Last Updated on September 21, 2008
My recent muscle pull experience
Last Saturday while doing some exercises using the Step board in a fitness test, I sprained the muscle on my left calf. For a long time, I’ve always been vary of step exercises because I’ve experienced muscle pulls on my calf and ankle areas.
The pain did not come immediately, in fact I was able to workout in the gym for 2hours on Saturday, followed by about 1 hour of cardio on Sunday- there was just a bit of discomfort on Sunday but not enough to stop me from exercising. Then on Monday morning, I almost could not get up from bed due to the sharp pain experienced from the muscle pull. By Tuesday morning, the pain got worse and I tried to put a heat plaster on my leg to relieve the pain and stiff feelings on my left calf. The pain felt like it will never go off. And to add on, when my friend told me that it normally takes one week for full recovery, I got a bit upset.
By Wednesday, the pain subside only slightly but I am not able to walk fast and sometimes, had to walk with a slight limp. Inner wisdom told me not to exert my muscle further and just take a rest until the pain subside. So I did not to the gym from Monday to Wednesday, even though I had originally intended to ‘go all out’ in that week since I am freezing my membership in March.
What I’ve noticed that whenever there is any form of muscle pull, the body will automatically compensate by altering the posture to reduce strain on the sprain/pained area. That means, if I suffer the full on my left calf, my body will automatically shift its weight on my right leg and my right knee will have to take the strain. Most muscle pulls and sprains will only take at most a week in order to recover if given complete rest.
Now, let’s talk about an injury. Suppose a person injured herself during exercise or a fall, breaking a bone or tearing a ligament. As you know, injuries resulted from broken bones or torn ligaments take longer to heal. The person had to be on a cast and mobility would probably be most affected. For such cases, it’s important for the person to consult a physiotherapist to undergo physiotherapy to rehabilitate the injured area. After that, the person must continue to exercise under a prescribed program by qualified exercise specialist or professional.
Unfortunately, for most people, after going through months of agony may develop a phobia for exercise, let alone leading a healthy lifestyle. This is especially so for folks who do not like exercising, and when they finally force themselves to exercise, they unfortunately end up with an injury. But it’s important to continue to rebuilt and strengthen the injured part and other parts of the body. Why?
Because if we do not, we will compromise our posture.
When we compromise our posture, we will weaken or place more strain on the part of our body that is working well, eventually, causing the good part to be susceptible to injury or sprains because it is unnaturally strained. Furthermore, the muscles surrounding the injured area does not get stronger.
All in all, it will open the avenue for further vulnerabilities in parts of our body, increasing the risk of further injuries, pain, arthritis, osteoporosis and weight gain. It’s all a chain effect.
A friend of mine who is used to climbing mountains, slipped and fell down at the bathroom- breaking her ankle. She was in a cast for months and was limping all the way to Angkor Wat, Cambodia (she decided to go ahead with the trip because she had booked the ticket one year in advance, before she had the fall). She only took off the plaster cast one month before her trip to Angkor Wat. Even though she was limping, she did lots of walking. And by the end of the trip, surprisingly, her leg got better with all the walking. She was able to walk like normal and last October and November, she went and climb Mount Kinabalu, followed by a mountain in Argentina (she was there for 3 weeks).
But having said that, it’s important not to try any form of self rehabillation on your own after an injury. Seek advise of a qualified physiotherapist and go on a safely prescibed plan. The investment is worth it to regain full function. Sometimes, people who previously hardly exercise become active after recovering from an injury because they’ve learned that exercise helps to led ongoing years with better quality.