After not having been to the gym for almost a week I decided to go with my friend. Happy of the thought of finally getting some action again I began my walk home from work. It didn’t take long though before the pain in my hip decided to once again join the party. Severely annoyed I limped home as fast as possible, as I passed a window the reflection showed me something that reminded me of the hunchback of Notre Dame. I felt like one of those creepy old limping men in movies and the thought of this probably gave me the same sinister facial expression (should have taken a picture). As I finally made it home I cancelled the gym plans with my friend due to the dreadful pain that had been scourging me for the last month. One hour later the pain was gone and we actually went to the gym.
How seriously should you take injuries? and how do you deal with them? I know that this is a struggle for lots of people since on the one hand you don’t want to make it worse, but on the other hand having to take a lot of rest messes with the goals you’ve set. Here are some tips;
What to do when experiencing pain
- Try to actually ‘feel’ your pain. Is it just a muscle ace or is there more? Get to know your body and its different calls for help.
- If the pain is ‘moderate’ try giving the troubled area some rest. However, don’t stop using it entirely since this will cause muscle stiffness.
- Stretch. This will help with milder injuries but if stretching is merely impossible this could be a sign you’ve got a more ‘serious’ injury.
- If the pain really is unbearable seek medical attention as fast as possible, torn muscles aren’t something you should be walking around with for days.
Preventing similar problems in the future.
Personally I’d advice you to pay a visit to your doctor, physiotherapist etc no matter how serious the injury is. Maybe the pain will disappear but chances are that it will come back. After all, it was caused by something and you need to find out what to prevent future problems. Together with someone who knows just that bit more about it than you, you should try to find the cause and work on it.
How exactly can you work on this?
It might seem impossible to prevent injuries but lots of times they are caused by an imbalance in your body. Imagine that your left leg is much stronger than your right leg; now each time that you do exercises like squats your left leg will work extra hard to compensate for your right leg. This could result in knee or hip problems. This is why it is of importance to recognise early signs and get the problem area checked out. After having found the problem you can work on it by for example doing squats on one leg so you can train your right leg to become just as strong as your left.
Always take it seriously when pain arises. It is better to be too carefull than to not be careful enough! You could end up with a serious injury which can actually lead to not being allowed/able to train for a very long time.
What happened with my injury?
As I said I’d been experiencing troubles with my hip for over a month already, seems kind of stupid to not have it checked out then doesn’t it? The thing is that my hip problems were on and off. Each time I felt like I really had to get it checked out the pain disappeared, just to come back a couple of days later. I did eliminate all the exercises which cause the pain such as jump lunges (not really a difficult goodbye). When the pain spread to my knee as well I knew I couldn’t postpone my physiotherapist appointment any longer.
After tons of bending to one side and then to the other (why hadn’t I put on some more covering underwear?) My physiotherapist concluded that the problem could have been my (abnormally weak) lower back. He told me that he would give my back ‘a little push’ and as I was laying there I wondered what he had meant exactly and whether this was gonna hurt. Finally gotten the nerves to ask him he told me to exhale. As I was nervously doing as told he suddenly bended my back and no, not in the comfortable fetal position but the other way around. I heard a crack and wondered if this meant that I had just broken my spine, damn that was painful. Of course nothing was wrong and the traumatic experience of breaking my back soon left my mind. Unfortunately I had to go through this horrible experience again just a week later.
After some training with him we found out that the balance of my left leg is much better than the balance of my right leg. We’ll be working on the problem and right now the pain in my hip is almost gone.
Train save guys! xx