VIDEO: The #1 Tip For How To Rehab An Injury
This is my #1 rule for how to rehab an injury. It's very simple and applies just as well to overcoming a major weakness or to working on improving your mobility in a certain area/joint.
Every day, ask yourself this question: Did I actively do more to help my injury heal/improve than I did to make it worse? The answer should be a clear yes if you want to efficiently move down the road of recovery.
This seems incredibly obvious and maybe even a bit idiotic to say. BUT, based on my experience, the majority of people who say they're in the process of rehabbing an injury would probably answer 'no' to that question on most days.
Sometimes rest is all that's needed to heal (especially if you're a 15 year old who can bounce back in a flash). But most of the time, some elbow grease is required to help us get better. Injuries, and the underlying weaknesses or technique error that led to them, don't magically go away by themselves.
The #1 tip for how to rehab an injury is to take responsibility for your injury. In order to do that, you'll need to make sure you've done your research or worked with a coach to understand a couple of things:
- Understand the exercises, positions and daily postures and activities that will negatively impact your recovery. If your coach or therapist doesn't explain this to you, ask them. Figure out which ones you can somewhat tolerate, as long as you take care of yourself, and which ones your body isn't ready for yet. Avoid too much negative input on your injury.
- Understand the most essential drills that you should be doing to accelerate your progress, and how often you'll need to do them. In my experience, most people can handle fitting in 1-3 "homework" drills into their daily routine. More than that usually over-complicates the process and leads to less follow-through with most clients. Find the things that yield the most bang for your buck do them consistently (usually daily, sometime multiple times a day). Anything extra that may be needed can be added to your workout routine.
Let's take an example. Maybe you have an irritated tendon in your knee. You sat in a desk chair all day (that tightened your quad a put stress on the tendon), then you went to play soccer which put more strain on it. If that's all you did, how do you expect it to heal? To heal you need to give that tendon more good than bad, and right now you're feeding it a steady diet of negative input.
Exactly how much stretching, self massage, and strengthening drills do you need to combat it? That will be slightly different for everyone, but your coach or therapist should be able to help you answer that question. As a general rule, does your issue feel better day to day and week to week (that's what we want), or does it get a bit better, then a bit worse, and continue fluctuating back and forth (not what we want)?
One more thing about injuries, do yourself a favour and please keep an injury journal. In my opinion this is essential for anyone who trains seriously or who is injury prone. By recording vital information about each injury, you can see what's working, what's causing harm, and use that to enhance your training.