4 Steps of Injury Recovery and Future Pain Prevention
Just when you think you have it all figured out, you realize that you don’t know what you don’t know.
I had a hamstring injury a couple weeks ago, which got better very quick with some of my mobility work. Well, it turns out that this hamstring thing is not an isolated thing.
Health problems rarely exist in isolation. They’re almost always connected to a pattern.
The hamstring is connected to the heel, it turns out. I knew this, and felt it before, but it got bad. Really bad. Like I was in tears, and I’m not a big crier (cryer?). I went through natural childbirth twice. If we say that’s a 10/10, then my heel was at least a 7 or 8.
The pain is gone now and as always, I came away from this challenge with some insights when you’re dealing with physical pain. Here’s what I learned:
1. Do something to reduce inflammation.
Some people like ibuprofen, I did acupuncture and moxa. Within one treatment, I went from not being able to put any weight on that whole foot, a 8/10 intensity, to a 5/10 intensity and walking on my toes. Others may prefer turmeric, CBD, and fish oil. It’s ok to do a few things that work for you.
2. Work through the pain to the best of your ability.
What this means is that when you’re given an exercise or some type of therapy to address the issue, you won’t be able to do it perfectly. It’s not a magical pill.
Start the healing process with low expectations of what you’ll be able to do, and you won’t be disappointed and quit before you’re done. It’s not about how it looks, but how it feels. This is the most important thing to realize.
If you’re getting a massage, and you can only take very light pressure, then that’s all you do. If you’re working on mobility and you can only move 1/4″, then that’s all you do TODAY. Chances are, tomorrow will be different.
There’s a fine line between not doing anything, doing it the best that you can, and doing it so hard you hurt yourself worse. Pay attention to the details and the posture, and the rest will follow in time.
3. Figure out where the primal posture went wrong.
I had no idea I was doing this until I focused on figuring it out. What I was doing was walking incorrectly. I wasn’t leading my steps with my heels. Once I was able to put pressure on my heel again, I had to retrain my walking posture. And I’m still working on it.
It’s one thing to understand something intellectually, and another to practice it and have it ingrained in your muscle memory. Even when you think you have something down solid, if an issue comes up, it’s always a good idea to review the basics.
4. Prepare to prevent the next injury.
Once you’ve injured an area, it’s more vulnerable to future injury. To prevent this, we need to strengthen the connective tissues and muscles around the hurt area, and improve functional range of motion and flexibility. This is something we cover in the Pain Relief Masterclass, coming soon.
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