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Staying active when you are injured

By Lee Ajzenman, Physiotherapist and Lauren Charlton, Physiotherapist

We all know that feeling when we finally get motivated to get to the gym, go for a walk, run or ride and our shoulder, knee, hip or back starts playing up.

It’s just one of those things, isn’t it? But there are always ways to stay active while injured, and hopefully get back on the road to recovery.

One big thing to consider – is it a new injury or an old one?

If it is a new pain or injury, think how and why you might have this injury. Resting the painful area, using heat/ice or regular pain relief if safe may be helpful in the short term. But, you may need guidance to get better in the long run (and that’s what we are in it for right?). So seek guidance from your doctor or physiotherapist if you are not quite sure.

If it is an old or previous injury you may have an idea about what works and what doesn’t work. Maybe your lower back pain improves with walking on flat surfaces but worsens with walking uphill, or your shoulder gets worse when you do upper body weights at the gym? Keep doing the activity that lessens pain and do less of exercise that make it worse. If you struggle to make sense of your body’s patterns (or plainly feel like there are none!) you should definitely see a physiotherapist, or at least start to be more mindful about your movement to identify how you can keep moving.

Do a mix of activities

Varying the types of activity you do can help reduce overuse injuries and keep you strong and mobile in your whole body. It will also help you discover what your strengths and weaknesses are.

Consider something gentle

Keeping active doesn’t have to be about achieving personal bests or kicking goals. You can kick goals through gentle movement such as a walk, slower or shorter than normal run, gentle swimming or cycling.

Be mindful of group activities where you may feel uncomfortable with some of the exercises

Smaller groups, 1:1 training or knowing what you need to avoid is vital when managing an injury.

Set goals

Don’t let this injury weigh you down! Gain confidence by improving day by day, with the help of the appropriate activity and guidance. Remember, the body is designed to move!

Last updated: April 22, 2021 at: 10:15 am

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