Should you workout when injured?
Posted March 27, 2019 by Matthew Romans
Most doctors recommend against any exercise when you are injured. Doctors are afraid of lawsuits, and I don't blame them. We live in a hyper-litigious society. However, it is critical to keep your body strong and functional at all times. If you don't stress your skeletal muscles with some regularity, your muscles will atrophy. You will lose strength, become less flexible, more injury prone, and weaken your immune system. You will also negatively affect your blood pressure, resting heart rate, blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity. It does not make sense to let your whole body go just because one body part (ex. a knee, a shoulder, and ankle, etc.) is recovering from injury or surgery. At Total Results, we absolutely recommend continuing a strength training regime when you are dealing with an injury. The only caveat to this, and it is a big one, is that you must be in a controlled environment with an experienced instructor who can safely work around your injury until it is healed.
What types of exercise can you do while injured? Is it worth it? Let's take a look at a few examples. If you have injured your knee and are awaiting surgery or have had a steroid injection, you can still exercise the following areas: chest, upper back, lower back, shoulders, triceps, biceps, neck, abdominals, glutes and quadriceps (with some modified lower body exercises), calves, and more. The only muscle group somewhat difficult to get to with a knee injury are the hamstrings. In perhaps a more challenging scenerio, say you have a herniated disc in your lower back. As soon as the major inflammation has subsided, you can work all upper body areas without limitation. For lower body (ex. legs, low back) it is a case by case basis based on sensitivity, but exercises ranging from timed static contractions to partial range of motion to full range slow motion training are all possible.
At Total Results, we work with each client according to their abilities, pain threshold, and inflammation levels. Sometimes we completely avoid injured areas for weeks or months at a time and focus on healthy part of the body. Other times, we carefully exercise the injured areas using reduced resistance levels or other alterations.
Bottom Line: Many of us deal with injuries at some point in our lives. These injuries can either be acute from an accident or based on years of overuse, such as tendonitis. It is critical when these injuries happen that we work hard to keep the rest of our bodies and strong a functional as possible. If you don't use it, you will lose it.
If you are a prospective client or even one of our beloved current customers and are dealing with an injury, contact us to discuss your options. Remember, at Total Results, we "Exercise Smarter"!!