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The Obstacle of Injury

How to manage your body and mind while injured.

I’ve been there.

Broken femur, dislocated shoulder, major rotator cuff tearing, broken humerus, many ribs, metatarsal, metacarpal, zygomatic, ulna bones, complete AC separation and pelvic floor damage . . . That’s the short version. I’ve been through the big ones, the little ones and I’m living the chronic ones.

Injuries can be incredibly disruptive in an athlete's life, completely upending their usual routine. They result not just in physical harm but also in a whirlwind of emotional upheaval, including feelings of depression, anger, fear, tension, anxiety, and panic. These mind-body reactions, in turn, amplify the overall stress levels, compounding the pain that's already present.

It is so important to KNOW - the ebb and flow of progress, with its ups and downs, is always in motion. Even with our determined opposition, we cannot halt these cycles. Only when an athlete accepts their circumstance, does true healing occur.

Ok. How do I do that?

Tip #1 - Search for opportunity

There is a teaching from each injury – what are the ‘gifts’ from your downtime? Perhaps you need a rest, perhaps you are neglecting important parts of your life that need attention. It is a time to remember that you are SO MUCH MORE than your sport. Tap into those avenues – pick up that guitar, take a course, and embrace the time away from the intensity that sport can bring.

Tip #2 - Visualization and relaxation techniques

The practice of visualization and relaxation can assist in mitigating harmful emotions. This can lead to more efficient physiological responses in the body, such as improved blood pressure and immune function, which, in turn, support the process of recovery.

"Visualization works because it reduces the fears and anxieties of being injured that restrict blood circulation to an injured area and delay healing. By eliminating those destructive emotions, relaxation and visualization allow normal blood flow to resume and facilitate the healing process. Relaxation allows the body to function normally by decreasing stress; visualization sends powerful messages to the brain to stimulate the body in its healing" – Jerry Lynch, Sports Psychologist.

Tip #3 - Laugh

Sounds cheesy, but it works. Laughter really is the best medicine. What are the POSITIVE aspects of the injury? Focus on those whenever possible, your brain will in turn secrete endorphins that relieve tension.

Tip #4 - Infuse hope with the right team of professionals

This is so so important. Injuries can be lonely, confusing, frustrating . . . So seek out professionals who can answer your questions. No one can do one day, one moment, for you but the right team can certainly help guide you to a better place.

I get it.

You are allowed to be annoyed, sad, angry and frustrated! This is normal! But if you anchor yourself there, healing can stagnate.

If you are looking for a team member who specializes in rehabilitation, I - Katrina Strand - am here for you. My number one agenda is to not only help the healing physically, but to also come in as an educator that aims to empower with hope, confidence and resilience.


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