Exercising through an injury


I’ve exercised while sick with colds or the flu and through severe monthly cramps but I’m always hesitant to exercise through an injury.  If it’s upper body related I feel comfortable working on just the lower area but it’s difficult to exercise through a lower body injury.  I’ve had knee issues, ankle problems and most commonly my hip injury.

The last few days I’ve been having a lot of sharp pains in my tailbone from my Tub Incident last December (see hip injury above).  Having pain in basically a core area makes it difficult to workout so I’ve taken a few days off.  With the end of  the thing-which-shall-not-be-named ending in a little over a week I can’t really afford to take anymore time off.  I’ve done extremely well and am hoping to come close to or meet my goals of losing 20 pounds and 12 inches.

For others facing the same issues, here are some tips when working through an injury:

  • GET CLEARANCE FROM YOUR DOCTOR FIRST!!!  (Sorry for yelling but this is an important tip). 🙂
  • Remember to stretch!  I know it’s boring but it’s necessary especially the older you get.  We spend half of dance stretching which is irritating to me.  I just want to get on with dancing but at 38 know how important it is.  I’d be pretty ticked at myself if I got injured because I was too impatient to stretch first.
  • For ankle and foot injuries try swimming or riding a stationary bike with one foot (awkward but hey, at least you’re not sitting on your butt eating potato chips).  Do push ups or pull ups, use the upper body machines at the gym or at home.
  • For leg or knee injuries swimming works well, too, as long as you don’t kick your legs (and you’ll have some smokin’ arms!).  Kayaking or any rowing exercises are good as well. Remember upper body!
  • For upper body injuries walking, stationary bike, ellipticals, stair climbers are all great cardio exercises.  Swimming may prove a bit difficult with no arms so I think I’d avoid that activity. Do squats and lunges to keep your muscles entertained.
  • Be very careful with back injuries and follow your doctors orders to the “T”!!  Cycling, walking and yes, swimming, are all great activities as long as you ease back in at a slow pace.  My mom has back problems and a pool- I just wish she’d take care of her back and use the pool to help.
  • Stop if you feel pain in the injured area.  Working through the pain isn’t always a good thing especially with injuries.  My 18 year old nephew tore his ACL a few months ago and had to be able to extend his knee 100% before his doctor would do the surgery.  He got it but had tears in his eyes so the doctor put the surgery off a few weeks (which devastated my nephew but was better for him in the long run).
  • Get creative!  Unless you’re in a full body cast there are always exercises you can do while nursing an injury.  I remember when I tore ligaments in my ankle several years ago I found a workout show on PBS geared towards the elderly (I hope that’s politically correct) and did the exercises right along with the woman. I refused to be a coach potato!
  • Most importantly (other than the tip about talking to your doctor) be patient.  In the emergency room last December they told me to stay in bed for a few days but my doctor extended it to at least a week.  On day three I took a field trip to the kitchen and back because I thought I was ready (the kitchen isn’t that far from my room).  I almost didn’t make it back and I slept for several hours after taking a much needed pain pill.  I think, like with my hip injury, I’ll always have issues with my tailbone (stinks injuring yourself when you’re old) I just have to readjust my exercises and workouts and not sit in a chair and give up.

Click here for other options and circuit training exercises.

Unless you have a strong stomach I do NOT suggest Googling ‘sports injuries.’  I opted not to include pics in this post.

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2 thoughts on “Exercising through an injury

    • Thank you! I’ve spent many injuries on the couch in the past but not anymore. I hope I don’t ever have to try to peddle with one foot but I will- like you said, it definitely beats the couch!

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