Active people take hits. They get bumps, bruises, aches, and pains. Some are ER worthy in which case the patient will undergo physician’s care. Others are mere inconveniences that cause pain, swelling, discoloration, and irritation. Instances of pain are normal, chronic pain is not. There are solutions and preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the body’s reaction to active lifestyle occurrences.
Athletes must train and prepare the body for the impacts it will be enduring. While working on this report I did a survey with a few high impact athletes from different disciplines. They shared all of the insider secrets to preparing the body for high impact sports, right down to specialized exercises and workout regiments. The most emphasized point was stretching. It is very important to keep the body loose and flexible so it will be responsive to hard hits. Each individual had their own workout program with their personal favorite exercises to keep them in top shape for their sport. All of the programs included a nice balance of cardio, resistance (weights/bodyweight/bands), and flexibility. Most of the athlete’s I interviewed with preferred bodyweight exercises over conventional weights because it was easier to consistently workout while traveling utilizing the goods they already have. Keeping the body flexible and strong is key to being able to take big hits with less consequence.
When the body takes a hard hit it reacts much in the same manner as a vehicle that has been rallied through potholes. The steering components loosen, become misaligned, put unnecessary stress and pressure on other components, and may fail to work properly. If left unmaintained the misalignment will eventually cause other problems. The same thing happens to people. When a body takes an impactful hit the part of the body that landed first will react to the force by either causing a bone or joint to move or break. The repercussions can be rotated pelvises, misaligned spines, dislocated joints, or broken bones etc. When the skeletal system takes a jarring the muscles will constrict or lengthen to accommodate the re-alignment of the bones. This is where muscle imbalances begin to develop if left untreated which then creates opportunity for more problems to occur. For example if a person lands on a hip one or more muscles will contract and the opposites will extend causing an imbalance in the hips and the pelvis to rotate. Over an extended period of time this condition can start to radiate pain up through the back, neck, and shoulders causing more issues to arise later such as decreased performance ability and more sites of pain and discomfort due to constricted and over compensating muscles.
There are a myriad of solutions to re-aligning your body and reducing the pain should you get knocked off kilter. A good stretching session, yoga, or Myofascial release are all convenient home remedies that can be practiced as part of a regular routine. Myofascial release utilizes a foam roller or tennis balls to relieve tension and knots in the muscles and should be incoporated as a regular part of your workout program. It helps reduce the vulnerability for injuries by breaking scar tissue, knots, and moving bad blood out of the muscles. Another good option is to utilize icing, heating, and hot tub therapy right after impact to reduce swelling or before stretching or myofascial releasing to help loosen the muscles for improved results. Dependent upon the severity of the injury others may need more intense therapy because they are not able to re-align on their own. This may happen if the muscles become too tight and start to constrict from too much time lapse or with broken bones and dislocated joints. Fortunately relief can be found with a good deep tissue or sports massage to loosen the muscles and knots in conjunction with a chiropractic adjustment(s) if needed to achieve accelerated results on less severe cases. Bad breaks and dislocations may need more advanced practices such as surgery.
After re-aligning the body it is important to rebuild the muscles that became weakened. This is alternatively known as physical therapy. If you have had enough accidents you will already know what to do. If you don’t you can enlist the help of a personal trainer or a physical therapist depending on the severity of your injuries to help get you back up and running again.
Active people take hits. You must train to endure your sports. If you get in an accident there are several remedies to help relieve the pain. Keep yourself prepared for the battle. Your body is your Bugatti. Take care of it like one.
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