4/11/13

Are You Hurt Or Injured


At some point during your athletic career a coach saw you gimping around and asked you the question, “Are you hurt or injured?” Sound familiar to anyone out there? Hurt implies that you can still compete at a high level with only discomfort. Injured suggests that your pain level is the result of severe damage to tissue, resulting in an inability to compete. 

As you can see, the major difference is ability to compete. When a coach asks if you’re hurt or injured he’s trying to find out whether or not you can still participate. Usually they’re hoping that you will push past the pain you feel and continue on.
This was an injury
Fast forward a few years and let’s assume you’re no longer in constant competition, or you’re at least in offseason. Any form of training can make your body “hurt.” Possibilities include sprained joints, over stretched muscles, fatigued tendons, and so on. Even though you’re no longer in constant competition, you will probably still push past that hurt whenever it arises. I’d like to think that I know when to push through pain, and when to stop. Unfortunately I’m a stubborn guy sometimes and I have the habit of making things worse.

When we feel hurt we try and train around the pain. Each time we do this, we put our body at a high risk for causing injury. What do you do when something hurts? You avoid that pain by changing your mechanics, or emphasizing another muscle. When you train you are sculpting muscle and improving towards your goals. When everything is fine, you can train hard with proper form and achieve improvement. However, when you hurt, you will train with improper form and achieve improvement. The difference is that you will either get better with the right mechanics, or the wrong mechanics.The old saying is practice makes perfect. That’s not true, perfect practice makes perfect. 

I trained our Woman Writer Wednesday author,Erica, for a recent mud run. To increase her VO2 max and muscular endurance I had her perform burpees, and a lot of them. As she would get tired her form would falter, and she would favor sides. Eventually she fatigued her hip and began to create unhealthy rotation. Eventually she went on a distance run (6 miles) where every step was painful. After 6 miles she had efficiently made her hip inefficient. It took some serious mob and rehab to even alleviate the pain.

The moral of that story is that you should not push past pain if it means you will sacrifice form. Only in times of competition can that be rationalized. Form doesn’t always mean that you will be stronger, sometime’s it means that you will be able to go through that motion until you’re old. When you hurt reduce weight or volume to keep proper form, doctors orders. 

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance


The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.