I hurt myself a few weeks ago and it’s a doozie. Low back, above the belt, all the way across. The kind you take a day off work for. Ouch.
When I get hurt, which doesn’t happen often, I am instantly grateful for the specific ways my weekly strength training and
body care has taught me about my body. Here are just a few ways relative to injuries and bouncing back from them.
Exercise teaches you a lot about the different degrees and types of pain. Some is an accumulating discomfort or “burning” pain that you learn is beneficial. Then there’s the kind that shows up the next day after you have exerted yourself. It’s usually a mild to moderate “soreness” in the muscles that feels a little better once you get moving and is gone in a day or two. Both of these are good for you.
But, then there’s another kind. It comes on quick, sharp, and stops you in your tracks, sometimes literally. This pain is a warning sign. Activity should stop immediately. This is what I experienced and I knew the difference because I am familiar with the others. It was now time to stop and get some help.
Beyond the knowledge of “if” you are hurt, people who care for their bodies through exercise have a greater resistance to injury, and for two reasons:
1) Stronger bodies don’t break as easy. Stronger bones, muscles, and connective tissue are more awesome and can take greater stress without damage.
2) Movement Knowledge – When you know how to lift and move the right way, you are less susceptible to getting injured. Your body is a machine designed to move with specific patterns, and when we move the right way, all goes well. The opposite is also true. Man, I wonder how much worse it would’ve been if I hadn’t been doing things the right way?
There is a difference between “healed” and “full strength”. One of my favorite benefits of strength training is that when I get hurt, I have records to show when I’m back to 100% strength. Many times, people get hurt, get help, and get healed to a point where they have full use of a joint or muscle. This is good but it is not a complete cycle. You may feel good enough to return to normal activity, but are far from full strength, which could set you up for re-injuring the affected area. If you know your strength numbers before, then you will know when you can go full speed ahead with confidence!I’m about 75% healed now, and will not rush the progress since I have already recovered so much already. I figure another 2 weeks and I’m good to go! Tough pill to swallow but I don’t want to redo this experience!
I sure don’t like being hurt, but every time it’s happened, I learn more and am grateful that I have been caring for myself. Whether you exercise or not, in your life you’re going to get injured. Exercising offers the opportunity to learn so much about your body, and provides insight to when it may be hurt and need some extra care. Get moving to learn about your unique body, how it moves, how it responds, and how it is a great machine that is a true miracle.