The Importance of Listening to Your Body

The Importance of Listening to Your Body… How to Care for Sports Related Injuries

Have you ever been in a situation where you KNOW you should stop, pause, and maybe change direction while working out?  I have!!!  In fact I am nursing a little pulled muscle (non sports related) that if I would have continued thru my workout Monday, could have turned out to be serious.  You see, I am a nurse… moral of any of my injuries is that I ignore the pain and push thru.  On the other hand, as an older adult (wife, mom, coach), I have no choice but to listen to my body now.  Here are some helpful tools I use to care for those times when I fail to listen to my body:

Taping the injury:
Oh my goodness… it really works.  I had plantar fasciitis a few years ago which led to my irrational thinking that maybe cutting my foot off would stop the pain!  Not really, but anything other than going through what I did sounded promising.  What resolved the issue?  Taping and a boot at night.  Here is some good information on taping and why it works.

“Strapping and taping techniques are some of the most important and most visible skills a physiotherapist, sports therapist or athletic trainer working with sports men and women can have.
Strapping and taping techniques can help prevent injury as well as protect the athlete from re-injury whilst returning to sport and provide compression to a recently injured joint.
The principles of taping are pretty much the same for all applications. An anchor point is applied then support strips of tape restrict movement or provide support.

The role of tape is to limit the movement in an injured joint to prevent excess or abnormal movement. In addition it should provide support to the muscles surrounding the joint that may be under additional strain due to the ligament injury.

Another benefit of taping is thought to be the enhanced proprioception (or kinaesthetic feedback) that the tape provides during movement (or in other words it is thought to improve co-ordination).

For example if a taped ankle starts to invert (turn over) during a jump then the tape will restrict this and inform the body that it needs to contract muscles to prevent this movement in the ankle.

Without this feedback the athlete may be unaware the ankle has started to invert and land on it badly injuring it again.

Tape can also be used to protect unstable joints where repeated or severe ligament damage has resulted in stretching of the ligaments and joint laxity. For examples athletes who repeatedly suffer ankle sprains due to laxity of the joint may benefit from taping or wearing an ankle brace to support the joint because the ligaments have been stretched too much to do their job properly.

Tape is also used to secure protective pads and dressings.”

Sports Massage:
Ahhhh!!! Just the word massage sends good vibrations my way.  Believe it or not, it works as well.  I love the benefit that massage gives:
“Sports massage has a number of benefits including preventing injury, restoring mobility to injured muscle tissue, boosting performance, maintaining the body in overall better condition and extending the life of your athletic career.”

RICE Method:
Old school still works!

R is for rest. Rest prevents further injury and stops the existing injury getting worse. Continuing to train or play on an injury will increase bleeding or swelling which will extend the time it takes to heal.

Ice or cold therapy will reduce pain, help stop or decrease bleeding and swelling, reduce muscle spasm and reduce the risk of sells dying by slowing down the metabolic rate.

Compression is also very important for stopping and reducing swelling. The sooner it is applied the better.  A compression bandage or wrap is suitable but compression should only be applied for 10 minutes at a time to avoid further injury from lack of blood flow.

Elevation means raising the injured limb higher than the heart so blood and tissue fluids can drain away from the area more easily. See RICE method for a more detailed explanation.”

And as always, when in doubt consult your doctor.  Unresolved pain is never a good thing.  It led to miserable nights/days, uncontrolled aches, med management with anti-inflammatory,  and eventually the “BOOT” for me. 



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