Should I Exercise With a Workout Injury?

Posted October 27, 2022 in Injuries, Recovery No Comments »
This athlete is asking, Should I Exercise With a Workout Injury?

If you are athletically very active, chances are that you have already experienced a workout injury or two over the years. This comes with impatience to get back to your fitness routine as soon as possible. Whether caused by an accident or over-exerting yourself during gym time, giving up your routine is not fun, I have been here a few times and know exactly what it feels like.

By following the advice in this article, you can potentially workout with an injury safely, speed up recovery, and keep your body active.

Is It Okay To Exercise While You Are Injured?

It is crucial to give your body time to heal properly. However, with a little planning and a few other tips, it’s possible to keep up with your routine while you recover. You will need to protect the injured area and make sure it is not exerted. If you don’t over-exert that area and the adjoining parts of your body, the rest of your body can be moved to keep fit.

Does Working Out Help Injuries Heal?

Exercising and workout engage all the parts of our body. As you start exercising, signals are sent to the brain and heart to increase blood flow and circulation in the body, especially to the working areas. The increased blood flow in the body can be helpful in the healing process. 

A mild workout or exercise is also very effective in managing inflammation and prevents complications that can interfere with recovery and mobility. However, this should not go without caution; consult your situation with a doctor before exercising.

How To Safely Navigate A Workout Injury?

Soreness Versus Injury

Nothing is more important than listening to your body when you experience an injury. However, sometimes you can confuse the simple soreness of muscles with some workout injury. This can affect what’s safe to do in terms of the workout.

If you have started working out as a beginner, you will experience some pain after exercising. Delayed onset muscle soreness comes one or two days after an exercise, making you think you have an injury. 

But you should remember that this soreness is because of your body’s response to a new activity, especially if it is a hard workout and you did not warm up enough. To manage this situation, you should not stop exercising; instead, soothe muscles with a hot bath, a few ice packs, and of course rest.

Consult Your Doctor

If you have an injury, what you should do entirely depends on your situation. In this case, one of the most important things you have to do is to talk to your healthcare provider. This is to ensure that your workout injury is wholly diagnosed and managed.

After the diagnosis, work with the doctor to find an optimal routine that helps you stay active and promotes healing. Your doctor will advise you about exercising with an injury depending upon the injury’s severity, nature, location, and overall health condition. 

In your case, the doctor may recommend you swap your current workout routine with new exercises, such as using lighter weights or more rest days. The doctor’s advice is also essential to manage your mental condition as you recover from a physical injury.

Make Wise Choices

Even if you follow your doctor’s instructions, it is advised to modify it wisely. If you have an elbow injury, you should refrain from upper body exercises. However, you can still manage some lower-body exercises. If your hand is hurt, it would be best not to use weight for a few days in either of your hands.

If you have a lower-body workout injury, you will not be able to do lower-body or cardio exercises; instead, you can go for upper-body exercises in a sit-down work routine. To ace through recovery, consider switching a challenge for you and figure out how to manage these exercises while not making it uncomfortable for your injured body part. 

Sometimes specific injuries require you to skip any exercise for some time, so do it without thoughts and confusion. It is because all body parts should be in optimal condition for you to get back to your workout routine. So do not underestimate the need for your doctor’s hours and instructions. If complete rest is required, do it to heal quickly and correctly.

Once your injured body part has healed, it will not take long to recover your lost strength. On the flip side, if you continue to exercise with the injured body part hurting, this may lead to drastic consequences. You may end up giving up exercise or strengthening exercises altogether for the rest of your life in worst-case scenarios.

Know Your Body’s Limit

When you start a workout or exercise after an injury, try to do it slowly and carefully to monitor your body’s pain signals. When you feel discomfort or pain in your injured body part, stop the exercise or decrease the intensity of the action. The same rule applies to any exercise your physical therapist or doctor recommended. 

For a more quick and complete recovery, DO NOT overwork yourself. If you feel that you have developed new pain or are getting worse, talk to your doctor to know if this is related to your modified exercise. The doctor may be helpful by suggesting you a different exercise. 

In many cases, the best thing you can do is stop exercising for some time. Falling out of the correct posture and form of the exercise makes the workout less productive and puts you at risk of worsening your injury.

Give Yourself Some Time 

It can be very frustrating to skip a workout and let your body heal from an injury but continuing to do so can worsen your injury or prolong a full recovery. If your doctor recommends you rest, then take it seriously. Once you have recovered, you can always return to your same routine and gain similar strength.

The POLICE Principle

This principle is used for not all but many sport-related injuries. It includes the following steps:

  1. Protect

Protect the joint or muscle with assistive devices and rest.

  1. Optimal Loading

While protecting the injured area, move it gently after some days of rest. Now gradually increase the intensity and movement but stop when you feel pain.

  1. Ice 

For usual pain management, icing can be helpful.

  1. Compression

Swelling can be reduced by wrapping the injured area with an elastic bandage.

  1. Elevation

Use a block or pillow to keep the injured part of the body at some height.

Preventive Measures

Once you have recovered from your injury, you can do the following things to prevent future workout injuries effectively:

  • When your muscles are fatigued after some exercise workout, they cannot protect and support your tenants and ligaments. Weak muscles can often lead to injuries, so give yourself plenty of recovery days and rest.
  • Tight muscles can also lead to injuries and imbalances. Try to engage in some activities that give you balance and flexibility.
  • Another way to reduce imbalances in the body is by equally strengthening your whole body with regular weight training.

Final Thoughts

While soreness because of exercise is a normal part of the workout, new muscle stiffness or workout injury may be a sign to speak with your doctor, take rest and adjust your workout routine. Working out during an injury is possible only if your doctor recommends it and you can carefully modify your workout routine without affecting your injury.

Author Bio:

Michael Currie is a personal trainer and online fitness and weight loss coach from Vancouver British Columbia in Canada. He has been training for over 10 years and has gone through it all – weight gain, weight loss, building muscle, and injuries. You can find Michael online at The Fitness Report.

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