An Injury Affects Everything
Tuesday, April 24th 2012
10:02PM - Text from Jack, Soccer Coordinator:"Will you be at the game tomorrow night?"
10:10PM - My 1st response:"Count me in. I'll be there!"
10:15PM - Erased response and wrote:"I'm probably gonna take off for a bit b/c my knee is still suspect. Sorry for the crappy news. I'm not happy about it!"
10:20: Sulked on the couch!
So this is what it feels like! It's taken a few weeks to really come to terms with it, but I'm officially battling an injury. For years, I've treated patients who have been sidelined, and I've seen them nod as I go through a list of things they need to avoid doing so their injuries can heal properly. I can hear my lecture now: "You cannot play in the baseball game this weekend. You have to quit picking up your twins so much. You must modify your marathon training!" Looking back, I realize those patients must have been trying very hard not to roll their eyes at me. It's definitely a lot harder than it sounds!
Where it all Began
The problem all started when I began playing soccer in March (remember the post on DOMS). I hadn't played competitive soccer in four years (kids, work, etc.), and I was super excited to get back out there. Well, the first game came around, and my knee started hurting 30 minutes into the quick cutting and sprinting. I battled through five of the eight games before I finally had to listen to the advice I give to other athletes and "weekend warriors". If your body is telling you something is wrong, stop and listen!
Importance of Pre-hab
This brings me to the importance of "prehab", which is basically your own preseason training for the sport or activity you plan to do. It was naive of me to think I could do sprinting, jumping, and lateral movement at 100% effort without doing much preparation. If you're looking to begin (or get back into) physical activity like soccer, softball, golf or charity 5Ks, prepare for it. Don't go to the driving range or batting cage and hit 50 balls if you haven't previously done spinal rotation exercises for strength and flexibility. If not, you will get hurt!
Every collegiate and professional sports league has preseason training for a reason, so it makes sense for amateurs to do the sam. Even though you might not be making millions from your own athletic endeavors, they are still an important part of your health and enjoyment. The next time I get big ideas and think I'm 19 again, I will definitely take my own advice and ease on in. I hope you do the same!