Injuries can happen for a number of reasons:
• Poor training programs
• Taking a fall
• A bad tackle
• Excessive stress on joints with poor stability and/or mobility
• Poor lifting technique
• Repetitive strain injurie from certain activities- playing music, keyboard typing, etc
Some injuries you have very little or no control over- ie. if you get hit with a very bad tackle in rugby then there probably isn’t much you can do to avoid it, is there?
A previous injury is one of the biggest risk factors when it comes to picking up another injury. If you have had an injury then you can’t do anything about it because it’s in the past. But you can manage it through understanding what’s going on with your body, what exercises to avoid, which ones to include, etc.
Big differences in mobility, stability, etc. between one side of the body and the other can also be a big risk factor for picking up injuries, especially when you overload the area with high demanding exercises that the body can’t handle. A lot of the time this risk can be avoided through correct warm ups, mobility drills, strength training exercises, etc.
Strength and conditioning coaches, personal trainers, etc. do not have the qualifications or training to diagnose any condition that causes pain. Unless they are a qualified physiotherapists, physical therapist, etc then these conditions are outside of their area of expertise. These issues need to be examined by a professional who has trained and practiced in these areas for many years. Anytime we have a client with an injury, we always refer out to a physiotherapist or physical therapist.
One thing that coaches can do however is to work with these professionals and keep their client exercising without aggravating the injured area. This can be a great opportunity to:
• bring up a weak area of the body
• Learn a new exercise
• Improve your joint mobility
• Reduce the intensity of your training to allow the body some extra recovery time
People don’t want to feel like they are helpless patients. They need to feel empowered, especially in the early days of training when they are beginning to make healthy lifestyle choices and are breaking out of there comfort zones.
This is also true off athletes. They don’t want (and most of the time they don’t need to be) removed from exercising completely and told that they can’t train due to their injury.
Their obviously are times when this is necessary but definitely not all the time.
Just recently we had a relatively new client who picked up an injury at work. As he was just getting into the flow of his exercise routine this little setback seemed like a huge issue.
How did we deal with it?
• We changed around his training program so that none of the exercises fed into the injury
• We worked on improving the quality of his push-ups as getting his first push up on the floor is one of the goals we have set for him
• We started working on a new exercise that is a bit more technical than the others we had been working on. This allowed us to reduce the intensity of the training session but still make progress and allow the client to feel empowered and in control.
• Client set a new personal record with his push-ups which made their day
• We learned the first half of a great new exercise which the client picked up really quickly. This would have been unthinkable a few short weeks ago
• The injured area got a complete rest
• The client left the session feeling a lot more confident and positive than when they arrived
There is a ton of things you can do when you have an injury that will keep you moving forward toward your goal. Having a professional, knowledgable coach and a great manual therapist are 2 great places to start.