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How to Come Back Stronger After Injury

Sep 27, 2017 HIIT

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Buster Posey, a catcher for the San Francisco Giants, suffered a fractured fibula and torn ankle ligaments in May of 2011 thanks to an unfortunate collision with a player from another team. After months of healing and hard work, he came back in 2012 to hit 24 home runs, won MVP honors, and helped his team win the World Series.

 

In the 1995-96 hockey season, Pittsburg Penguins player Mario Lemieux won his third Hart Trophy and his fifth Art Ross award. Oh, and this was after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, underwent aggressive radiation treatment, and as if this weren’t enough, had major back surgery.

 

In 1949, a car accident left pro golfer Ben Hogan with a fractured pelvis, collar bone, and ankle, as well as near-fatal blood clots. Deemed lucky to ever walk again, Hogan went on to win two US Opens in two years, win the Masters in 1951, and win 5 of the 6 tournaments he entered in 1953.

 

And, since it is football season, we have to mention Peyton Manning. Post neck-surgery, Manning was forced to sit out for all of 2011. Then to top it all off, the Colts let him go. After the Broncos picked him up, he proved himself better than ever. As if setting single-season records in yards and touchdown passes in 2013 weren’t enough, he led the Broncos to a championship win in 2016. 

 

Are you sensing a theme here?

 

When you get injured, it can take a major toll on your wellbeing. For one thing, it hurts. You can’t go about your business as usual, and it seriously affects your usual HIIT routine. It can also mess with your mood and emotions. Consider that your mood has had a nice, regular IV drip of endorphins thanks to your frequent exercise. The feel-good supply dries up abruptly, and you’re bound to feel a little frustrated and sad. What to do if your body, and your feelings, have taken a beating?

 

  • Do what you can, and more. Use the opportunity of a hurt ankle to work on developing your upper body strength and stamina. With over 600 muscles in your body, there are bound to be a few that can be worked and built while you wait for your injury to heal.

 

  • If your doctor approves, and after the pain subsides, get acquainted with your foam roller. When a part of your body sustains an injury, the surrounding muscles rush over to help and protect the area. Using your roller to break up the myofascial buildup in the areas surrounding your injury can help you get some mobility and flexibility back. Avoid putting direct pressure right on the injury, and instead concentrate on surrounding areas, as well as the parts that have overcompensated to protect your injury.
     
  • Follow directions. No, really. “Keep off of it for 6 weeks” means just that, and yes, your doctor is talking to you. Trying to rush the healing process can dramatically derail progress, and even make you worse off than after your original injury. Do the ice, do the rest, to the stretching. Just do what you’re told.
     
  • Eat to heal. Foods rich in potassium, Vitamin C, protein, Vitamin A, zinc, antioxidants, and Omega-3’s can all help your body in the healing process.

 

Getting an injury really sucks. But with a positive attitude, a growth mindset and some discipline, it is possible for you to come back post-injury stronger and better.