To be honest, this is something that I never thought I would really deal with but now I realise that it is part and parcel of being an athlete.
You never really know I guess. If you find that you are dealing with an injury, you should probably have some idea of how to deal with it and figure out the best way you can recover from it so that you can get back out onto the field as soon as possible.
So what aspects are involved with such an issue? Of course there is the physical aspect, but I also believe many overlook the mental side of things and how you can deal with the injury itself.
I guess the first thing to do is understand the injury itself. You can ask yourself a few questions and get some basic details lined up.
- Where is it located?
- How did it happen?
- How much pain/discomfort does it cause?
- Can you describe the severity of it?
- How much does it restrict you?
- Can you continue on with your daily activities?
Once you can identify the issue and determine whether or not it requires additional medical attention, then you can move forward to getting the issue sorted out.
If it is only minor, there would be many stretching and rehab exercises that you could do to slowly fix the problem. It may take a few days or weeks of consistent rest and stretching/rehab exercises and you could soon be back to your best.
There are many ways you can treat minor injuries yourself as there are many resources available for you. This may simply be in the form of information online, or just placing an ice pack on the sore area for a day or two. A few sessions with a physiotherapist could greatly benefit and also help you better understand the injury.
If it is something more serious, you may need to consult your doctor. In this case, you may need to get some additional scans done to identify the source of the problem. From here, it may be necessary to follow some additional medical procedures. Again this is such a highly individualised topic as the same injury may affect two people in completely different ways.
For more complicated injuries, it is my opinion to not use the internet as a source for understanding and identifying the problem. A far greater option would simply be to see a medical specialist.
In terms of the emotional side of injuries, I think this is something that people overlook quite often. It is important to deal with injuries with a positive attitude and to understand that by following the recommended procedures, you are giving yourself the best chance to recover as soon as possible.
If you are having difficulties with this, simply create a spreadsheet with two lists: positive and negative. This way you will be able to understand your problem better and realise that even though the injury may be troublesome and annoying, there are actually some benefits to it.
Once you are able to identify these positive aspects of the injury, you will be able to face the injury better and recover even quicker.
Obviously as athletes, it would be great if we could simply keep playing and avoid injuries altogether, however that is probably unlikely. The best thing you could do is simply take a step back and look at the injury first. Understand it and identify the steps that are needed to resolve it.
Just understanding the problem and the entire process will make it easier for you to deal with, which in turn will improve your recovery and help get you back out onto the field sooner.