5 Things to Keep an Eye On!
To my hard working clients-
I’m glad I’m working with you to reach your personal optimal....
There are 5 things I'd love you to keep an eye on as you heal and improve-
For some of us, our goal is of pushing our body at the limit each weekend with the hopes that we get better and better. Others want to finally be able to do their normal weekend activities without being hindered by that chronic pain or stiffness. Regardless of your goals, In order to help you heal at your best- and to stay there, I’d like to reach out to point out how important it is to keep an eye on your healing process. If your hand or finger is still not making the benefits that we desire- it’s time to take a closer look at the rest of your process.
Injuries don’t just NOT heal. Everything heals with time as long as the areas is TRULY rested. Read along below to ensure that you are doing everything you can to allow your body to rest between uses. Time off is not always the golden ticket we expect it to be.
1. Look Around
It’s often the little things that keep your injury from healing. It could be that door handle, that constant irritation with the mouse, or the way you grip the steering wheel. If your body is slow to heal with in office care, it’s time to re-examine why this might be.
If for example your heel hurts, watch for pain while resting it on the floor while driving. Others might be 'worrying' that painful spot by pressing onto it repeatedly to see if its better yet. This 'worry stone' action is holding you back. Others load the injured area at a low (non painful) level repeatedly during work and wonder why it's bothering you after work. Its finding these little things that will make a HUGE difference as to if you come out on the other side of this-
2. Make Steps Forward (not Back)
It might make it easier to understand your progress with my program with a movement analogy. If you are doing absolutely nothing outside of our office besides letting your injury rest, it will make steps forward each day. When you visit my office twice per week (for the most severe injuries), the visit will make the injury a little worse in the meantime (an apparent two steps back) as swelling and inflammation inevitably occur as we rip up scar tissue, increase the range of motion of your injury, and give you rehab exercises that might be pushing your current measly-while-injured physiological limits. Once a few days pass, this becomes 6-7 steps forwards as your body builds each visit with gains in motion, flexibility, muscle tone, and muscle recruitment (aka motor control).
For those who are going about their daily lives, this might be a more rocky road… You might be irritating this region without knowing it as you sit in the car (1 step back each direction) and improperly load the region. Perhaps your desk irritates it because it isn’t ergonomically set up for your personalized frame (another step backwards). This could mean that YOU aren’t improving as advised… And that doesn’t bring in account the fact that you might be exercising on top of it.
3. Keep making progress while you heal
Every time you do an easy gentle workout (cross training) that does not irritate or load your injury, you should take a few steps forward as your injury is benefitted by increased blood flow. Just getting your heart rate up 45 minutes per day not only increases your life expectancy, it also brings nutrients and oxygen to your injury, as well as flushing out the old used up inflammatory chemicals. If you are sitting around waiting to heal, get off your butt!
Examples of cross training would be running, TRX, strength training on a balance board, or swimming for finger injuries. For a bad ankle, you can hit the bike or the pool (or climb in a cast). I rode a few hundred miles on a stress fracture while it healed without slowing my progress. For a bad elbow or wrist, you can cycle, run, or lift weights while keeping the wrist straight. TRX workouts are also an awesome opportunity to work on balance and load at the same time.
4. Make Your Rehab Exercises Work for YOU.
The average client forgets to do their homework once they stop feeling pain. Most grow bored quite easily or quickly and quit after a few weeks. If this is you, congrats, this is the beginning of your next step. Obviously, you need to keep your homework entertaining, rewarding, and challenging. This could be as easy as 1. Standing on a balance board While you do the same boring exercises 2. Hone in on keeping your exercises all at the same hardness level. If one type is super easy, we need to keep upping the resistance or change the challenge to increase a more broad movement pattern or make it more climbing specific. 3. New homework is the spice of life. Truly. If you have been doing the same boring homework without modifying it, you aren’t only killing your chances of making the next steps happen, you are stuck in a bad pattern. Cut it out and grab a big book of exercises if you need some ideas. Once our focal exercises do their job, its time to zoom out to more regional homework and to begin integrating all your regions together to zap out weakness patterns. Talk about avoiding the next injury, you’ll be climbing harder and with less effort. I promise.
5. Get that Killer Instinct Going.
If you feel that your exercise or recovery strategy is MISSING something… It most likely is.
Ask yourself what you want to come out of this with. Yes, we want your injury healed, but is there some other region that needs attention too? Or do you do the same dumb move every time that creates these injuries in the first place? We might need some pattern retraining, some attention to finding the weak points, some elbow grease to get that fine tuned machine where you want it. Others might just want to relax and have fun, I get that too!
Focus on your weaknesses and ask questions to your providers (or me) to ensure you have the whole process dialed. For an awesome season, it’s worth it.