How To Bounce Back After Injury

It’s pouring rain and Mother Nature has turned the pitch into a giant green sponge. The whistle blows, and the opposition kicks off. It’s a short pass to the winger standing beside her. Side step jockey to guard my girl. Long pass towards the wing. I can beat her there. Sprints. Yes! I’m ahead of her. Pass intercepted. I can see my next move. An early scoring opportunity for our side. Plant left foot, kick right to send my forward down the wing. As my boot digs into the mud, it clings to it with all its might. Pass and follow through. Beauty play…here we go-…and snap!

That was it. That was the moment my (albeit amateur lol) athletic career changed. The pain was excruciating. I knew it. I broke a bone. My mind instantly floods with visions from countless lectures on sports injuries. I knew it. ACL, done-zo. Probably meniscus too. And yeah what the hell, let’s throw a collateral ligament into the mix.

From there it still feels like it was all just a bad dream…Emergency room. X-Ray. Follow up with an orthopedic surgeon. MRI. Results- Chelsey your knee is a mess.

I had to have an operation. I was in need of an ACL reconstruction, a meniscal repair, and partial meniscectomy…jargon, jargon, jargon (please leave a comment below if you would like more info on these injuries or others of interest)…Followed by months of rehab. BUT, I did it! I overcame this major knee injury that was close to beating me down and winning many times.

So what did I do? What worked? And how can you get back in the game/gym/studio/outdoors (solo or with your little ones; furbabies included)? Here are my tips for the best way to bounce back from an injury:

1.     Seek medical attention as soon as possible

Even if you think it is a minor injury, go and see someone. Check in with your chiropractor for an examination and diagnosis; or see your local physiotherapist for an assessment. For me, I saw both! Sometimes a good place to start if you’re unsure who to see is, to make a visit to your family doctor and get their advice and referrals. Not all injuries are severe but still require some form of care. Don’t play the ever so popular “wait-and-see” game, because oftentimes small problems become larger ones.

2.     Rehabiltate/Pre-habilitate

Take the time to fully recover with guided supervision. You want to make sure you aren’t hurting yourself further and that you are on the way to recovery. There is a reason why treatment plans are mapped out in stages. Don’t go rogue, just stick to the plan! If you have a significant injury, then prehabilitation prior to surgery is a good option, and can improve your recovery time.

3.     Nutrition

Fuel your body with healthy well-balanced meals, and drink water! Hydration is key for cellular homeostasis. Think back to science class, that is the “steady state” where your body likes to be, so that it is in good working order. You need your cells to be happy to efficiently turn over and repair the damaged tissues. Never mind the effects it has on your skin. If you have to be hurt, your skin might as well glow, right?

4.     Be diligent- yeah, sorry to tell you but your body is a high maintenance #diva

Don’t just go once or twice if you have been given a treatment plan that requires more than that. Please do not give up sooner than what has been advised. Sometimes we might “feel” better before we actually function better. Get the green light from whomever has been guiding your rehab before returning to your pre-injury level of activity. This is a crucial point that could be the difference between a successful or unsuccessful recovery.

5.     Be patient (the mental aspect)

Your mind can be one of the toughest hurdles when it comes to overcoming an injury. Physical pain can be mentally exhausting. Talk it out with your health care network leaning on them for support. Be kind to yourself, and don’t rush it. Allow enough time for your tissues to heal and recover. Let yourself return to full strength and function before you begin to place pre-injury demands on your body. By doing so your mind will get a workout as well, building your confidence along the way!

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Although an injury may change your body and challenge your mindset, it doesn’t have to be the end to your exercise and fitness regime.

 

I’ve got nothing but love and light for this #HIH community! I want to see you on the field, and never sidelined.

 

-Dr. Chelsey