How to Include Exercise When You’re Injured

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Back pain is a highly common health complaint- resulting from injury, strenuous activity, or an underlying medical condition. Backaches can prevent us from performing everyday activities, is one of the leading reasons for people to miss work and it can also interfere with our night’s rest, leaving us sleep-deprived.

Pain, of any kind, can be especially discouraging if you are an active person. But the good news?  You don’t need to stop moving completely, and it is quite common to include exercise in overcoming pain and injury.

How does this look? Finding movements with modifications and substitutions is a great place to begin. 

  • For strength training, single-leg or arm movements can be extremely effective when the other limb is healing  – as “cross-education” of the injured side muscles  are stimulated too!
  • Need to stay off your wrists or shoulders? Try my “No-Hands” yoga class!
  • If running is out of the question, try cycling or swimming.

If you’re injured, talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise program. Start slowly and gradually increase your efforts as you gain strength, flexibility, and confidence. Move at your own pace. Never try to keep up with a class or a group if doing so is painful.

Have more questions about how to include exercise when you’re injured?

Whether it’s your back, shoulders, or knees, don’t stay on the couch! Get moving. Take deep breaths and relax as you move. Using exercise when you’re injured will benefit you, as long as it is done correctly and with a doctor’s seal of approval.

woman doing sit-ups after injury

Yoga helps the body to increase blood flow and circulation, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the affected area(s). It is also outstanding for helping to manage stress.

Check-in and be honest about feelings and attitudes. Maintaining a positive mindset requires us to acknowledge our doubts and pains as we move through toward regular movement.

Visualization is an excellent way to repattern how our minds and bodies relate to pain. Taking time to sit (or meditate) of specific pain-free movement allows the brain to repattern how we view exercise. It may not remove the injury, but now we are seeing pain through a different lens.

Keep moving and using exercise when you’re injured, because that will keep sending the brain signals of how you will get back to your usual self. 

Things like stress, low mood states, worrying, and poor sleep, can influence pain levels. The key is to work closely with a multidisciplinary team to help you tolerate the pain and modify your movements. This includes medical doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, yoga therapists, and personal trainers that specialize in exercise with a therapeutic approach.

Reach out and I can help you move with both a customized yoga practice and a customized training/exercise program that is right for you!

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