3 Classes You Can Still Do With An Injury
It’s no surprise that when we’re injured we become one of two people. We either continue our activities as planned, and hope the injury will ‘get better’ on its own. Or, we completely refrain from all activities – because if we can’t do the one thing that we love the most, what’s the point, right?
Here in Edmonton as a chiropractor with a special interest in sports, my patients that I see time and time again are often at the point where they’ve tried to continue their activities until their mobility becomes limited or the pain they’re experiencing is too unbearable to continue. They’ve already gone beyond the limits of what their body will allow. Doing the same things over and over again is where chronic repetitive strain can lead to a de-habilitating injury. For example, continuing to run with ongoing calf tightness due to poor mechanics or improper footwear can lead to achilles tendinopathy and increase the risk of an achilles tear – game over.
My philosophy has always been to continue activity – I’m a huge proponent of mindful movement throughout injury. Doing ‘nothing’ and refraining from activity will often delay return to sport and when returned, increase risk of injury. In the example of the runner with calf tightness, besides treatment, changing footwear and evaluating gait biomechanics; implementing cross-training a few times a week should assist with reducing the strain. Depending on the injury, a few of my favorite places to sweat in Edmonton are this:
Cycling is a terrific non-weight bearing activity for both a lower or upper body injury. At Cyclebar you can monitor your calories burned, average revolutions per minute (RPMs) and average wattage or power. These tools can help you to monitor keeping your heart rate and overall cardio up to maximize performance. The best part about cycling is you can modify what you’re doing on the stationary bike at any time. For example, if you have a knee injury you would remain in the saddle throughout the class, and if you have a shoulder injury you would refrain from dips and pumps but keep your legs going!
- Yogalife (review needed! – I told FCG :)):
Finding your inner yogi can certainly be challenging. The premise of yoga itself truly, is finding the balance between movement and breath. Yoga is a form of meditative stretch that allows us to recognize our limitations and work with them. Yoga is the perfect solution for those looking to find a means of stretching if they don’t keep it as part of their daily habit – that is, it’s the best for injury prevention. Having ongoing hip tightness, for example, can often lead to injury of the lower limb. With yoga (and treatment and strength training) we can work to stretch those hips to find equilibrium to assist with overall mobility. As a runner, I find yoga is crucial to maintaining movement with my stride.
- CHAMPS Boxing (review literally coming next week):
Lower limb injuries can often be a nag – and many athletes and weekend warriors who have a need for speed usually neglect the upper body workout. Boxing is the perfect way to work to strengthen the shoulders and muscles in the thoracic region of the body. The quick jabbing movements specifically can target the latissimus dorsi muscle, an important muscle of accessory respiration allowing you to breath more efficiently. Additionally, focusing on strength and form, and having a mobile thoracic spine can reduce the instance of classic postural ‘desk’ syndrome and low back pain.
Working-out through injury can be defeating, but by finding new things to add to your routine, you can still be active doing the things you love throughout rehabilitation of your injury.
– Dr. K
The content is not intended to substitute the medical advice of your regular health care provider. If you have an injury or medical condition, seek consultation with a health professional for personalized recommendations based on your health history.
Dr. Kara Otuomagie is a chiropractor who works with athletes, including the Alberta Ballet, UofA Bears + Pandas, Grant MacEwan Griffins, Calgary Stampeders, Elite runners and all those who want to live a fit and healthy lifestyle. She completed her Bachelor of Science at the University of Alberta, and attended the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and McMaster University for her Chiropractic and Acupuncture designations respectively. As a fitness enthusiast herself, Dr. Otuomagie is active in Edmonton’s run community. Her focus on movement employs an integrative therapeutic approach to assist her patients in accomplishing their personal and professional goals. In her spare time, you can find Dr. Otuomagie supporting the Stollery Women’s Network and running the trails in Edmonton’s River Valley.