Guarding against injury
North Sydney Sports and Chiropractic owner Andrew Lim.
Training for the AdNews Challenge or any event can be a hard task. It's important to train to keep your physical fitness up but it's equally important to guard against injury. But what happens if you do injure yourself close to the time of the event? What should you do? And should you continue on and bare the pain or call it quits?
The first step if you injure yourself close to an event is to stop what you are doing and ask yourself the very serious question of whether or not you can continue. If you feel like you can keep going, try to stretch and mobilise the area of pain first. If you don't feel like you can keep going, then you need to stop completely before you get a more serious injury. Apply the RICE method: rest, ice, compress and elevate and give the injury enough time to recover. If it is not healing by itself or moving quickly enough after a few days you need to seek professional advice. The sooner you seek medical attention and physical therapy, the better as it allows you to speed up the healing process and ensures you have not done serious damage. There are always ways to help encourage the healing process along.
Should you keep training? That's relative to the area of injury. If you are thinking you might still want to do the event but you can't do the training you were doing, there is always something different you can do. So if you sprain your ankle while you are running, for example, in the following week you won't be doing too much running, but you can do cycling instead - this is called cross training. The idea is that you don't lose fitness whilst doing another exercise that won’t aggravate your injury. If you have put in enough time training prior to the event – even if you get injured a couple of weeks out - and you will still maintain your fitness by cross training.
Should you do the event if you have an injury? It's user beware. You could perhaps finish the event but it depends on your pain tolerance and how serious you are about the actual event. Did you spend months training? Is the injury serious enough to give you concerns? You have to work those out yourself. As much as any professional can recommend an action, you must be the person who decides based on how you feel. If you do the event, you can use rigid sports tape, bracing, pain killers, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and other methods to dull the pain and support the injured area. However, there is always that risk that you may re-injure and possibly risk further injury and/or be out of action for longer.
While you are doing training in the lead up to the event, there are ways to prevent injury. Learn the basic principles, warm up well, stretch and cool down properly. Use ice or a swim session after some training to actively recover and hopefully you will get to the day of the event feeling in top condition.
North Sydney Sports and Chiropractic