How to mentally deal with injuries
Physcologically dealing with an injury is often more important than the actual physical recovery. It can also have a massive impact after we’ve recovered from an injury. Unfortunately injuries occur despite our best preparation. You could be doing everything under the sun to prepare but an unfortunate part is that if we’re playing sport, or playing a high level of activity, it’s likely we can get hurt. How you deal with injuries is largely up to you, and the mental component of that can really make a difference between how quickly and how well you recover. Dealing with your injuries mentally, is just as important as dealing with them physically. Sometimes old injuries can linger like a stormy cloud, and they can hang around. If we don’t deal with those mental issues and build confidence coming through an injury and prevailing then it can stay in the back of our mind and might limit us moving forward.
Find a team of specialist that can help you i.e. Physiotherapists, Strength and Conditioning coaches and Sports Doctors. Your first point of call should be the Physios because this is their qualification. The Physio can assess your injury and decide where you need to get a scan, see a specialist or sports doctor. Once a diagnosis has been made the Physio can team up with a Strength and Conditioning coach and together they can devise a plan for returning to sport. The Physios can help you with treatment and the hands-on manual therapy, the Strength and Conditioning coach can help with the strengthening of the injured area and re-conditioning of the rest of the body, and doctors can be brought in if you need surgery, or even if we just need some help along the way in regards to advice on long term health.
As a team you need to set a plan and set goals. It’s really important. We know why it’s important to set goals when we’re healthy. It’s exactly the same to set goals when we’re injured. These goals are gonna hold you and the rehabilitation team accountable to the rehab plan. Goals setting is going to help you really break through some of those dark days when your really missing your sport.You should be aiming to try and exit from rehab better than when you went in. Sometimes there is a reason for why you got injured, and if the reason is because you were a little deconditioned or not quite ready for a certain instance in sport, then why not be better so you can reduce the chance of it happening again?
Now obviously it’s gonna be important to have a rehabilitation program, but also staying active just in general is so good for our mental health. Even if we’re not injured we know that exercise is one of the best things for our mental health. It’s exactly the same when we’re injured. You may need to modify some of your workouts, you still want to continue to train the uninjured body parts really hard. Now with this, why don’t you set a goal outside of the injury? For example, let’s say you break your leg unfortunately. Why not set a goal to increase your bench press by ten kilos during that recovery period? Why not set a goal, I’ve never done a chin up, I wanna do a body weight chin up. You can still train the three other limbs extremely hard as if you didn’t even have an injured leg. Yes you might have to modify some things, and that’s fine, this is why you’ve got your Physio and your Strength and Conditioning coach to help you modify your training. It’s really important to look beyond the injury and use the recovery time as an opportunity to achieve something outside of the rehabilitation of the injury itself.
With all this planning, guidance from coaches and goal setting, you can start to build confidence around your rehabilitation plan, instill confidence within yourself and use your resources to help build you up and generate motivation. Use the resources at hand to help you get through this tough time, because once you’ve come out of it you can come back even better than you did before.