Dealing With Injuries As An Athlete

Dealing with injuries is NO fun! They’re unmotivating and a flat out pain to deal with. However, having an injury doesn’t mean you need to stop taking steps towards achieving your goals! There is always something you can do. 

Whether it’s drinking more water, reducing your stress levels, following a healthy meal plan, going out for a walk, or resting the injured area and working out a different body part. Don’t put your goals on hold while you’re injured, adjust your goals and come out strong from the injury! 

Injury Types

Types of injuries: 

Macrotrauma – this is when there is a specific event that happened that you can remember that causes the injury to happen. I.E. getting in a car accident, breaking your bone or when you dislocate your shoulder throwing a right hand in the middle of an MMA fight. 😉 (Yes that happened to me, talk about bad timing!)

Microtrauma – These injuries come from overuse. That means constantly stressing a body tissue without proper recovery. These can also come from poorly put together workout programs, doing exercises with poor technique, and/or poor nutrition.

Injuries are bound to happen, it’s important to know what’s happening in your body and what the next steps are. 

How To Deal With Injuries

A general way to deal with an injury is R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression and elevation). R.I.C.E. can be used for almost any injury and can relieve pain, swelling, and soreness. However, you should listen to a doctor’s instructions and if this method is not helpful, seek a medical professional.

The main key to dealing with an injury is to not get frustrated. This is a healing phase of your life. All athletes will heal at different paces depending on age, gender, activity level, nutrition and how damaging the injury is. 

The focus right now should not be weight loss! PLEASE don’t stress yourself out about your weight during this time. Take the rest your body needs. Give your body the nutrition it needs to heal, and listen to your doctor. 

How Long Does It Take To Heal?

The time it takes to heal is a case-by-case basis. There are three phases that your body will go through when you have an injury that may be helpful to be aware of when healing.

When it comes to tissue healing, there are three main phases:

1. Inflammation phase: Lasts 2-3 days. The injury becomes red and swollen. This is definitely the most painful stage.

2. Repair phase: This is when your body starts replacing the damaged tissues with new collagen fiber, i.e. when scar tissue starts to develop. These aren’t necessarily strong tissues developing, but they start building as early as 2 days after an injury and can last up to two months.

3. Remodeling phase: This is where the weaker tissues that were laid down in the repair stage become strong. They improve in structure, strength and function. This phase can last about 2-4 months after injury and athletes are or almost ready to return to training. 

These are just some of the basics of bone injuries and will be different depending on how your body reacts and the severity of the injury. 

Be sure to ask your doctor questions! If you hurt your knee, see if it’s okay to do seated upper body workouts still. If you injured your shoulder, ask if it’s okay to still do some lower body. Most of the time, there is something you can do to move your body! Everyone is different, keep your eye on the big picture, this is just a small phase of your athletic career, especially because we are athletes for life around here. 😉 

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