How often do you hear the saying “No pain, no gain” when you need to exercise while injured? While muscle sores are a normal aspect of working out, deciding to push through your training regimen when you actually have an injury, be it small or significant, can lead to permanent impairment that can affect both your training style and your day-to-day life.
Yes, you can exercise while injured! So let’s talk about some safe substitutes for your workout when you are injured.
Tips To Exercise While Injured
1. Neck Pain
Neck pain is often caused by poor posture while sitting at a desk, stress, cradling a phone between your shoulder and neck, osteoarthritis and carrying something heavy over one shoulder. While yoga headstands, running and other high-impact moves that trigger neck pain should be avoided when you try to exercise while injured, there’s no reason you can’t try cycling, walking, Pilates and yoga positions that do not involve your head and neck.
2. Back Pain
Back pain is a frequent issue, usually caused by muscular strains, soft-tissue injuries, disc disease and arthritis and it is prevalent in sports such as tennis and running. You should avoid running, particularly downhill running, the leg press machine and overhead lifting and try walking, stretching, swimming, yoga and Pilates instead for a proper exercise while injured.
3. Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain is caused by arthritis, bursitis and impingement which occurs when the space between your rotator cuff muscles and the bone on top of your shoulder narrows, pinching the tendons. In this situation, repetitive actions such as overhead presses, lifts with free weights or past times that require similar movement and are done for a lengthy amount of time should be avoided. For exercising while injured you can replace overhead presses and lateral raises with front shoulder raises and still get a nice definition in your shoulder area. Eliminate tennis or golf for a while since these sports also involve repetitive movement.
4. Swollen Knee
Caused by a tear in the meniscus, the swollen knee is a significant injury since it impacts your everyday life. Make sure to avoid any exercises that recreate the pain, especially running and lower extremity weights, or sports that require jumping and changing directions. If you really want to exercise while injured try swimming, water aerobics and yoga poses that don’t require much knee movement. Include a daily hip, thigh and knee strengthening exercise, such as leg raises and be patient until the situation is resolved.
5. Shin Splints
Shin splints occur when there is a sudden increase in running intensity or mileage. You don’t have to stop running altogether, unless the symptoms are getting worse, but you can adjust you exercise regimen and run slower and less frequent. If this is not enough for you, you can combine other forms of cardio such as swimming and biking, pretty much any exercise that doesn’t involve repetitive impact.
6. Twisted Ankle
Believe it or not, you can exercise while injured, with a twisted ankle. Avoid any repetitive impact in the days following the initial injury and focus on upper-body exercises or swimming and stationary bike that don’t force you to bear your own weight.
7. Plantar Fasciitis
This problem can be caused by running, sudden weight gain, tight calf muscles or foot-arch problems. There’s no reason to really stop exercising unless you are in pain, so if running is no longer an enjoyable activity for you, try the bicycle or elliptical trainer since they do not subject the foot to the same stresses.
8. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Often caused by repetitive motion such as typing, writing, gardening, or by swelling due to rheumatoid arthritis, this affliction can put a serious damper in your exercise routine. Avoid push-ups, plank pose or any other exercise that involves excessive bending in the wrist, including racquet sports. Make sure to choose exercises that keep your wrists straight and you should be fine.
I hope that you are now convinced that an injury doesn’t put an end to your workout and it will surely not hamper your healthy lifestyle. Make adjustment, be safe and exercise while injured to keep your life active.