Being injured can be a frustrating time. This is especially true if the injury proves to be stubborn and improvement is taking longer than expected. It’s completely understandable to be impatient if you are in pain or unable to take part in the activity you love. It is vital to remember though that unfortunately sometimes things just take time.
It is common for clients starting a rehab program to expect the recovery to look something like this….
Whereas in actual fact it will often look more like this….
A common misconception is that injuries can be fixed with just one treatment session or with a few quick exercises. Many physios and sports therapists love to show off reviews of patients who walked out of their clinic pain free, first time. The reality is actually much different. True, this sometimes does happen, and it’s fantastic when it does. However by the time most people decide it’s time to seek professional advice, their injury is often past the immediately fixable stage. It isn’t all woe and despair though – most injuries are still easy treatable. It just takes a bit of knowledge, a bit of work on behalf of both therapist and client, and some patience.
The effects of exercise can take time to become apparent. You wouldn’t expect to be able to run a 10k off one week of training. Similarly you shouldn’t expect your tendinitis to clear up, or your glutes to become infinitely stronger from a few exercise sessions. However that 10k is perfectly achievable with a bit of patience and effort – just as rehabbing your injury is with that same patience and effort.
The difficulty comes when people get impatient. The only last a week or so on one approach before deciding it’s not working. This results in them looking elsewhere for other fixes. This in turn leads to a never ending cycle. They try all the different methods but never sticking with one long enough for it to actually take effect.
Having clients that are taking a while to get over an injury is also frustrating for the therapist. We love to see the people we are working with recover as quickly as possible. As a profession though, we really need to remember that exercise or other treatment can take time to be effective. We have to stick to our guns. We need to use the tools and methods that we know work and give them time to take effect. At the same time we have to communicate to our clients the importance of being patient. We have to motivate and reassure and educate. This is just as important as our assessment and diagnosis skills.
“Of course, we need to be alert to patients who may be deteriorating or not improving due to other factors, but more physios need to realise that the effects of exercise are not immediate and that it takes time for muscles to get stronger, tissue tolerance to improve, and sensitive nervous systems to calm down.” – Adam Meakins (https://thesports.physio)
So if you’re struggling with injury at the moment, remember that patience and persistence are better than constantly running to the next method and the next, and the next…. If you have received some good advice from a qualified injury specialist, then put your trust in them, hold your nerve, and stick to the plan.
For more information about how I can help you with your sports injuries, check out my sports therapy services.