The body is an extraordinary machine.
I am going to get a little science-y with you here.
In simple terms, there is a scientific word for “if you don’t use it, you lose it.”
It’s called ‘Mechanotransduction.’
The actual definition of the word is ‘the ability of a cell to actively sense, integrate, and convert mechanical stimuli into biochemical signals that result in intracellular changes, such as ion concentrations, activation of signaling pathways and transcriptional regulation.’
Long story short, we must load our tissue for them to be strong, and resilient. If we don’t load our tissues, the chances for injury are MUCH higher. This could also be a very high probability that you got injured in the first place.
People don’t get old and all the sudden contract osteoporosis and get weak. They get osteoporosis and become weak because they stop doing the things they did when they were young; like exercise, lifting weights, and loading their joints and tissues.
Rest alone doesn’t get you better. Loading your tissues does.
“But I’ve tried EVERYTHING to get better.”
Have you? Have you really tried EVERYTHING before resorting to surgeries, shots, or medication?
Many people just want the easy quick fix of pills, shots, or surgeries. Sometimes to take control of your life and your health, it might take a little bit longer and require a little more work than you want.
If not, it’s just going to be a vicious cycle of injury, shots, injury, pills, injury, surgery, injury—you get the idea.
There comes a time where all of us experience some type of setback in fitness or life. Is it avoidable, sometimes yes, but more than likely it is a matter of when, not if it will happen.
I’ll be the first to say it, injuries suck. It prevents you from doing the things you enjoy inside, and quite possibly outside the gym as well.
Growing up as an athlete my whole life, it meant I’d have to take a few steps back to continue taking steps forward. That was a hard concept for me to grasp back then, and still is to this day, because I still have the same competitive mindset. If I’m not progressing, I’m regressing. We must understand that it’s part of the process.
When it comes to injury, focus on what you can still do rather than what you can’t.
For so long, the narrative for injury from medical professionals is “don’t do anything for 2-3 weeks and let it heal.”
Systemic blood flow will speed up the healing process, while still maintaining or progressing you towards your health and fitness goals.
The number of times I’ve heard, “I hurt my fill in the blank. I went to the doctor yesterday and they told me to take a few weeks off to let it heal up.”
Step 1: Find a new doctor.
Step 2: Come into the gym and do what you CAN.
Step 3: Continue to make strides in the direction of your health and fitness goals.
Be transparent with your coaches and trainers. They want what is best for you and are willing to work with you to keep you moving. And what is best for you is to stay moving and active through your injuries.
Don’t use your injury as an excuse to take 2 or 3 weeks off. I promise you are doing yourself more harm than good.
Many gyms don’t have the luxury of having an in-house Physical Therapist, but at OverTake Rachel, with Disrupt Physio, is our girl.
She is the one our members go to when they get a nagging pain or injuries that prevent them from doing certain things in the gym. She gets them on the right track with progressive exercises to LOAD their tissue to proactively get them where they want to be.
You may want to look at some of your lifestyle habits as well.
What we do the other 23 hours of the day outside of the gym is much more important than the hour that we spend in the gym; Nutrition, hydration, sleep, stress.
These things play a huge role in how our body recovers and performs.
Needless to say, there is rarely a quick fix. If it seems to good to be true, it more than likely is.
Having to scale, modify, or skip the gym isn’t fun.
Remember the next time you find yourself with some nagging pain, first off, tell your coach so they are aware and can work with you around your pain. Secondly, get an appointment with a therapist who understands progressive overload in getting back to normal activity.
Do want you CAN, until you can get back to doing what WANT.