One of the most common things that we hear when talking with our new patients during their first appointments is that they have seen a bunch of other physicians, chiropractors, and physical therapists who have all told them that they should simply rest their injury and let it heal over time.
While this may seem like good advice, usually, it does more harm than good….and here is why!
These patients get injured, so they go see a healthcare provider who tells them that they should simply rest for 4-8 weeks and they’ll be better, so that’s exactly what they do!
During this time, they’re not placing much (if any) stress on the injured area, so they start to feel a little better.
Now that they’re feeling better, they decide that they are ready to get back in the gym and start training again.
They get back into the gym, start warming up, and then load weight on the bar that they could do with no problem before, but now, something weird happens…
The weight feels WAY heavier than it should, and when they try to lift it, their pain comes right back!
They figure they just didn’t rest enough, so they rest for another 4 weeks, and try the whole thing over again, only to have the same thing happen: the weight feels incredibly heavy, and they feel their injury coming back again.
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?
The main reason this happens is actually pretty simple: when you take an extended time off of training, you become de-trained/de-conditioned.
You lose some muscle mass, a bit of strength, some endurance (all the things that you’ve worked so hard in the gym for).
Because of this, loads that you could lift without much issue before are much bigger challenges than they used to be, and your body simply can’t handle the same type of training as it did before.
On top of this, just resting the injured area means you haven’t done anything to build up the strength, stability, work capacity, etc that is needed to actually solve the problem and make things feel better for the long-term.
This causes a vicious cycle of rest -> feeling better but not being any better -> try to train again -> flare up the injury -> rest and the cycle repeat itself over and over.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Instead of simply resting the area and hoping for the best, you should find a healthcare provider who can help you develop a plan to continue training while rehabbing your injury.
This way, you not only feel better, but actually get stronger, more explosive, better conditioned etc.
This will allow you to return to the gym without experiencing the same flare-ups and setbacks (not to mention frustrations) as if you relied on just resting alone.
Barbell Physical Therapy and Performance is a PT clinic that specializes in helping lifters, athletes, and active adults solve their injuries and get back to training, WITHOUT making you simply rest and stop the activities that you love.
If you are looking for help with an injury, request a free phone consult with one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy by clicking the button below!