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The Inevitable Injury

We’re all about promoting health and wellness to prevent injury and disease, but we admit, you can’t prevent everything.

A few months ago, I stepped to turn around in the bathroom when I was attacked by a sharp pain to the outside of my foot. I wish I could say I hurt myself while running or hiking, or really anything that requires a lot more activity, but no. I was just drying off after a shower.

It just so happened I was with a PT school friend of mine at a course about pain relief. We used the techniques we learned in class to help the swelling and pain and then I iced until my foot almost froze off. I moved my foot as much as I could tolerate. Unfortunately, I still ended up hobbling and weight bearing through my toes or my heels as it was too painful to bear through my mid foot the first 24 hours.

Things seemed to be improving by tenderly stepping around at work on Tuesday, until I had to weight shift suddenly with a balance patient. My co worker taped me up, using compression through kinesiotaping to distribute the forces and ease the pain.

As of today, I had no pain, so I decided to try running again after actively resting all week (ankle ABCs, gentle walking with appropriate form at home and work, ya know, PT rehabbing herself). I successfully made it 1 mile today without pain! Yay! But then…

I saw a little path and wanted to explore. The minute I stepped off the paved surface onto uneven ground, my ankle immediately said, “Nah bro. Today is not the day.” So I listened.

At this point, I get to tell you what this post is all about: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!

Pain is a natural part of injury recovery. It’s how your body tells you something is wrong and helps lead you down the path of successful recovery. It is easy to sit and RICE (rest, ice compression, elevation). But research shows that active recovery is the key to improvement. Notice that I used most of the techniques in my own rehab, but I used them as needed and made sure to keep my ankle moving, but keeping movements in pain free ranges and progressing as my ankle allowed. I may have a walked a little more than necessary, but hey, I was also partially on vacation. Don’t judge too harshly.

Afterwards, I listened to my body. I starting running at an easy and comfortable pace and was prepared to walk at any onset of pain. When I did feel pain, I slowed down. I walked casually back to my car keeping my foot position in mind and maintaining a normal gait pattern. It eased off.

To summarize:

*Injury isn’t always avoidable, but it’s absolutely worth trying to prevent through diet, exercise, and healthy habits.

*When an injury happens, listen to your body.

*Active recovery is key. If you are unsure how to apply this principle, seek a medical professional (this is what physical therapists live for!)

*Progression is important. Each body tissue (skin, muscle, tendon, ligament, bone) has it’s own healing timeline. You can actually slow down the healing process by resting too much. You can injure yourself further by rushing to get back to an activity leading to a much longer recovery. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY and LISTEN TO YOUR PHYSICAL THERAPIST.

Do you have an injury that needs help healing to return to your favorite activities? Age Fit is ready to help!


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