Monday, 11 July 2011

Training While Injured

Injuries are something that every athlete is afraid of, yet at somepoint must deal with. Grappling training involves a lot of twisting, falling and bending, so there tend to be a fair share of back and neck injuries. Jammed fingers and toes as well as knee, hip, elbow and shoulder injuries are fairly common too.
As a martial artist it can be difficult to avoid injuries. My main concern is how to treat, rehab (then prehab) and accomodate the injury/ies while continuing with my training routine.
Two of your best friends when training should be ice and tape.

By properly taping an injured finger, ankle or knee you can often prevent yourself from reinjuring an area while still continuing to train.

Even if Im injured I believe it's still important to train.

Some people prefer to rest completely but I believe by staying active (spend time drilling techniques that dont aggrevate the injury instead of rolling-we can all use more time drilling and getting our reps in-sometimes an injury is a way of forcing you to get on it) you can maintain and maby improve your conditioning and continue to work on and even improve certain ares of your game.

Staying active also allows you to get blood flowing into the injured area to help speed up the healing process.

If you approach it properly you can continue to train and heal up faster than if you just rested completely.
But you must be smart-pay attention to the little injuries before they become big problems and look after them, and train around them if necessary.

Remember to use that ice (how many of us go 'yeah ill ice it when I get home' and actually do?), massage, foam rollers or a rubber ball (check out if you havent already for some awesome flexibility and mobility advice) for tight spots.

If something is really bad I might consider using an anti-inflammatory like voltarol, gel always being a better option than the tabs as it isnt as harsh on your stomach, but I prefer to stay as natural as possible.

Ive had quite a few injuries in my training career but attribute being able to avoid them to my flexibilty and stretching and mobility routine.

It's very unusual that I have to completley stop training due to an injury, I try to have an easy joint mobility session every morning and always make sure I have a good warm up before training. I try to start my training slowly and progress up to speed as my training continues and have a good stretch at the end of the day.

I try to really focus and look after myself well (especially as I get older) and use a rubber ball and thera-cane for deep tissue massage, which although painfull definately helps relieve pain and stiffness in the muscles and tissues.

Many times you wont feel an injury at the time but only later at bedtime or first thing in the morning when you get up, but these I find are relievd with either stretching at night or some joint mobility work in the morning to ease off the tightness and get some blood into the area.

Sometimes you may have an injury that affects your movement completely (although you could probably still swim :-) ), such as a very bad back or neck injury or a rib fracture that affects your movement, then what?

As I joked, find a pool and do some gentle swimming or go for long easy walks, but also use the time to keep your mind sharp. Get to class when you can and watch the training and motivate your friends and team mates, work on your training notes and game-plan (if you havent jotted one down yet and still have holes in your game -it's time to get out a note pad and a pen and do some self-evaluation!) watch some competition footage- I recon you can learn a lot by watching competition footage, sometimes more so than just instyructionals, watch high level competitors pull off the stuff we try in class, but at a world championship level and make it look easy.

Also read, get a subscription to Gracie Mag or BJJ Style magazine or one of the many great instructional books available now such as Saulo's Jiu-Jitsu University.

Stay healthy and happy, both of which jiu-jitsu can help you with, so go train.


1 comment:

  1. If you experience any type of injury, especially if it’s a traumatic injury, go to a licensed doctor right away to have your condition examined. Don’t let the injury get worse. Seek medical help as soon as possible. If you can handle the pain and it’s just a mere injury, do the necessary first aid. You can still continue your routine though, you just have to be very careful and do not push your body too hard.
    @ U.S. Health Works Medical Group