How To Get Back Into Running After A Soft Tissue Injury
Guest post written by Thomas Lavin
Soft tissue injury is one of the most common, and yet one of the most difficult injuries to treat. Athletes who suffer soft tissue injuries tend to have a long recovery process that can result in physical and emotional issues. In addition to the soft tissue injury, these problems are also difficult to treat and overcome during the road to recovery.
Many times, soft tissue injuries occur in automobile accidents. They also can occur because of a fall that is caused by the negligence of others. Whiplash, sprains, strains, muscle tears, and nerve damage are considered soft tissue injuries. Due to the nature of these types of injuries, a person suffering from a soft tissue injury should consult with a personal injury attorney. While the injuries are not life-threatening, they can be life altering.
Recovering from a soft tissue injury takes time. It is painful, and the injured person must work with medical professionals to ensure they do not do further damage. A victim’s recovery often requires a great deal of time and money. Therefore, it is critical to hire a qualified personal injury attorney to represent you if you are injured because you could be eligible to receive compensation.
The Road To Recovery
If you suffer a soft tissue injury, consult your doctor before you start exercising again. Running, jumping, or even walking too soon can aggravate your injury and make it worse. Do not take your health into your own hands. You may be tempted to push yourself beyond limits that are safe. As mentioned, returning to running and exercising is a long process. It begins with small periods of activity which are slowly increased over time.
When you started running or playing sports, you developed your athletic skills over time. No one is an expert runner at the beginning. An athlete needs time to condition and strengthen his or her muscles. Every person responds to the recovery process differently, and eventually, you will build up the endurance to run and play sports like you used to before your soft tissue injury.
Being sidelined by an injury may or may not put you back to the starting point. It depends on the severity of the injury, the amount of time you have taken away from your sport to heal, and your overall health. However, it is possible to regain the strength and stamina you had before your injury if you work closely with your doctors and trainers.
Whether you have been running for a few weeks or a few years, a soft tissue injury can happen at any level. The recovery process can be slow, but even if you must regain your strength, you do not have to start completely over unless the injury is severe. The best plan of action to rebuild your muscles is to walk, then run in short bursts. As you alternate between walking and running, pay close attention to your injury and stop if you begin to feel any pain or discomfort. It is okay to push a little, through the stiffness and soreness, but ignoring the pain and pushing past your comfort zone could cause further damage. Contact a doctor if you have any issues or pain during your recovery.
General Rules For Returning To Running
1. Walk first
• Before attempting to run, you should be able to walk at a brisk pace for 45 minutes without pain
• Be patient and honest with yourself. A small ache is still pain
2. Build strength
• Add other activities to your routine that will strengthen your legs. The legs are more difficult to rehabilitate and often require more time than other parts of the body. Swimming, biking, walking, and stretching will all aid in your recovery
3.Time frame to shoot for
• If you stopped running for up to 10 days after your injury, aim for 70% of where you left off
• If you stopped running for 15 to 30 days, aim for 60% of where you left off
• If you stopped running for 1-3 months, aim for 50% of where you left off
• More than 90 days – start from scratch
4.Watch your diet
• It is important to maintain a healthy diet when you are recovering. Avoid processed sugars and carbs while your body heals. Instead, substitute your normal diet with fruits, vegetables, and protein for at least a week. Your body will heal faster if you consume nutritious foods that cleanse your system. You may feel cravings, but remember your body will recover faster if you stay committed to a healthier diet.
• Drink a lot of water to ensure you are hydrated
• Over the counter and prescription medications that doctors recommend for pain help you in the short term, but these medications often mask the pain, instead of treating your injury. You could easily over-exercise and make the injury worse because you cannot feel the pain signals warning you to stop.
• While you are recovering, you should cross train with various activities a few times per week to build your strength. Cycling, rowing, yoga, and other workouts three times per week will allow you to continue to build strength and work toward your goals without suffering more damage. Consult your doctor before you start a new activity.
A soft tissue injury is painful and difficult to treat, but people tend to have a better recovery by working with their doctors and taking precautions to avoid further injury. These soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash or nerve damage, are serious matters with permanent effects. There is more at stake than just feeling sore the next day. If you have suffered a soft tissue injury in an accident or due to someone’s negligence, consult a doctor immediately.
Do not assume these injuries are not serious. Only a doctor can properly diagnose and treat you. Once you have been treated by a medical professional, then contact a personal injury attorney. They can protect your legal rights and determine if you can receive compensation for your injuries. A sprain may heal quickly, but other injuries can last a lifetime. Do not assume that you will completely recover. Protect yourself and your health.