Are you in Pain or Suffering from a Recurring Injury ?
Do you suffer from a recurring injury or pain? Are you restricted because your back is commonly sore? I wanted to write an article to help you and get you thinking about how you can help yourself stay pain free long term.
When we are injured or going through pain our go to is often to see the physio or book in for a massage and rightly so, they have the skills to analyse why you are in pain and are usually able to help you manage it or help it go away. Rehab exercises are usually prescribed and after a period you are back feeling good again.
Rehab is sexy, prehab however seems to be the ugly sister nobody wants to do.
We always wait until the pain is there or the injury has occurred before taking action. Once the pain is away we tend to go back to our normal routine and when it comes back the cycle is repeated.
But what are you doing in between to make sure you manage your pain and avoid injury in the future? Please read the following questions and give yourself an honest answer to each.
1. Do you do mobility work daily?
2. Do you follow a sensible 2-4 day a week resistance-training programme that covers all muscle groups?
3. Do you manage your recovery well? i.e. do you have non-training days?
4. Do you get 7-8 hours sleep a night?
5. Does your diet have plenty colourful fruit and vegetables present and is it high in protein?
If you answered No to any of these then my advice would be to make these a focused part of your life. If you don’t have the basics in place you will likely always return to that same injury or even worse new ones. Nobody wants to be in pain but also nobody wants to do what it really takes to stay away from it.
Everyone can do mobility work, it just needs to be scaled to a level that is suitable for you to get something from it. We are all unique and our lifestyle and genetics will all differ and play a huge role on how mobile we are but we can all do something.
I have no time though I hear you say….
Well if there is one thing I have learnt from helping people over the past 12 years is that little and often beats infrequent big long-winded sessions when it comes to mobility.
So are you telling me you can’t do 10mins per day?
I am sure you can find 10mins in your day, how about going to bed 10mins earlier and getting up 10mins earlier and doing it first thing? Like I said though nobody really wants to do what it takes. Giving the physio £50 is easier than getting up 10mins earlier 3-4 times per week to do some stretches.
Being mobile is just part of the equation, being strong is probably of equal if not greater importance. We are only going to get strong though if we put our bodies’ muscles under regular resistance.
But I go running and do a HIIT class…
Well as much as that is great for your physical and mental health it isn’t true resistance training. Can we re-evaluate your week to include some forms of resistance-based work? It might even help improve your running or performance at the HIIT Class; in fact I know it will.
The gym can be a daunting place to go to but it is for every day people like you looking to be stronger, fitter, healthier and happier. My whole working life to this point has been based around teaching the everyday person how to strengthen and mobilise their body and stay pain free, which is why I am reaching out to you with this article to see if I can help you too. So if you are not already following a strength based routine I encourage you to start as soon as possible. You don’t need to join a gym either (which is just as well since we are in lockdown) you just need to know what to do and get help from the right people. We have a team of experienced trainers who are able to help you, Click here to see all our Strength Training E-Books
I know that many of you who read this article will have regular training regimes and I wanted to cover something that is very important to me and something that I discuss a lot with my own clients and that is recovery. I am not a big fan of training every single day. I don’t feel it is the most optimal approach nor do I think it is practical or necessary. So although many will be reading this who do very little training, on the other end of the spectrum there will be those who over train. Both ends of the spectrum are places you don’t want to find yourself. Over working your body leads to the same result as not working it. Initially you get results but after a certain point nothing changes and in a lot of cases you actually end up going backwards, strength reduces, performances become poorer, you start losing muscle instead of gaining it. On top of this niggling injuries set in. Balance will always win, in training, in diet and in life. You need to marry the Yin and the Yang to find the optimal approach. To learn more about optimal recovery Click here.
Sleep and Nutrition
So what has sleep and diet got to do with it?
Lack of sleep can lead to poorer recovery from training and has been associated with a higher chance of injury particularly in adolescents, you are also less alert, and energy levels are compromised meaning you’re more likely to make poorer dietary decisions. Lack of sleep and higher levels of stress have been shown to have a negative connection with mental health. Higher levels of stress has been shown to be linked to poorer diet choices so for me both adequate sleep and a nutritious diet are key for both general health and injury prevention. To get help with your diet and lifestyle Click here.