Coming back from Injury
If you’re a.) a young whipper-snapper or b.) lucky, there is a small chance you won’t relate to this. If you are neither however, you are probably well aware of the perils of training and competitive sport, and the by-product of this: the common injury. At one point or another, most of us will experience an injury of some kind. Whilst any injury is a hindance, it isn’t always the end of the world. What’s important is how you manage your recovery in order to promote a strong and speedy return.
Joe Naughalty Talks About His Injury
We caught up with Joe, one of our BULK POWDERS™ sponsored athletes, to ask him about his recent experience when he tore his ankle ligaments before pre-season Hockey training. This is what Joe had to say:
Injuries are a setback.
Injuries are a major setback for all athletes of any level. But at the elite level it is extremely important to manage them as well as possible. At the beginning of July I tore my ankle ligaments which meant I couldnt train over the summer. I was out of action for 9 weeks before I could play again, and with the start of the Premier League Hockey Season at the beginning of September I faced a huge battle to prove my fitness in time for selection. Physio sessions, rehabilitation sessions and good nutrition helped me to do that.
See a specialist and track progress
By visiting the physio regularly I could keep track of my progress and see how my body was coping (or not!) with the injury. The physio then provided me with specially tailored rehabilitation sessions. Just like when you are working in the gym on a specific area of fitness, injury rehabilitation needs to be specific to the type and severity of your injury. With my anterior ankle injury it was important to try and strengthen the area around the ankle. This involved a lot of mobilisation exercises, without putting any weight on the injured area.
The progression after this was to isolate the area and perform movements with low weights. This can be something like a one legged squat or pistol squat on a bosu ball. An issue that a lot of people find with ankle injuries is a loss of stability and balance. In order to help regain this proprioception (the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement) the rehabilitation exercises can be performed with eyes shut; this forces extra strain on the senses and causes the person to work harder to stay balanced.
Don’t rush. Follow a rehab plan.
After 6 weeks of rehab work I was able to start running again (with strong taping of the ankle to create a stable support). This meant I could finally join up with my teammates who had started pre-season a couple of weeks beforehand. Although this left me behind for a couple of sessions, I knew that my rehab and hard work had stood me in good stead.
Nutrition is key during recovery
A key part of this time was my nutrition. Injuries of any kind influence the amount of exercise that you do. This meant I had to really watch what I ate and made sure my pre and post-workout routine was spot on so that I could shorten my recovery time and get back to fitness as soon as possible. My thanks goes to the BULK POWDERS™ for supporting me with their supplements to help me on my journey. Definitely ‘Performance Delivered’!