Have you ever been hampered by an injury that felt like one that you may have had at a previous time? The injury may be showing some of the same characteristics as before, but you can’t really remember. What were you doing when you became injured? If it has happened before, were you doing the same thing? Did your injury feel different two days ago? Maybe it went from a sharp pain to a burning sensation. All of these features of an injury are quite important, especially if professional medical help is required. A way to combat some of these questions is to create an injury log. Similar to any other kind of log you might use, an injury log can be designed to help keep track of critical information to your injury.
I came up with the idea for an injury log a few years ago when I was working as a part-time merchandiser at Pepsi. I hurt my left shoulder during a big 2 liter sale, and if you recall, 2 liters are placed on the top shelf in your soda aisle. Filling these bottles several times a day can be taxing and I eventually hurt my shoulder three days into the sale. After I filled out an injury report for Pepsi, I sat and thought about all the questions they asked me and translated that into my personal injury log. Thus, began one of my most useful ideas to date.
An injury log should consist of a lot of questions that allows you to be very specific on your description. Obviously if you do not wish to be more specific you certainly do not have to, but I feel like it is more important. First and foremost, you want to have the date and time of the injury and the location of the injury on your body. I also include the following questions in my description:
What was I doing when the injury occurred?
Was it in any way, shape, or form fatigued, sore, or weak before the injury occurred?
Have I had this injury before? If so, when?
What does the pain feel like (burning, aching, sharp, pulling, tight, etc.)?
What movements or actions cause the injury to feel better or worse?
Do I have limitations?
Those are my solid eight parameters for my injury log. I include additional information if I feel it’s necessary, like for migraines. I log everything, or I at least try to. I’ve logged every migraine and every low back injury since I started the log…It’s all there. I believe that my log has helped my doctor(s) with his/her diagnoses (i.e. a right knee pain that was reoccurring for a few years turned out to be a torn meniscus). I have also benefited from my logs. I noticed that my migraines came during the changing of the seasons and I tried to log as much as I could on leading up to the migraine. Other questions can be asked for the injury as well. I also log how long the injury lasts and if it feels different during the healing process. I always save a space at the bottom of the page for any extra information.
I’ve mentioned the idea of keeping an injury log to all of my clients. I know a few of them have started their own logs. I can now use that information during our training sessions. It is especially useful when a similar injury may occur from weight training or a form of exercise. Their injury log combined with my workout log usually does justice on the situation. I would suggest at least giving it a shot. You never know, you might notice a relationship with certain injuries that you never knew existed!