The Comeback: How to Remain Injury Free After an Injury

The Comeback: How to Remain Injury Free After an Injury

📅February 18th, 2015, 12:50

Our favorite sports movies involve the hero rising up after some big setback or injury that they have persevered through against the odds.  While those movies focus on the real struggles during the comeback (and this hits very close to our hearts!), why do setbacks always seem to happen when you think you have become bulletproof? Nothing is more frustrating than working so hard to get back into shape when injury free only to be pushed back onto the sidelines by another injury – it makes finding motivation to keep training that much harder and strays us far away from our goals! Unfortunately this doesn’t just happen to a few of us. As we work with more and more athletes, we find this to be a common story and pattern in many training cycles!

Depending on the degree of the setback, injuries often require us to significantly modify our training plans. Days, weeks, months, and years of compensation patterns from small injuries are often what lead to big injuries that cause the longest setbacks. Once injury occurs, we are forced to make modifications that include cross training, intentional recovery, and physical therapy and/or specific exercises to target areas of weakness. It may seem annoying at the time, but the reality is that these periods of time are often what lead to us making our biggest breakthroughs as athletes – but only if we stick with it after we are injury free. What do we mean by this?

The most common mistake we see athletes make after injury is that as they get excited to return to their sport of choice, they slack off on the recovery and preventative care routine they’ve started to fix imbalances and prevent compensation patterns that led to the injury occurring in the first place. If injury is caused by repetitive motion, which it is more often than not, treating the injury itself is necessary but it will take time and intentional work to strengthen weak points in the body to prevent the injury from occurring again. Why waste all of the hard work you put in while injured, only to have the same imbalance cause further injury down the road? Even when you’re injury free it is important to continue to be diligent with the work you have been doing.

The best way to do this is by keeping a 10-15 min routine that includes your specific exercises and recovery plan at least 2 or 3 times each week for maintenance so that you can help your body stay healthy and strong while lowering your risk of future injury. The best part? Your patience will be rewarded! Taking the time to fix weaknesses and eliminate compensation patterns as you return from injury – and staying intentional with your routine as you continue to train – is the perfect recipe to help you become a stronger, faster athlete!

Your exercise routine will most likely be determined by your specific injury, but a few favorites that are always in our routines are:

Continue to include key exercises relevant to your injury or weak area, and be intentional about recovery, sports massage, and cross training and enjoy many injury free days of training for your next goal!