What To Do When You Are Injured

Dec 16, 2020

Isn’t it great to be able to wake up in the morning and know that you can head to the pool, hop on and ride Zwift, or hit the road for a run?  Every day we can do what we love is a blessing from God.  But sometimes, we get sidelined due to an injury.  It is still important to thank God for his many blessings – most of all, Jesus paying for our sins on the cross.  When I’m injured, I keep in mind all the fun times I had when I wasn’t injured and that brightens my outlook.

So, what to do when you are hurting?

Paula and I are not doctors, therapists, psychologists, etc.  We have no formal training related to any field of medicine.  But we have been treated by specialists and we will share what we have experienced.

Some of the leg injuries we have experienced have been attributed to tightness higher up the body.  It could be the neck, the back, the glutes, etc.  A physical therapist may offer dry needling and exercises to get those areas functioning properly to take the strain off your hurting legs.

Some overuse injuries may be relieved by an anti-inflammatory topical gel like Voltaren (diclofenac sodium) either over the counter or prescription.  It is hard to say if this provides relief, but it gives a mental boost just knowing that we are taking action.

If you are injured close to a big race, you may discuss with your doctor steroid options, an ibuprofen routine, or a cortisone shot.  These are more extreme steps your doctor may recommend, but be fully aware of the long-term potential consequences.  Always weigh the risks and benefits.

Another treatment your doctor may consider is PRP – Platelet Rich Plasma treatment.  This involves drawing blood, spinning it to congregate the plasma, and then injecting directly into the injured area.  Dean had this on his Achilles and Paula had this on her hamstring.  

Funny story -- Dean has always been afraid of needles. It’s not only that they hurt, but also he sometimes feels like he is going to pass out.  When he went in for the PRP treatment, he wasn’t worried about passing out though.  He was traumatized by the thought of sticking a needle into his sore Achilles tendon.  Looking back, he is embarrassed by how he sweated and squirmed anticipating excruciating pain.  He felt the initial shot to numb the area.  It wasn’t bad.  He didn’t even feel when the PRP needle was used.  Paula and the doctor had a good laugh over his anxiety.

Taking time off or cross training may be the best option when injured.  Be patient.  The sooner you allow yourself to heal, the sooner you can start training again.

One last note on injuries -- It’s a good idea to build a relationship with your medical providers. They are a great resource to help you get through a tough time.  Ask a lot of questions.  Give them all the relevant information.  Show your appreciation.  They see a lot of injured people every day.  Make sure they remember how pleasant you were, and they will look forward to helping you out next time.

Also, remember that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  If you are self-coached LISTEN TO YOUR BODY and take the necessary time off to recover.  If you are coached, be honest and forthright with your coach so they can adapt your training to help you stay injury-free.

Next Step

Do you have an orthopedic doctor you rely on?  What about a physical therapist?  Ask others in your area who they recommend even if you do not need one now.

Having someone to talk to can help you make the best decisions.  That’s where your coach comes in.  Paula and I cannot offer treatments.  But we can offer suggestions to discuss with your medical professionals.  If you are interested in joining our team, we are here to help.


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