Over the course of our life, it is inevitable that at some point we will sustain an injury in some way, shape or form, whether minor or major. This is especially true of those that take part in physical activity on a consistent basis. While exercise will prepare the body to handle a greater load of physical stress, care needs to be taken so as not to exceed its work capacity, which will result in injury. Perhaps you have found yourself in this scenario. If so, what can you do about it?
First, it is important to understand that the tissues commonly affected by injury, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments, are active tissues and thrive when they are stressed to the proper degree. Too little, and they become weak and stiff. Too much, and they begin to break down. If you are experiencing pain that is not the result of a traumatic injury such as a fall, you can safely assume it is that overtraining is the culprit, which simply means too much stress is being placed on the body. This is often caused by training volume (total number of reps), loads, or ranges of motion that your body is not adequately prepared for. For example, if you have just learned how to execute GHD sit ups properly, it would not be a good idea to perform a workout that incorporates them for sets of thirty. The number of reps or the range of motion would likely need to be reduced. Keep in mind, too, that overtraining is often the result of several different factors, as opposed to a single workout or movement. Attention needs to be given to your training as a whole.
So, if you are experiencing symptoms as the result of overtraining, what should you do? Remain as active as possible without pain. This will require modifying reps, load, range of motion, or a combination of the three in order to bring your overall physical stress below your pain threshold. For lingering or chronic injuries, further modification may be required along with a targeted accessory program. Functional movement is the golden standard of injury prevention and management. If you are struggling with painful symptoms and are unsure how to address them, feel free to consult with a coach; we are here to help!
A popular method of pain management is static stretching. What role does it play and is it effective? The next blog article will discuss just that. Stay tuned!