Just like you can’t rush a PB to your Snatch, you can’t rush an injury to heal. In my physio world I see people trying to rush back to regular training, or get back into the game far before their body is physically ready for.
The fact is, your body can heal. And that is pretty bloody amazing if you think about it. If you tear a ligament, it can repair itself and become whole again. If a part has come off the bone, it can work its way back and reattach itself. Muscle fibres can knit themselves back together again. Bones can re-fuse. A torn meniscus can lay itself down into the joint and gel back together and even in the brain, nerve fibres and be healed which results in muscle that once were paralysed, actually begin to work again. If that’s not cool, then I don’t know what is.
We, however have become impatient over time. We want everything now. We get angry when traffic is built up, we get frustrated when our phone begins to slow down, we hate being put on hold and we don’t have the tolerance to wait for our body to heal itself over time. And the sad thing is the older we get the longer the healing process will take.
But you need to give your body the time it needs. A torn ligament takes on average 6 weeks to heal properly to the point where I am happy for people to start loading the structure in full rage under increasing load. Add another 2-4 weeks and the body should be at the point of return to sport. But I get asked all the time ‘so I have a game in 4 weeks, can I play?’. Yes you can play, but no its not safe. You are at risk of re-injury which will then turn it into a chronic injury that is going to be a constant niggle for the next 3 years that your having to nurse and protect though the season year in year out.
Now I am not saying you need complete rest in that 6 weeks. Any good coach is able to come up with an alternative training program for you in the period of time you need to stay off that knee. There is no reason you can’t continue to work on your fitness if you have limb that you are not able use as you usually can. Yes it might be a bit frustrating but it comes down to the wise old question I got asked when I was being a little impatient while injured….Do you want a lifetime of pullups? Or pullups for a day?
So we all just need to slow down, remember our bodies do a pretty incredible thing when they heal our injuries and respect the time and trust the process. If you need guidance when it comes to injury management and programming around your injuries, feel free to hit me or any of the HQ coaches up with your questions.
May your bodies be healthy and strong!
Coach Chlo xx