Injuries and common sense

For the worst part of the last 8 months I've been through several degrees of an injury. As I had never been injured this seriously, at first I did not pay much attention to it even though it limited/hurt me in such simple things like turning the steering wheel while parking or picking up a backpack, but even though it's costing me dearly to be this limited, I have a much more clear and defined picture of what it means to be injured and how to behave in light of it both as an "athlete" and a health professional.

I work as a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Professional and I can't count the amount of people I have treated successfully with injuries even worse than my own so one would think I would know what to do if I, myself, got injured... right? Well, not really. "Do as I say, not as I do", that's what always happens and this time it was no different.

It all started during weight training, several months before I even thought about starting doing BJJ, when I felt strong enough to foolishly decide that my carefully planned scheme could be altered on the spot and instead of doing just 8 reps of the last and heaviest set I could do a full 12. It just so happened that it was the wrong exercise at the wrong time and it started a chain reaction that ended in a bilateral supraspinatus tenosynovitis accompanied by tendonitis. To sum it up, because the supraspinatus is connected to the rotator cuff, the pain irradiates to the whole shoulder and to the upper trapezius so that any pushing, pulling, arm raise or shrugging movement I do has the potential to cause a good amount of pain.

Now, I'm using my case as a mere example but what I'll write can apply to most every injury you can think of so don't get caught in the specifics.

I kept doing weights for a few months - first just dropping shoulder training, then chest, then some tricep work and finally even putting a bar on my back to squat or doing cardio for a long period of time would be uncomfortable. Somewhere in between I started doing BJJ once a week and that didn't help because it's nearly impossible to roll safely when you can't push/pull/shrug without the danger of feeling pain. Then came a period where I couldn't lift weights almost at all so I seized the opportunity to recover and get properly diagnosed but before I started Physical Therapy (more on that in a bit) I started doing BJJ at ArtSuave and the pain and limitations got worse every other week until I started PT and finally got to inevitable conclusion that I really really had to stop rolling in order to get better. I started just doing technique and then step to the side of the mat and sadly watching my mates rolling their asses off.

I'm almost done with PT and can't honestly say it's been very effective since after a month and a half I've got better and then worse, pretty much like when I did nothing but I recently found a way to kind of treat myself with the help of family (well, it just takes some smoke tolerance and the patience to put up with me while holding a stick of moxibustion) since I do not have any TCM colleague I can trust near me or else I'm sure I'd long be cured. Anyway, now I believe I am on the path to full recovery and until that day arrives I'll continue doing what I should have done eight months ago: not doing stuff that makes my condition worse and getting treatment.

To sum things up...

What to do when one gets hurt? First thing is to stop whatever you're doing. It could be something simple and the next day you're pretty much fine or it could be something more serious needing several days of rest or even treatment.
What NOT to do when one gets hurt? Buying into the talk that "it's surely just this or that" and continue pushing through the pain based on uninformed guesswork. Also, kidding yourself by thinking that maybe if you do this or that - and "this and that" are always things you'd never advise others to do, which is probably a good sign that you're not thinking clearly - you'll be better, rarely returns good results.

Therapies vary greatly depending on the problem and I do not diagnose on the internet and I surely won't dwell into all the possibilities but if you believe it to be serious right away, then seek medical advise right away. If it's something that can wait for a good night's sleep to see what's what, then do so and reassess by the next morning.

Do not postpone going to the doctor. The more you do, the longer you'll be training limited or even sidelined. It's better to stop one month and return gradually to full form in another few weeks than being at 50% or less for several months and then come to conclusion that you really need to stop and seek treatment.

Basically common sense... it's really that simple!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright © Portuguese White Belt