a nasty downward spiral, you feel bad so you fret about it making things worse. All you can do is acknowledge that you’re wounded, come up with mending plan and go with it. Focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot. That, is your only option.
- Most of all, respect your body. It’s very good to you. When it’s wounded be kind and let it heal, don’t stress it in any way, let it relax and know that you love it and it will respond by healing and helping you to become even stronger than ever.
Trust me on this…