To rest or not to rest with an injury?
Published: 06 May 2023
Injuries can be a frustrating setback for anyone, especially for those who enjoy an active lifestyle. The good news is that research shows that staying active during injury recovery can actually facilitate the healing process. This approach is commonly referred to as "training around an injury."
While it's important to allow your body to rest and recover after an injury, prolonged rest can actually be detrimental to your overall recovery. When you rest for an extended period, your body begins to decondition, meaning that your muscles and cardiovascular system lose their strength and endurance. This can make it more challenging to return to your previous level of physical activity once you've recovered. Additionally, a lack of physical activity can negatively impact your mood and lead to feelings of frustration and depression. Finally, being sedentary for too long can increase your risk of future injuries, as your muscles and joints become less accustomed to movement and physical activity.
The first step in training around an injury is to consult with a healthcare professional to determine what type of physical activity is safe for your particular injury. In some cases, certain movements or exercises may need to be avoided temporarily to prevent further damage. However, most injuries can still benefit from low-impact exercises and physiotherapy to maintain mobility and prevent muscle loss.
The benefits of staying active during injury recovery are numerous. Physical activity increases blood flow to the injured area, which can help deliver essential nutrients and oxygen to aid in the healing process. It also helps to maintain muscle strength, which can prevent atrophy and reduce the risk of reinjury once you're fully recovered. Additionally, exercise has been shown to release endorphins, which can help to manage pain and improve mood.
Of course, it's important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard during injury recovery. Your healthcare professional may recommend starting with low-impact exercises, such as swimming, cycling, or walking, and gradually increasing intensity as your injury heals. They may also recommend specific stretches or exercises to help with recovery and prevent future injuries.
In conclusion, staying active during injury recovery is a safe and effective way to facilitate healing and prevent muscle loss. By consulting with a healthcare professional and following a tailored exercise plan, you can get back to your active lifestyle sooner and with a reduced risk of future injuries.
If you want to learn how best to stay active with an injury, book in for an assessment and we'll get your plan started here: