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soreness

4 Tips for Rehabilitation

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4 Tips for Rehabilitation

Many people who have pain from injuries, accidents, disease or just the activities of everyday life seek help to solve their problems. Often times, they’re able to see a physical therapist or another health practitioner who will diagnose what’s causing the pain, perform appropriate treatment, and give directions on how to proceed with rehabilitation. The practitioner may guide the patient in person through his or her rehab or may assign exercises for the individual to do at home at a certain frequency or for a specific length of time.

Physical therapy and rehabilitation are fantastic and help many people in pain, but they can at times be very monotonous and frustrating because being in pain is hard. Tasks and movements that were simple and taken for granted before now cause suffering and may even be impossible to do. Additionally, the rehabilitation process can be quite lengthy, especially if there is severe damage from injury or disease. Patients with pain often go through many emotional battles not just from the physical pain itself, but from the impact it can have on their lives.

But with diligence in rehabilitation, a strategic approach to the body, and the right mindset, most people can come out of pain. If you’re in pain, seek help from a health practitioner for guidance on what to do. And if you’re in the thick of recovery, hopefully, these tips can help you on your way.

1. Celebrate every victory, no matter how small.

If you were bedridden yesterday, be grateful that you can now get up. If you could barely stand yesterday, be excited about the fact that you can now jump. If you could slowly walk yesterday, be proud that you can now run. Even if you get up slow, or you don’t jump as high, or you don’t run as fast, progress is progress. Okay, we don’t usually heal overnight, but my point is that celebrating victories is about appreciating the details - maybe it hurts less when you try to touch your toes, maybe it used to hurt as soon as you lifted your arm and now it only hurts when you reach above your head. Manage your expectations and set realistic goals so that you won’t be disappointed and will stay motivated to keep pushing forward.

2. Don’t fight through the pain.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “no pain, no gain.” Maybe in the past, we’ve been pushed and pushed by coaches while we work out to “Fight through the pain!” Understand that (hopefully) these are references to pushing through challenge and muscle “burn” and not the literal pain that we feel as sharpness, numbness, or tingling. If an exercise is causing pain, stop doing it. Pain is our body’s way of communicating that we’re putting ourselves at risk of harm, so if an exercise is causing pain, don’t do it, or regress the exercise. Do an easier version that doesn’t trigger symptoms and master that movement before attempting a harder progression. If an exercise is challenging and you feel your muscles working hard, then that’s great - you should practice that, and make sure that you’re getting plenty of rest and recovery as well.

3. Balance the injured and uninjured.

Lots of patients, very commonly, have an injury on only one side. For example, you might have sprained your ankle and then seen a practitioner. He or she recommends that you allow for some rest for healing and so that inflammation can go down and when that’s better, to do mobilization and strengthening exercises, then maybe some balance, stability and even plyometric work. This is all great and it helps with recovery, but what often happens is the formerly injured side heals and becomes better - stronger, more mobile, and more stable - than the uninjured side. While you do your rehab exercises, give both sides, including the healthy side, some love so as to ensure balance and symmetry.

4. Consistency, consistency, and consistency.

At the end of the day, successful rehab comes down to consistency. As with working out, you don’t get results with one good workout. You have to work out consistently, eat nutritious and healthy food consistently, and sleep well consistently to see results over time. You have to do rehab exercises daily because often times you’re trying to break strong compensation patterns, rebuild atrophied muscle, restore stability to important joints, and generally fix biomechanics. It takes great treatment, smart rehab prescription, careful but effective integration and a lot of diligence and commitment to healing and movement to get a worthwhile, long-term result.


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No Pain, No Gain | Truth or Myth?

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No Pain, No Gain | Truth or Myth?

Should we be working out until we're sore?

As a competitive athlete and chronic over trainer in the past, getting “sore” muscles during and after my training sessions was something I took pride in. Having sore muscles was something I paid particular attention to because I was somewhat of a masochist who mainly trained for contact sports like football and boxing. Sometimes it seemed that it was about how much pain I could endure.

