5 Reasons you should keep on training when injured

1. Because not all injuries were created equal!

In minor injuries, it is worthwhile to just modify the training load that the tissue is subjected to by decreasing the training intensity or abstaining from workouts for only two to three days. Should this relative rest cycle significantly decrease your pain it would be a good indication that you could slowly increase your training load over the next two to three weeks while carefully monitoring your pain level. This is also a good indicator of whether you are pacing yourself correctly.

2. Because you can alter the activity.

There are many dimensions to physical activity that could be used to adapt you training regime to be considered relative rest. You could decrease the intensity by decreasing your speed on a run; you could decrease the load by reducing the weights you lifts or by sticking to a flat sloped run. Very seldom athletes consider changing the time spent in one posture or reducing the frequency of one specific movement… a change can be as good as a holiday!

3. Because monitoring your pain is a good indication if you are pacing yourself correctly.

We certainly don’t want to further damage or influence our bodies’ recovery by continuing with training, we however have a pretty amazing and resilient body, and by simply listening to our body, we could quickly gauge whether we are heading in the right direction:

  • If workouts bring on that familiar pain but it quickly abates after the workout you are not pushing too hard and can carefully explore activity over a few more days…
  • Pain that is only there intermittently should not become constant and you should not experience an increase in pain intensity over a longer period.
  • Should you feel that your functional ability is improving, thus you could train for longer or even harder before experiencing the pain you are definitely on the right track. Pain is not the only indicator you could use to your advantage.

4. Because too much rest could be detrimental in the long run.

Healing tissue needs movement and load in order to regain optimal strength. If healing tissue is not subjected to careful and graduated loads there is no input to stimulate the tissues ability to handle load or stress… the process whereby physical stimulus is converted into cellular change is called Mechanotransduction (So yes it’s a thing). Simply put if I told you that you shouldn’t run again, you most likely will not be able to. Telling your friend Mr Couch Potato that he too will be able to participate in that sporting event;  if he trained for it and started small does translate into: Mrs Post Injury, you will be able to participate again if you train for it!

5. Because you need the movement.

Have you ever hear your friend state that they feel better after a run or a workout? No, it might not just be the endorphins, there are certain conditions that need more movement and will become worse when you rest. So carefully asses your responses to the things you do during the day… If I am always in more pain after sitting for a prolonged period and feel better after the workout, is this truly a sports injury?

If you are having a tough time figuring out why you are in pain… see your physiotherapist for a full assessment. Here at GRB Physiotherapy, we believe in keeping patients active or at least returning you to full function as soon as possible… Education is your key to becoming independent!