I hurt myself…now what??

Man…getting old sucks!! Getting injured at any age isn’t fun, but doesn’t it seem to take forever to come back now that you’re an adult?

Back in September, I tore my hamstring. Thankfully, my injury didn’t require surgery but has required a lot of physical therapy to get normal functioning and mobility back. I have had significant injuries in the past, but it has been quite some time and it’s depressing!!

When your normal routine gets thrown off and you can’t do the things you want to, it really brings you down. You start to wonder – how am I ever going to come back from this?

Don’t panic! With the power of modern medicine, physical therapy, and strength and conditioning you can get back to your normal routine. Here is a step-by-step process on how to come back from injury:

Step 1: Get in touch with an orthopedic doctor

They will be able to diagnose and assess the severity of your injury and prescribe treatment protocols which may include rest, medication, physical therapy, and perhaps surgery.

Step 2: Rest and take necessary precautions

One of the biggest risk factors for getting re-injured is not being fully healed in the first place. Don’t try to “work through” an injury or rush to get back when your body is not ready.

Step 3: Go to physical therapy

Most moderate to severe injuries require some type of physical therapy to decrease scar tissue, regain strength & range of motion and speed up recovery time. The best treatment plan is one that includes active (massage, electric stimulation) & passive treatment (resistance and stretching exercises).

Step 4: Focus!

Don’t just go through the motions. In order to get back to normal, you are going to have to work hard and get uncomfortable! Tough exercises, painful massages or scraping, and forced stretches under the right supervision are necessary to recover.

Step 5: Find a good strength & conditioning program

Part of the rehabilitation process is to make sure the injury doesn’t happen again. Being strong and fit greatly reduces the risk of injury. The ideal program uses a combination of weight training, mobility exercises, and conditioning to meet those goals.

Step 6: Press on!

One of the most frustrating things about injuries is the uncertainty. Not knowing how long it will take to recover or whether the rehabilitation plan will work can be mentally exhausting.

Human beings don’t like uncertainty. We don’t like those grey areas. We want to know when we will be 100%. In my field, any good doctor, physical therapist, or strength coach will most likely say “it depends”. A lot of that depends on what YOU do (see the steps above!). You may have setbacks on the road to recovery, but stay the course and do not quit.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” ~~ President Calvin Coolidge