As a health care professional I see lots of acute and chronic injuries. I can totally understand how chronic health conditions can often lead to depression and other mental health issues. Being in physical pain from an injury is horrible. Especially is it is something that there is no treatment for such as fibromyalgia.
I have had even more empathy over the last few weeks whist suffering from sciatica. I am fortunate to have never broken any bones and have always been pretty well. Perhaps I am not good at dealing with pain as I don’t have that much experience. The injury has pretty much taken me off my legs. The cause is due to a 15 year history of heavy running and cycling with very little stretching. Stretching is so boring right and I have lots of family and work admin to be doing! Looking back I should have spent more time just stretching!
Lower Back Pain
As an athlete I am bad at letting my body fully relax. My general life and mindset revolves around training, so stopping is hard. As athletes, we often go back to training too soon and re-trigger or exacerbate an injury. Regarding my sciatica, the physio thinks it is a chronic injury such as a perturbing or bulging disc. This will take time to recover. I then need to rebuild the muscles in this area to avoid the injury happening again. The book I have recently read is called The Brave Athlete . It gives a lot of really helpful advise into building a mindset to help recover from injury.
I know there are thousands of people living with chronic injuries. They have had to adapt their lives completely to be able to deal with everyday tasks. Things such as washing and dressing which we may take for granted. For some people there is no treatment apart from having to learn to live with pain.
Horrific Injury to Tim Dom
We can take lots of inspiration from people such as the triathlete Tim Dom. Tim was involved in a horrific injury and broke his neck. To get back to triathlons he elected to wear a halo for 3 months to allow his neck to heal. This meant he could only sleep for 90 minutes at a time up right. Amazingly, he came back 6 months after his accident. He finished the Boston Marathon in 2 hours 49 minutes and 42 seconds! He also did a half Ironman 8 months later and won!
If you are looking for some motivation or reassurance that you can recover and come back stronger you must watch Tim Doms documentary at this link.
- Stop feeling guilty, your body needs you to rest so do exactly that!
- Get professional advise. Don’t dive into things such as yoga and pilates quickly or any training. Not until you have had an assessment with a professional such as a physiotherapist/Consultant.
- Once you get the go ahead from your GP and other healthcare professionals see a highly trained Personal Trainer. Some will specialise in Exercise Referrals that will work with you to get you back to recovery quickly and safely.
- Use your recovery time to reset and take time out for yourself. Read a favourite book or catch up on a great box set.
- Although you are in recovery mode, you still need to eat. Make sure you give your body food that nourishes and will aid your recovery.
- Be patient. Some injuries, especially back injuries can take many months to recover.
- I know you are busting to get back in the gym or back to your sport! Going back too early is likely to cause worse injuries in the long run.
As my Physio keeps telling me, “Your body is wiser than your head so listen to your body and be kind to your body”.
If you require any advice or have any experience with injuries before, let us know.