You know what they say. No pain, no gain. However, if you have a muscle pain that seems like it just isn’t going away or it felt like something went wrong during the exercise, it might not be the usual burn of rebuilding muscles. If you are worried that you have injured yourself while working out, here are five steps and tips to follow to ensure your healthy recovery.
See your doctor
One of the biggest health mistakes you can make is simply assuming you know what the problem is. You might think you have pulled a muscle, for instance, but if that’s not the case, then acting as if you have could see you exacerbate your injury. A lot of us have anxiety about seeing the doctor but it’s time to move past it.
Treat it gently
There is a lot that you can to treat your symptoms, so long as you are being careful about it. While you’re waiting for your appointment with the doc or physio, then elevate your injury and compress it as gently as you can. Apply ice or a cold pack to it for 10-15 minutes now and then to reduce and manage the inflammation. If you’re not taking any medication that would interact with it, over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen might help, too.
Rest, but not too much
You should not be trying to get back into exercise immediately. Let the injury heal and the swelling go down, taking the time to rest. However, and this is especially true for musculoskeletal injuries like back pain, you should take care that you don’t spend too much time in bed. While this might have been recommended in the past, it’s widely recognised that spending too much time on your back can end up exacerbating your injuries instead of helping your recovery.
Get back on your feet with some help
Your doctor can help you diagnose and recommend ways to treat an injury. However, when it comes to rehabbing it out and getting back to your full strength, physical therapy is the way to go. A physiotherapy professional will help you with a workout routine and other services such as massage therapy that can help you heal and get back to daily life in the healthiest and most careful way possible. Physiotherapists are medical professionals trained and licensed for that specific purpose.
Stay active (with care)
Keeping active will help keep the rest of your body healthy, so long as you’re careful not to stress the area affected by an injury. As you begin to get back into the swing of things, be sure you’re taking steps to prevent injuries in future. This includes making a healthy diet a part of your fitness plan, taking the time to warm-up/cooldown, stretching, and making sure you’re not pushing yourself too hard.
If you have any inkling that you have hurt yourself, it’s crucial that you don’t try and push yourself, but rather make sure that you get a professional opinion. That’s priority number one.