D@#! It sucks getting old!!!!
Was my first thought when, at the end of a silks drop, I heard a loud pop and felt a searing pain in my lower abdomen.
Yes, I managed to dislocate my old lady hip!!
(I play hard!)
While all the much, much younger (I'm talking children) aerialists watched in confusion, I hobbled off to my car and spent the remainder of my evening crying tears of frustration while drinking copious amounts of wine.
Anyone who does yoga or deep stretching knows that A LOT of emotion is stored in the hips and, while this injury wasn't anything serious (no emergency room for me thank god), I knew that I would be out of commission for at least a couple of weeks and that SUCKED!
I was raised in a very active family where the worst thing you could do is be "fat" and (right or wrong) this left a deep psychological impact on me.
In addition, while the majority of Americans deal with the day to day stresses of normal life through food, alcohol and drink, I was taught to cope with exercise.
Life's hard? Someone makes you angry or hurts your feelings??
SWEAT IT OFF!!
I have had a few muscle injuries, more since turning 35, and I know that, during the healing process (and you know, in general) I'm a hot, crazy mess.
The fear of gaining weight, losing all my hard work (and not being able to get it back) plus the frustration of not having a healthy outlet for these feelings, drives me bonkers!
So How Do I Cope??
I never understand people who are out of shape and site an injury as the reason.
In my experience there is almost always SOMETHING you can do!
What Do I Mean by That?
Let's take it by injury.
In 2017 when I jammed my knee, and couldn't even walk without a brace, I was still seen hobbling around the gym doing 100lb dead lifts (a great leg workout which doesn't require the knee to bend)
My hip flexors (particularly my psoas) are strained from pulling my hip back into the socket after the partial dislocation.
This makes core work and hip rotation difficult.
Unfortunately, pretty much EVERYTHING engages the core, but (luckily) I am healing relatively quickly.
For the first 24 hrs the muscles were very hot and prone to spasm (just changing position was difficult and painful).
(At one point I spilled wine down my face and couldn't even get up to wipe it off.)
WE BE CLASSY UP IN HERE!!!
During this time period, I really focused on alternating hot and cold plus gentle stretching.
Forward folds and twisting did not aggravate the injury as long as I was careful, and they really seemed to help.
I have stretched through every muscle injury I have ever had, and it has always been beneficial for me.
JUST BE CAREFUL AND LISTEN TO THE BODY!
While, cobra and puppy poses were very helpful, deeper puppy poses on the wall caused me to spasm out and fall, leading to further injury.
I tend to use a try it and back away, if necessary, philosophy.
After the first 24 hrs the muscles were stiff and sore (it felt like a bruise) but no longer spasming, so I added in long walks on well paved surfaces.
Then after 48hrs I was able to begin using the stationary bike and stair master.
My goal was to keep the body moving, allowing me to burn off some stress and calories, without re injuring the site.
Any time I feel the muscles in my side beginning to strain I shut down the workout (usually after an hr) and I finish each exercise session with a warm Epsom salt bath and light stretching.
After 2 wks of this I will start to gradually add light lifting and aerials back into my routine.
I have found that all of my stress injuries (intracostal, rhomboid, QL, tennis elbow, jammed knee, sprained wrist and now psoas) follow this 2wk pattern.
It isn't that all the pain is GONE after 2wks (I wish!) but that seems to be the crucial healing stage when I am most susceptible to re injury.
After this 2wk healing period, I am still gentle for the next couple of weeks while my body is re building and exploring its limits, but I have found that I can CAREFULLY restart my normal fitness habits without re injuring the area.
Obviously, this will be a little different for everyone depending on your own body and the severity of the injury.
My point is that, regardless if it is a strained muscle or a broken limb, there is almost always SOMETHING which can be done to keep the body fit and active during the healing process.
Sometimes it just takes a bit of creative thinking and determination.
Feel through activities carefully and learn to distinguish between different types of pain (is my body warning me to stop or can I push through?)
Also, take an active role in your own healing process with accessible tools such as stretching and Epsom salt baths.
When in doubt hire a professional (either a PT or experienced trainer) to help guide you.
Feel free to post any questions or comments.
I'm here to help!
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