How to Deal with a Chronic Injury
Do you have an injury that just won’t go away? Maybe you’ve already tried lots of things? Given up? … I’m here to tell you that we help people with chronic injuries all the time. Many people say they’ve “tried everything”, but then we often find “holes” in what they’ve tried, and these holes are sometimes where the biggest opportunities lie. Others have just accepted the “fact” that they’ll just need to “live with it”. Good news is, you don’t have to! Below you’ll find just a few of the ways we keep people with chronic injuries progressing towards their goals and continuing to do what they love.
Load it up!
Most folks with chronic injuries have done their fair share of rest, and most haven’t done enough LOADING, or as I like to call it “strategic stress”. This is one of the most important concepts. “Not all injuries require rest, but ALL injuries eventually require LOAD.”
Knowing where to start can be hard, but start carefully and test one thing at a time to help find your “sweet spot”.
Find your “sweet spot”
This is where you’re stressing the injury enough to ADAPT IT and IMPROVE, but not so much that symptoms are unpredictable, volatile, or unacceptable.
In order to see progress we need to keep the tissues CHALLENGED. Keep note of your target effort levels and increase the difficulty of the exercise as they get easier to prevent PLATEAUING.
Depending on what kind of injury you have, you may need to monitor pain and symptoms a little differently for each injury. Although, most of the time it’s okay to feel symptoms as long as they stay at an “acceptable level” and return to “baseline” within about a day.
Don’t stop when you don’t see results right away. Don’t stop when symptoms start to go away. Don’t stop when you forget or accidentally miss a day. Don’t stop! A PT can help you determine when it’s time to “move on”.
Chronic injuries TAKE TIME. Tissues adapt at different rates, but also we must realize that pain is complex and isn’t just a function of the injured tissue’s health. Sometimes the thing that takes the longest is getting your nervous system to “desensitize”.
Do the thing!
Don’t stop doing what you love. Find a PT who will help you modify activities so you can keep doing them. A lot of times, avoiding the activity that bothers your injury isn’t ideal and can perpetuate the issue. So don’t hesitate to reach out to us to find out what YOU can do to address that injury you thought would be around forever.