Today my friend Morgan from Wildly Fit is taking over the blog and talking to you about your role in recovery and being a good patient – thanks so much Morgan for dropping by! xoxo
You, yes YOU have the power to heal yourself … with the help of your medical professional of course. My name is Morgan, I’m a personal trainer and owner of Wildly Fit. Thanks so much to Suzi for letting me chat over here with you fine people.
Today I’m writing about being a good patient during injury recovery and rehab. Whether you see a physiotherapist, athletic therapist, or chiropractor, what matters most is how you handle your own recovery plan. Over the last fifteen years I’ve had a lot of injuries from a lot of different sports and I suffer from undiagnosed chronic pain. It took me a while to find someone to work with, and a method of rehabilitation that was best for me. Thankfully, over the past few years I’ve been working with a wonderful chiropractor who has guided me through my injuries and pain problems and trained me for a bunch of races and fitness events. (If you’re in Toronto and need someone click on over to Oh Fast to check out my doctor, Dr Paul Oh.)
Here are some tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your appointments. Because whether you pay yourself or are reimbursed through your medical insurance, the faster you can heal an injury the better, right?
- Find out what type of rehab you like
For me, I need something that is movement based. My treatment always consists of some soft tissue work and some strength training. The best type of treatment is something that you feel is moving you forward, discuss it with your doctor. There are a whole bunch of therapies that different medical professionals use so ask them what they specialize in.
- Get informed
After you are diagnosed with whatever the problem actually is, do your research. I try to stay away from googling problems because I obsess over the worst case scenario. The first time I saw my chiropractor he actually wanted me to do some research about my injury so that I could be a better participant in my recovery.
- Do your homework (exercises, etc) between appointments
Every time I leave an appointment I ask my doctor what I should do in the days between. He gives me instructions on rest, ice, heat, exercises and stretching. If you have a bad memory, ask your doctor to write it down or email you.
- Ask questions and steer your treatment plan
Make sure you know how often you’ll need to have appointments. This is important for budgeting the expense and planning your next fitness adventures or training. If you already have an upcoming race or other event make sure you’ve discussed your goals and training plans and how your injury recovery will affect them.
- Track your progress
Keep a journal or schedule of your injury recovery process. Make notes about what times of the day you’re in pain and how much. Also take note of what exercises or movements start feeling better and which ones are still painful. Your doctor will be better able to plan your next step in rehabilitation. Tracking is also very helpful for the emotional side of managing injuries. You’re not going to go from limping to pain free in a jiffy, but noticing small improvements can help you stay mentally strong and committed to following through.
Thanks for chatting about injuries with me. Let me know if you have any questions 🙂