Okay, okay other than being a crazy person, I did understand that muscle soreness should happen when I started a new training program. My coaches and trainers told me that it usually lasted for a few days and it would happen every 4-6 weeks as I slowly altered the intensity of my training program during new training phases.

Measuring the productivity or effectiveness of the training based on soreness has exponentially risen this day in age with the popularity of boot camps, spin classes, heart rate monitors, and other forms of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Over the past couple of years I have increasingly noticed that many of my athletes and clients have become very concerned if they are not sore after their coaching sessions or small group training.

Because I trained for several years with the mentality of getting sore, I developed a bad relationship with exercise, believe it or not. I was chronically over trained and my performance suffered at times because I focused on high intensity all the time. So when Justine and I created Perform for Life, one of our main goals was to make exercise an enjoyable lifelong process. Our movement specialists focus on mastering movement before intensity and building rather than breaking down the individual. However, we are still see a growing concern for and attention to intensity. I could do a 50-page paper on the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training, but I could also do a 50-page paper on HIIT and its catabolic effects on the body -  in other words, how it stresses our bodies out and we end up breaking muscle down and storing fat.

Although I really want to go deep into it I am here today to focus on SORENESS. Is it good or bad? And should we always strive to be sore? So Coach Charles and I decided to put together some research and here is what we found…..

 

  • Research shows progressive overloads leads to improved fitness. Changing the mode of the activity, volume, and intensity should be gradually done overtime. Exercising constantly to be sore can result in overtraining or overuse injuries, which can hinder your progress and goals.

 

  • Studies have shown on a scale of 0-10 that muscle soreness is a poor correlation between muscle growth and adaptation. Soreness could affect us in different ways based on our athletic abilities and our genetic make up.  

 

  • Although being sore after working out can indicate that you have trained a muscle differently than you usually do, you don't need to be sore to build muscles. Extreme soreness can lead to less training days which does hinder muscle growth.

 

  • After beginning a new training program, you should be sore. It’s actually okay. After a few days, the soreness should be reduced, which means soreness isn't an indicator of having trained at high intensities. Soreness is actually the body’s way of saying it needs time to recover. Training to be sore can lead to overtraining.

 

  • In order to get the most out of your training, consistency is needed. If you are too sore, it can reduce your overall effectiveness of your program goals. Mastering movement is the key before training with intensity.


In summary, a lack of soreness seems to just mean you have adapted to the type of exercise program. So a solution would be to SLOWLY adjust training variables such as the load, reps, tempo, etc.  We’ve also concluded that constantly being sore can result in overtraining which hinders results. Instead, we should be refocusing our attention on what your muscles feel during your workout. Basically, it matters how you activate muscles and if you contract them correctly in order to get the lean muscle and performance outcomes you desire. In summary, it really doesn’t f*#king matter if you are sore or not.

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Sources:

Daly, A. (2013, November 19). Does Muscle Soreness Mean You Had a Good Workout? Retrieved July 23, 2016, from http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/sore-muscles-after-workout

Duvall, J. (n.d.). Trainer Q&A: Should I Be Sore After Every Workout? Retrieved July 23, 2016, from http://www.mensfitness.com/training/pro-tips/trainer-qa-should-i-be-sore-after-every-workout

Gonsalves, K. (2013, October 08). Should You Always Be Sore After A Workout? Retrieved July 23, 2016, from http://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/should-you-always-be-sore-after-workout

Matthews, J. (n.d.). Should My Muscles Be Sore After a Workout? Retrieved July 23, 2016, fromhttp://www.shape.com/blogs/working-it-out/should-my-muscles-be-sore-after-workout

Yu, C. (2014, July 17). No Pain, No Gain? 5 Myths About Muscle Soreness. Retrieved July 23, 2016, from http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/doms-muscle-soreness/

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