Injured? Hurt? Call NJ...(I hope you got the joke?)

If your are dealing with an injury please read

If are reading this, then I’m assuming you are dealing with an injury or maybe have dealt with one at some point. If not, then thank you for reading, share this with a friend who might be struggling with an injury.

In a previous post, I talked about how anyone and everyone will or have dealt with some sort of injury. Injuries happen but what happens after an injury is not always what we expect to happen. Most people expect a smooth flow from injury through tissue repair following a linear progression of technique such as:

1- assessing the injury

2- initial therapies for tissue repair

3- rehabilitation for injury

4- getting back to life pain free/injury free

Well, unfortunately, and like most things in life, the rehab process is not always linear. Moving from injury to recovery to return to activities is a messy process and can be unpredictable. Often times concepts of recovering overlap, professions overlap and goals overlap.

Most professionals in this industry will always go through the first step in the progression: assessing. If your’e not assessing, you’re guessing.

An assessment will help determine what the next steps can be when the ultimate goal is to return to play or daily life. It can also aid in who to seek out, will you need to see a Physical Therapy, need surgery or whoever can aid in your recovery.

After the assessment, you can begin recovery by reducing the pain in the injured area, and repairing the tissue in the area. This may look like ice and rest or you may need more aid in reducing the inflammation (e.i. Dry needling, pain meds, etc). If you seek a qualified PT after assessing the injury they will liking try to reduce the pain in the area before moving onto rehab and finding the weak link in the chain.

Even during this time of reducing the pain it can be messy. Some injuries will take a little bit of time to reduce the swelling, inflammation, and pain. Don’t try to get back into your daily activities if you’re experiencing a lot of pain. Allow yourself to heal and slowly reintroduce movement that does not case pain in the area.

If your injury is extensive enough to seek help of a PT, follow their guidelines, as this information is not to replace that of your physical therapist.

As you work with your PT, rehab may not go as planned. You may start you rehab doing well, seeing weekly progress, but then the process slows or even stops. This is normal. You body is trying to heal and relearning motor patterns on a neurological level. Physical Therapist are there to help you navigate your recovery. Don’t rush your recovery to daily activity/performance. It’s crucial to listen to your body, push when you need too but also know when to call it too. If your pain is increasing with a exercise then it’s safe to say to stop and reassess why is it causing pain. Are you coming back too soon? Is the movement pattern poor? Is the demand of the movement too much at this point in time? Most of the time you are just putting a demand on your body that it is not ready to handle and you must work within your limits until you are ready for that demand.

Recovery is not going to be linear. As much of life goes, nothing can be that easy. If it were, then we wouldn’t have to seek out professionals to help us and they would be out of a job. You should seek out a professional when you are unsure about the cause of pain, the pain in not going away or becoming worse, and unable to perform your normal activities. During your recovery you may seek different professionals and they may even overlap.

There should be a cross over between PT and Strength coaches. We both have the same goals: help you perform at your best. There is a spectrum of what “at your best” is. PT will do as much as they can to progress you to return to daily activities and your sport, a strength coach will help you meet the demands of life and sport, and go beyond them becoming stronger reducing the risk of injury, especially re-injury.

These professionals should overlap and be in communication, but this is also true for those professionals who perform surgeries all the way to sport skill coaches. Recovering from an injury or surgery is unpredictable but with a solid team that can take you from broken to return to play/life is priceless 😉. A solid team with an athlete center concept will bring about a better athlete at the end of recovery, then when the athlete first began.

This is why building a strong network of multiple professionals in our area to help you get back to being your best and performing at your best. We understand that our coaches cannot know everything about everything but we find that most professionals care about the same big-picture concepts (e.i. Assessments, evaluation, movement quality and pain mitigation) as much as we do. We are building a network of professionals in Physical Therapy, Chiropractors, Pain Management Specialist, Massage Therapy, and others that will provide the best services to our athletes and their family. These professionals have the same goal as we do - helping our athletes/clients/patients feel better, move better and perform better.

If you have an injury and would like help in navigating your recovery, let us help you find the best fit for you.