Whether you’re an athlete or not, nearly everyone will experience an injury or setback that causes them to stop training or being active for a while. As well as having a direct effect on your ability to complete daily tasks, the mental health effects can be just as damaging.
Professional athletes know that injuries are a part of the job, but also understand that quick recovery is as much down to mindset as the actual treatment. They know that it’s better to focus on what you can control and how you can use the recovery experience to improve rather than getting stuck in disbelief or frustration that something bad happened to you.
Taking stock of ourselves and sharpening our mental skills are opportunities when our physical health is disrupted. We can enhance our understanding of who we are, build resilience, gain flexibility, strengthen our connection with the people who support us, and exercise our agency. Here’s how.
1 – Stay optimistic
Performers of the highest calibre interpret events in a way that gives them agency and the opportunity to grow. They look for the positive in their new circumstances despite the physical hardship.
There’s a fundamental optimism about what lies ahead for world-class athletes. It is still possible for them to succeed, even after suffering a devastating injury. On the world stage, one would be hard-pressed to find anyone who holds the belief that things will not work out. Though they may have concerns about not regaining their body’s functionality, they don’t dwell on that storyline for long enough to let it become part of their psychological framework, their belief system.
2 – Build connection
It is common for high-performing athletes to feel as if they have been expelled from their tribe when they get hurt, especially in team sports. Suddenly they aren’t a part of the meetings anymore. The team workouts aren’t happening anymore. In their pain and hurt, they tend not to actively seek engagement and feel isolated at a time when they need other people’s support more than ever.
When a bond is damaged by injury, there can be a sense of euphoria that comes with being part of a larger team and purpose. Running or swimming are more isolated activities, but they are still part of a social group or community. In the healing process, the importance of relationships cannot be overstated. The best way to counter isolation after an injury is to identify the isolation trap, assert yourself, and actively seek out social connections. Make an effort to engage with others.
3 – Name that feeling
Recovery can be charged with emotions that an athlete might not be able to manage. It has been demonstrated that simply labelling an emotion can reduce its potency. Despite the lack of consensus on predictable stages of injury-related emotional response, some emotions may play a part in recovery including irritability, sadness, despair, frustration, anger, anxiety, and even embarrassment.
4 – Chiropractic services
In many cases, chiropractic care can help athletes avoid and recover more quickly from sports injuries. By arming athletes with the advantage of proper spinal alignment and function, chiropractic care can help athletes achieve their highest level of performance without injury. Proper spinal alignment can have the following positive benefits:
- Correcting Asymmetries
Have you ever heard that everyone has one leg longer than the other? Everyone’s ears are different in size (even yours may be bigger than the other). The result is that one side of the body is slightly larger or, more importantly for athletes, stronger than the other.
Alignments in chiropractic help prepare your body to handle these differences, and massages reduce tension throughout the body. The more equipped your body is to function as one fully functioning unit, the less hard it will have to work and the less likely you are to sustain an injury from overexertion.
- Extending Range of Motion
It might seem a bit weird to have football players take ballet classes. A workout might seem a bit burdensome if stretching is required before and after. However, these practices improve flexibility and agility which are two factors that allow the body to move as it should: comfortably and naturally.
Increased flexibility and stretching can protect athletes from the detrimental effects of tight muscles. These same results can be achieved with chiropractic care. Correcting spine misalignments can also help to relieve tension in the back and neck, contributing to general comfort and ease of movement.
- Increasing Rate of Healing
The tension in muscle stifles agility, while misalignment impedes healing. When an athlete is not properly aligned, they are more likely to experience muscle stress and inflammation, which can hamper their recovery.
Chiropractic adjustments can prevent athletes from experiencing these recovery-stalling problems. Getting regular chiropractic treatment can help an athlete avoid injuries as well as recover from them more quickly if they do occur.
- Boosting Performance
Various studies have shown that chiropractic treatment improves lung function. The healthier your lungs, the more oxygen in your blood, and the better your performance.
It is common for athletes to experience heavy breathing due to the physical demands of the sport. Improved lung function makes it easier to inhale and exhale air effectively. During a game or practice, this method helps you control your breathing and prevent shortness of breath.
Sports injury solutions with Ridgeway Health and Wellness
For chiropractor support for injuries and wellbeing advisors, give us at Ridgeway Health and Wellness a call today!