As a former athlete I know what it is like to train with pain and in the presence of an injury (pretty much my whole career). This has been an advantage for me when working with injured athletes in the practice. I am fortunate to work with not only college and professional athletes, but also high level weekend worriers. At times this can be tough, and the decision to pull athletes out of training is a difficult balancing act. Injury recovery is a process.
One question that always comes up from patients that are suffering from an injury is “can I continue to train”. While difficult to do, at times it is a must to reduce the volume of training. When we manage injuries we focus on not only reducing pain but also re-establishing better movement patterns. Reducing volume will help tissues recover and will allow your body time to establish a better pattern.
Often times we have patients that are frustrated with their recovery but yet are still running 40-50 miles a week or training at high intensities 5x a week. Your body will revert back to old patterns very quickly..it takes time to develop and grove better ones.
I have this conversation frequently and recently with two high end athletes that were frustrated (in tears talking about it) with their recovery and not being able to compete at a high level. I always encourage them to take this opportunity to work on aspects of their skill/sport that doesn’t get as much attention. This could be mental imagery, nutrition and stability or mobility work.
Remember, if you sprain your thumb as a professional athlete you might be out for 10 days to 3 weeks. Yet when someone comes in the office with a severe herniated disc in their back they want to know if they can run 5 miles the next day. We are really good at what we do but if you continue to overload the body with excessive training, it may not matter what therapy you get.
Trust the process. Give your body time to recover!