Have you ever been on a roll getting your exercise in and all of a sudden…severe back pain after a day sitting in your office chair. Or maybe you hurt your knee playing basketball in high school and now your 37 and still can’t figure out how to exercise without aggravating it? Sound familiar? Sticking to an exercise program is hard but sticking with one through pain adds another challenge. Luckily, research shows strength training executed properly can reduce pain related to injuries or chronic pain. The right exercises, frequency, and intensity while listening to your body while strength training are the keys to reducing the pain over time. So how do you determine these variables to overcome pain? Here’s how we do it at Titanium Performance:
1. Check in with your doctor.
It’s always a good idea to check in with your doctor to ensure that you don’t have a serious injury. This is especially important if the pain is chronic or if the pain is caused by a fall and something could be broken or torn. Having a diagnosis of the problem makes the following coarse of action more clear for you and the professionals you work with going forward.
2. Listen to your body.
The first 48-72 hours after an injury your body will have any inflammatory response. We recommend mostly rest and ice in this time period. Depending on the severity of the pain or injury will determine when you can begin moving again.
3. Start Slow.
After the inflammatory response subsides, you want to start moving again. You shouldn’t jump back into your old routine but you should start moving. If you limit movement for too long your muscles will start to atrophy – otherwise known as losing muscle and this often times cause more pain. We recommend you start with slow, limited range of motion movements to find your baseline. These are the strength exercises that either don’t bother you or your pain does not increase with the exercise.
4. Progress slow.
Once you find your baseline you can build off those movements. It is easier to incrementally increase the volume and intensity of exercises rather than increase too quickly and have a setback. Continue progressing slowly in each session and pay attention to how you recover. When implemented correctly, an exercise program after an injury should get better week to week!
This very brief overview is meant to inspire and promote research-based strength training for injury rehabilitation. No two injuries are the same and it is important you find what works for you and your recovery! If you are experiencing pain or suffering from a nagging injury and would like a FREE consultation with Titanium Performance you can schedule here.
Written By: Morgan Maule