At Titanium Performance we often work with clients who suffered an injury or from chronic pain and one of the first questions they ask is, “how long until I’m better and can stop this?”
This question actually has two parts and people usually don’t like either answer. Unfortunately there isn’t a manual that says how long the body takes to heal from chronic pain or an injury. Once the pain subsides, it is important to continue a training program to prevent pain and injuries in the future. Chronic pain or overuse injuries are usually caused by a muscular weakness or compensation over time. These weaknesses or compensations diminish the integrity of the joint or cause muscle strains. Over time, wear and tear cause more and more damage until you notice a nagging pain or an every day movement causes a significant injury.
The best way to manage injuries is to prevent them in the first place!
Strength Training for Injury Prevention
Most people don’t think about using strength training to prevent injuries. People usually start strength training or going to the gym to lose weight, gain muscle or for general health reasons. Injury prevention is just one of the many benefits of strength training when performed correctly, BUT if someone doesn’t know what they are doing they can actually increase their risk of injury. Strength training should reduce injury rates, not increase them.
When going to the weight section of the gym, you should pick 8-10 exercises that target the major muscle groups. Choose a weight that is difficult, but manageable and move the weight in a controlled manner through a full range of motion. You should not use any momentum or break form during any of the exercises. These are two of the major reasons injuries occur during strength, but can be completely avoided.
Strength Training after an Injury
Preventing an injury is much easier than recovering from one. Unfortunately, most people don’t start strength training until they have experienced at least one injury, usually more. After suffering from an injury you should execute exercises with perfect form and a controlled speed. You should choose exercises that will build muscle around the injury to promote blood flow for healing. As healing continues, the exercises should progressively get harder to continue building muscle which usually improves range of motion, reduces pain and eventually return to normal function. A routine strength program should follow an injury to continue managing pain and prevent further injury in the future.
A lot of people don’t know where to start when they go to the gym after an injury. Do it yourself people will google search and find a program from a random website or Instagram model. These programs don’t address the personalized needs of the individual and cause further damage. This usually leads to stopping training completely. Finding the right exercises and increasing their intensity at the proper rate will optimize pain and injury management allowing continued improvement.
If you want to prevent injuries or manage current pain and injuries contact Titanium Performance to schedule a FREE introductory session to learn more!
Written by Morgan Maule