Injuries are tough. I am just coming off a two-month leg injury. I didn’t want to tell you too much about it while it was taking place because I did not want to get you down. But it was not good.
I can’t tell you exactly what it was because I did not see a doctor. I figured it would heal on its own. Soft tissue could easily take 4-8 weeks to heal and I felt as long as my leg was progressively getting better, I would not see the doc.
As best as I can tell, I tore an attachment coming into my knee. Maybe hamstring, maybe quad, or a calf attachment. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a combination. I did it doing the Insanity Fitness workout. That is a real tough workout! I am not badmouthing Insanity at all. As a matter of fact I may try it again in the near future. But now I know what my limits are.
Here is what I did – these are the best ways to treat an injury, in my opinion.
Rest: If you are injured, do not stress the area. Please rest it. That is the only way it will heal. If you are like me, you will be impatient. The first few weeks it hurt so bad that I could not do anything even if I wanted to. But as it gradually improved I did something stupid. I skied a couple of days. Yeah, that was not smart. Luckily I did not seriously re-injure the area. I did however take about a 1-2 week step back, which was not good.
Ice: If you notice any swelling (which I did), ice the area and ice it frequently. I happened to be on a cruise during the initial phase and I requested ice delivered to my cabin every morning and afternoon. I simply applied the ice, which was placed in a ziplock type bag, directly to the area as often as possible. The idea is to keep swelling and inflammation away.
Avoid heat: Heat is not good for swelling and inflammation as it draws blood and fluids TO the area. You are trying to get rid of the fluids, not draw attention to more. So stay away from heating pads, hot baths, etc. as they will make things worse.
Elevation: I kept my leg up as much as possible… above the level of my heart. Again, this works wonders for decreasing the swelling and inflammation.
Analgesics: For those of you that have been following me for some time, you know I am not a big fan of pain medication. But I must tell you, I was in such pain that I had to break down and try something. What I found to work best was 6oo mg. of Ibuprofen 2 or 3 times a day. As the pain started to subside, I went down to 400 mg. once a day. Now I am happy to say that I am totally off the stuff.
Compression: I used a compression brace on my knee when things really were feeling awful. I picked it up at the local Walgreens. I think it helped but I found that wearing it all day long causes some really bad itching so please be careful.
Massage: A very skilled massage therapist can really work wonders. Just make sure your therapist totally understands muscle attachments, etc. This is crucial.
Chiropractic: Same as above! I did not seek chiropractic care but I do know there are some very good sports minded practitioners out there.
If you are not sure what the problem is, I would recommend seeing a medical doctor. Just because I am stubborn does not mean that you should be!
Most important, don’t let an injury ruin your psyche! Keep a strong eye on your eating program during an injury. You certainly don’t want to start gaining the pounds you have worked so hard to shed. Maybe this is a good time to get other things done that you have been putting off. There is always something good that can be made out of something bad.
Please check out my Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/HealthyAt102! A “Quick Tip” for you every morning!