We all have niggles in our body but they don’t surface for most of our life because our body is perfectly capable of leading a sedentary life. According to me, injuries are nothing but us coming face to face with underlying issues that may have cropped up because of a bad diet, bad posture, sleeping pattern, not getting enough sleep, not moving all the muscles in the body etc etc etc. Everyone who works out seriously faces an injury. Sometimes it is because of pushing yourself beyond a certain point and other times, it has to do with a past habit.
I have had two injuries till date, both in the last 1 year:
- The first time was when I went for a trail run 2 weeks before my half marathon at F1 track and could not walk after 4 km. I didn’t hurt myself anywhere. Until then I had no idea what to do in case of any injury. I googled for orthopedics who are specialists in sports medicine and went to a doctor at Aktiv Ortho clinic. He gave me medicines, asked me to wear a cast type thing which cost 4k and asked me to see the physiotherapist. The physio checked my legs and told me how they are completely screwed up. He continued to say that I have been doing squats all wrong till now (not true) and he will need to work with me for the next 3-6 months to correct everything. Basically, he wanted me to shell out 90k. I, literally, ran out of the door. I decided to see a physiotherapist at Fortis (because it is close to home) for a second opinion. He asked me to throw away the cast with “You are an athlete, let’s treat you like one”, gave me 4-5 sessions of myopulse (involves passing electricity into your muscles), a few stretches for my feet and I was back to running in less than a month.
- On Sunday, my left shoulder ached again after the long run. This had been happening on and off for months- after any strenuous workout, sometimes even after sitting in a car for hours or sitting on the couch. I decided to get it checked before ADHM. This is how the conversation went with the doctor:
Him : Long time.
Me : Yes, I have been good that’s why.
Him : Are you married? When did you get married? You are from Gujarat, right? Did you enjoy the Puja? You don’t know which Puja am talking about? Have you been to Akshardham? Why haven’t you seen the Noida Akshardham?
Me : Umm… can we make small talk about my shoulder instead?
He touched the shoulder, asked me to move my neck, touched it and sat down to write the prescription. It was over in less than a minute. I had 2 sessions of myopulse and feel ok now. The reason for the pain was my preference for the left side of my body while sleeping. Who knew!!!
Here are a few tips when it comes to injuries if you run/lift weights or perform any physical activity.
- Don’t ignore the niggles. Try getting a massage and if it continues to hurt, get it checked immediately. It isn’t about being physically hurt. Sometimes, the issue maybe dormant and may pop up randomly.
- Don’t believe the first doctor you see. It is a business after all. You will find a better deal. Always.
- Always believe a doctor whose diagnosis and treatment is simple. Unless it is a brain tumor or something and then please don’t take my advice for anything.
- Take rest. I know people who will run even when the doctor has advised them not to. Missing one half marathon is not the end of the world. You only have 2 legs and you want them to last your entire life.
- Sometimes an injury is necessary to give you time to recuperate and try something else for a change.
- Cross train. Which means, add some other activity like swimming or dancing or cycling to the schedule.
- Foam roll. I cannot recommend this enough. It is the best thing to happen to me. I have stayed injury and pain free because of a foam roller.
- Ice the muscles. Don’t apply ice directly, wrap it in a cloth and then apply.
- Stretch after a run. Never stretch cold muscles so don’t stretch before the run but rather after.
- Strength train. The more muscles you build, the fitter you are. You can be thin but still have a high fat percentage which is not healthy.