How to avoid losing your health while you are injured

Injuries are a part of life, whether they come from the exercises and sports that we practice, to those originating from our work or an unavoidable accident that simply occur periodically throughout our lives. All areas of our body and spine can be affected, from sprains and ligament tears of our ankles and knees, problems such as bursitis and arthritis of our hips to muscular,ligamentous or articular problems of the low back, neck and shoulders as well.

As bio-mechanical problems of our joints and muscle/ ligamentous injuries require rest in order to recover, whether they are chronic or acute in nature, movement, or any other action that is contrary to rest, will obviously aggravate and perpetuate the problem. This is generally understood by most people, however, what is quite common across the board is to see that many people totally cease all types of physical activity, even if certain activities do not pose a risk for the affected tissue/s.

“One of the most dangerous things for our health is to cease exercising when we are injured. “

Sure you have to rest the tissues or joints that have been injured and maybe avoid your preferred sports that may potentially overload these areas and exacerbate the situation.

The healing process can often take months, many months to occur. Our body is inherently programmed to heal itself, and it does this perfectly well, as long as there are no blockages in stopping it from doing so. While it can be extremely difficult for us to refrain from practising the sports and exercises that we love, it is an absolute necessity at this time. However the danger for many people is that they often forget that there are physiological necessities of other tissues and joints of the body, which are reliant upon movement and exercise.

While the body is sedentary, it is not only the muscles that are suffering.

Sadly, at this time, too many people abstain from all activity when in actual fact, they could modify what they do, and find another exercise that doesn’t overload the injured area. I have seen this occur countless times in my career where so many of my patients have sadly seen their health deteriorate from an optimal level to a sub-standard and worrying level in a very short amount of time, due to the fact that they have allowed an injury to influence their decision to stay sedentary while it healed. These effects have ranged from increases in weight, joint problems in other areas due to lack of use and atrophy of surrounding muscles, depression, insomnia, digestive issues due to deceleration of their metabolism, and so many other effects. Many of which are related to the simple fact that a body that was designed to move had suddenly been thrown into a situation where it is deprived from doing so.

What animal in the world ever gets healthier if it stops moving? Think about any wild animal when it is placed in captivity and the changes in behaviour and health that we observe. When the human body is subject to similar influences, there are almost immediate changes in insulin resistance, the levels of cortisol, cholesterol, and subsequently the Gonadotrophins (sex hormones).  Our body is literally placed under a state of stress.

Cardiovascular, neurological, neurological, vascular, emotional, digestive, and hormonal systems are only a few of the many processes that are compromised while a body that is accustomed to move is obliged to be in a sedentary state.

So, if you have been sidelined by an injury, please don’t hesitate to think about what activities you can do. While other limbs of your body can be moved, take advantage of this fact, and move them. Do your best to get your heart rate and cardiovascular system activated. Breathe!

TIP- if a tissue or a joint on your lower body has been affected, do an exercise that works the upper body.
And vice versa if your upper body has been affected..

If you liked this tip, I would definitely recommend checking out my new course Back in Action. You can head to the link on the home page to sign up for more tips and comprehensive information on spinal care and general human performance optimisation advice.