Living with injuries, pain free

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It’s one thing to sprain an ankle or get a touch of tendinitis where in time, the pain subsides and you eventually get better but what if you had to live with permanent pain…the kind of pain that’s common when living with knee and back injuries…the kind of injuries that don’t just “get better?”  Just because you have permanent injuries, doesn’t mean you have to live with permanent pain!  As a fitness director and personal trainer, I’ve seen everything from rotator cuff tears to ruptured disks and although these injuries will most likely never be “100%” again, there’s no reason you have to live with the pain.  With the proper know how, you may forever live with injuries, pain free!

Just because you have permanent injuries, doesn’t mean you have to live with permanent pain!
There are many steps that occur from injury to recovery.  First, with any emergency, you’ll most likely be seeing the doctor immediately.  As long as you have insurance there shouldn’t be too much money spent out of pocket.  Next, depending on the severity of the injury, you’ll most likely be seeing a, “doctor recommended,” physical therapist for a set period of time which is also covered by insurance.  What now?

How else does “one” get better beyond post-recovery?
Seek out a personal trainer or at the very least, join your local health club with a friend!  This is your next step!  Obviously I’m biased towards someone having a personal trainer… I am one!  You too would be a believer watching those who you guide, drastically change their life from one extreme to another.  Like a doctor who “saves” a life in the case of an emergency, would you say that one who “saves” a life when teaching another how to live a life without emergencies deserves credit?  It would seem not at the moment for as a trainer, we’re not on American’s health care payroll.  Then again, I don’t do it for the money!  Its reward enough to know that by my hand, a life was changed from a life without diet and exercise into a life immersed to what it is to live a “healthy lifestyle!”

Seek out a personal trainer or at the very least, join your local health club with a friend!
Along the highway to recovery, the tools your neighborhood personal trainer has up his sleeve will not only keep you growing past post-recovery but will save you a dollar or two in the process!  If you’ve decided to join your local health club, I’m glad you have!  Along with starting a basic routine, (see Getting Back to Basics) implement “self-myofascial release (SMR)” into your program before and after resistance training.  Like massage therapy, you’ll be in control of your very own, deep tissue massage!  There are no limits to times per week or length in duration because you can perform these exercises yourself, in the gym!   Have you seen those long tubes in the stretching area by the balance balls?  You’ve probably seen people rolling back and forth on them, “rolling out” their legs and back.  They are literally giving themselves a deep tissue massage using their own body weight to release myofascial buildup!  The same “buildup” that makes your massage therapist tell you how “tight” you are or the elusive “knot” you have in your upper shoulder.  I’ve had clients with permanent injuries such as bulging or ruptured disks, literally become pain free in as little as two weeks with the implementation of “foam rolling” into their workout regimen.  Below are two foam rolling techniques, designed to release myofascial buildup in the areas that are notorious for maximum pain!

Iliotibial Band (SMR)
Position body to the side keeping parallel to the floor with bottom leg slightly elevated.  Roll just below hip joint down the outside thigh to just above the knee.  Repeat. *slow down to a stop on areas most tender until pain decreases by 75%*

Quadriceps (SMR)
Place body in the prone position (face down) with quads on foam roller. Roll from pelvic bone to just above knee. *be sure to maintain proper core control (abs drawn in while keeping your gluts tight) to prevent your lower back from compensating.*

Back & Lower Lumbar (SMR)
Wrap arms around chest to clear the shoulder blades. Raise hips until body is parallel to the floor. Roll down either side of spine from upper back to lower lumber tissue.  Repeat. *remember purpose is to roll on tissue not bone!*