Sometimes, if not taken care of, they will put a hold on your goals forcing you to rest and recover. Mentally, it can mess with you because who wants to put a stall in their progress? Well – long story, short… this is exactly what has happened to me. Due to many years of heavy lifting, I got to the point where every time I would bend both of my elbows, they would pop without stopping, but zero pain involved. I started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 7 months ago and about a month ago, I started to feel some medial pain, commonly associated with overuse, gripping objects to tightly for too long – usually in a supinated position. The Doc explained it as Medial Epicondylitis that has built up over the years finally coming out to play. I was stubborn at first and continued to lift weights and train hard at Jiu Jitsu, even though the pain was just getting worse. Then I signed up for IBJJF Dallas Open a few weeks ago (which is this WEEKEND!) and knew I needed to rest and help heal my elbow before competing (something I very much want to do).
👉So, I have not lifted (upper body) in over two weeks, I have been babying my elbow in Jiu Jitsu, and icing that bad boy any chance I get. It is healing but definitely causing me to re-work my game plan with my goals!
One common mistake people tend to do when injured is throw everything out the window – sit on the couch during free time, eat junk food and throwing out their healthy eating routine, abuse pain medication, neglect the gym completely and just flat out go back to square one with their fitness and nutrition goals.
I DID NOT want this to happen to me.
- I continued to do lower body workouts that did not involve me using my arms/elbows.
- Ate my normal, healthy meals – but FEWER CALORIES – due to less activity.
- Iced my elbow as often as possible.
- Stayed hydrated and made sure to get enough sleep.
- Made sure to walk 30-60 minutes outside or in the gym every day (running required me to bend my arm for an extended time and trying to run while keeping my arm straight was just way too much of a hilarious fail).
- Continued to go to Jiu Jitsu and train, but taking necessary breaks in order to not over-work the arm.
- Using KT tape as well as a compression sleeve that I will use while competing this weekend.
- Taking anti-inflammatory supplements (I take these all the time so it is not necessary something different 😊)
I will be competing this weekend, and then after assess if I still need recovery time or if I am good to go. Along with what I have done I have also made a list of 9 recovery tips that I utilize as well.
RECOVERY FROM AN INJURY IN 9 STEPS
- REST. One of the hardest, but definitely the best. Listen to your body.
- Talk to your doctor about your injury, what methods to use to heal and recover, and appropriate recovery time. Your doctor will also let you know what to avoid and what you can do during your recovery. LISTEN to them.
- Relay the information to your trainer and yes, we can work around injuries!
- Change Your FOCUS. Do not stop coming to the gym. You are already in the habit of coming and you do not want to lose that habit. If you don’t know what you can do, ask you Doctor and Trainer for guidance. Set some new goals that you can accomplish while you are having to recover.
- Continue to eat healthy staying on track with your nutrition plan. If you are doing less activity than before, eat fewer calories because you will be burning less than you were before.
- Keep hydrated and get enough sleep! Your body is continually trying to recover and repair from stressors. Making sure you are hydrated and getting enough sleep will help with your recovery process.
- IF IT HURTS, DON’T DO IT. Golden rule here, people. If you are doing something and your injury is hurting, you are only adding time to your recovery.
- Stay positive. As long as your outlook is more positive than negative, you will thrive in your recovery.
- Future injury prevention methods. If your doctor suggest rehab, do it. Then continue to do the stretches, exercises, and what not to prevent future injuries. The key to prevention, is first, identifying how you were injured and second, why. Were you negligent to performing accessory exercises? Did you avoid weaknesses and over develop your strengths, which caused an imbalance? Did you not warm up properly? These are three basic questions to help identify the initial cause of injury. Talk to your coach and design a program that will keep you healthy and prevent injuries!
⭐️Stop wallowing in your injury and become proactive on your road to recovery. Experiencing an injury is never fun, but always remember… it is not the end of the world! If it was an injury that ended your athletic career in a specific sport, find a new passion! Nobody else can do the work for you! Taking responsibility for your injury and recovery will be worth it in the long run, when you are strong, healthy and have the ability to maximize your potential.
If you have questions about exercise prescription with a injury, contact me! I’d love to help you with a game plan to stick to your goals.