5 Tips for Surviving an Injury
I haven’t been able to truly run for about six weeks, which I now know is due to a pretty nasty case of Iliotibial Band Syndrome and it’s been a huge struggle! Injuries aren’t fun and can definitely feel like a major setback to any progress you’ve made. Obviously, my perspective comes from running. But, I think there are a few really crucial aspects of surviving any injury. You can come out on the other side stronger while still maintaining your sanity. When your go-to source of stress relief gets taken away, it can be a struggle! Today, I’m sharing 5 tips for surviving an injury that have been helpful to me.
Accept the Injury
If you have that light bulb moment where you realize something is wrong, don’t fight it. Understand the difference between normal “this is a tough workout” feeling of aches and “something is really not right” because they can initially feel pretty similar. Recognize that pushing through the latter can exacerbate any bigger problems. If you’re injured, working through the pain won’t make things better. If you can come to terms with the fact that something in your body is off, that will be crucial! I tried to keep running, despite the fact that my IT Band was hurting. Each time I tried to run, the pain came on faster and stronger, and within a couple weeks, I couldn’t run at all. In fact, I had days where I couldn’t walk without it hurting.
Get Help (And, Don’t Wait)
By and large, I am not a big fan of going to the doctor. I think there are a lot of things that our bodies can naturally heal from, if we give them time, space, and proper care. But, injuries can spiral into really big issues so don’t be afraid to ask the professionals. If your injury isn’t showing any signs of improvement within a couple of weeks, pick up the phone. My primary care doctor referred me to physical therapy and within two sessions, it’s very evident that my ITBS is stemming from much bigger issues with my body that I was never going to address on my own because I had no idea it was an issue.
Do the Necessary Work
Just as you must do the work to achieve any other goal, this is no different. Recovery is likely going to be a long road with a lot of homework that may not be the easiest or most enjoyable thing you’ve ever done. Be determined to put in the time and sweat. This will help you get back on your feet sooner rather than later! Ideally this is under the guidance of a medical professional. You got yourself into this mess, so trust that the trained professional knows how to get you out of it. It’s probably not going to be fun, but it’s going to be important. If you don’t do the work, you won’t get better.
I can’t run right now, so I am relying on other ways to stay active until I can. Things like swimming, cycling, and yoga are great ways for me to get some daily activity that don’t add stress to my injury. There are so many options beyond this! Not only are you staying active, you might find a new fitness love. Talk with your doctor or physical therapist about options before starting any new activity, especially in light of injury. You don’t want to make things worse in the long run or prolong your recovery time.
There’s a Light at the End of the Tunnel
Injuries are the worst and might feel a little like the end of the world, but I promise they aren’t! Take the time and do the work to care for your body, and you will get better! You won’t be injured forever, if you handle it the right way. There will come a time when you get back to that thing you can’t live without. Also, the odds are pretty high that whatever your injury is, things could always be so much worse.
If you’ve dealt with an injury, what advice do you have to cope?