As Alaskans, we push our bodies to the limits during the sunny months, trying to fit everything in before a blanket of snow and ice covers the ground. This constant activity can be hard on our bodies and there’s a good chance, as summer comes to an end, you’ve developed an injury.
If not treated properly, injuries can leave us sidelined. When they pop-up, our strategy tends to be ignore the pain and keep pushing in hopes it will fade, but this is our body telling us something is wrong. Even if that pain does go away, if not addressed, the injury is likely to come back, often worse than before.
So what can we do to address injuries when they appear?
1. Give it a Rest
Sometimes your body is just begging to take a load off. While it might be difficult, a few days with your feet up could really save you in the long run. Take 2-5 days off and spend time icing, compressing and elevating the injury. If you just can’t bare a sedentary life for a few days, try cross training alternatives that do not require use of the area hurting you. For example, if you are suffering from shin splints from running, try a spin class. You’ll still scorch calories while giving the aggravated area a rest.
2. Nip It in the Bud
If the pain is lingering, it’s important to address it. Injuries that go ignored take much longer to heal, so we suggest nipping the pain in the bud. Consult a physical therapist. They will assess your injury and develop a recommended plan to address it, whether it be strength training, stretches, a massage or dry needling.
3. Practice Prevention
After pounding the pavement or the trails, our bodies can feel stiff. You might notice your hip flexers screaming at you when you try a butterfly stretch. This means it’s your muscles are tight and aggravated, and if not addressed, this could mean a big injury. Take time to roll out using a roam roller, addressing glutes, hamstring, quads and lats. This routine cannot only help with an injury, but it also serves as a preventative measure. Additionally, if you’re feeling tight and uncomfortable, take a break from strenuous workouts and take a yoga class. This will allow your body to stretch itself out and heal. Strength training can also be a great preventative measure. It’s important to have a strong core to build off of, you’ll will find your muscles are not prepared to take on constant activity.
If you have any questions about treating injuries or prevention, please ask one of our experienced personal trainers. Additionally, if you’re feeling like you could really use a massage to wring out those tired summer muscles, take a look at our Good Life or Membership Plus options and enjoy free massages.