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Don't Play Through the Pain: Alternative Exercises for Injured People
Injuries Need to Heal
An ankle sprain can take you out of commission for many sports and activities. You can keep fit by doing other activities, such as rowing, that rely on the upper body and do not stress the ankle.
Knee injuries can be serious, and trying to keep going through a knee injury could make it much worse. Talk to your doctor or trainer to find out if cycling or riding a recumbent bike will make your injury worse. If not, these might be good replacement activities, because they take the weight off your legs. If your knee injury is more serious than that, consider jumping into the pool for an aerobic workout.
Trying to play through a pulled muscle or tendon is tempting, because once your muscles warm up, you may not feel the injury as much. It is better to resist the temptation
An aching Achilles tendon has been the downfall of many athletes. So, if you feel pain, do not ignore it. Take a break from all sports that make it worse, especially running or activities that involve running. Using a rowing machine is a good way to stay fit while resting your Achilles tendon. You may be able to use an elliptical trainer as well.
Players of racquet sports are familiar with elbow pain. If a case of tennis elbow starts to interfere with your game, take time off to let the injury heal. You can keep running and doing interval training, including plenty of short bursts of speed and side-to-side movements to stay in top tennis shape.
Hurting your shoulder can interfere with your ability to participate in a host of popular recreational sports. You do not want to serve, swim, swing, or throw with a shoulder injury. With particularly painful shoulder injuries, even the arm-swinging inherent to running can be too much to take.
When You Can't Run
American College of Sports Medicine http://www.acsm.org
National Strength and Conditioning Association http://www.nsca-lift.org
Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology http://www.csep.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Core training for injury prevention. American Council on Exercise website. Available at: http://www.acefitness.org/blog/2906/core-training-for-injury-prevention. Updated September 28, 2012. Accessed September 30, 2013.
Resistance training and injury prevention. American College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.acsm.org/docs/current-comments/rtandip.pdf. Accessed September 30, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 09/30/2013