We have ALL been there I am sure (I am STILL there). We finally get ourselves motivated to getting fitter and healthier then all of a sudden life thinks it is funny to put an obstacle in our way, and watches from the sidelines as we try to figure out how to get around it. I’m talking about injuries. Aaaargh! Frustrating!
Often injuries make great excuses to putting our health and fitness goals “on hold”. But what happens if our injuries are chronic and life-long? Do we just avoid health at ALL cost to accommodate? I hope not. I certainly don’t let it run MY life.
We need to stop focusing on what we CAN’T do, and find out what we CAN do. In other words, stop finding excuses and look for solutions. I am not suggesting that it is easy by any means, but it IS possible. I have worked with many clients who had debilitating injuries. Some could barely walk! But if we become sedentary as a result….we lose capabilities in OTHER areas (especially our muscles). Now these past clients were determined not to let their injuries rule their lives and many are now living more mobile lives and enjoy the associated benefits.
I myself prolapsed a lumbar disc in 2007. It and the linked neural sciatic pain were the WORST pain I have EVER experienced. I couldn’t walk without excruciating pain for almost a year. Admittedly though I DID let it take control of my life for another year afterward and if that continued, then I shudder to think of my condition today. It was hard but I got back into fitness – specifically my weight training. I had to change around my program and accommodate my injuries.
Chronic injuries will always be painful. Anyone who has them knows that there is rarely a pain-free day. BUT if we don’t keep our body’s strong that pain will escalate and other areas will become injured to compensate until we are completely unable to move anymore.
There are musculoskeletal specialists that can assist with injury management. General practitioner doctors are very limited in this area so there is little benefit going to see them (unless asking for a referral to a specialised musculoskeletal or orthopaedic doctor). You will need to research a credible and capable physiotherapist (who are regarded as GOD’S in my line of work) and even certain Chiropractors. Just like any occupation there are good and bad and you DO have to do your homework. Once you have been assessed and a rehab program is suggested…a specialised trainer such as an exercise physiologist would be best at assisting. (Please note that basic Personal Trainers are NOT qualified nor usually competent at dealing with injuries!)
The important thing is that all professionals need to be working as a TEAM and each person’s expertise needs to be respected by the other. This will ensure the best possible outcome for the poor injured patient.