Doing too much, too soon after an injury can overwhelm you mentally and physically. There is no definitive answer as to how soon you should return to work after an injury as it depends on a number of factors, for example the nature of the injury, if your workplace needs to be modified for your safe return or the strength of an individual.
However, research (1) shows that getting back to work can be an essential part of the recovery process. Returning to work can make the injured person feel like they are getting back on track and returning to some normality and routine. It also prevents the money worries which go with long periods of absence from work.
In Australia, thousands of employees are injured in workplace incidents. Many of these accidents can be avoided if safety measures are put in place, and safety is adhered to by all.
If you have found yourself suffering due to a work-related injury, there is help available, and you may be eligible to make a workplace compensation claim. There are different schemes and rules surrounding these claims, depending on the state you live in.
Everyone should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, preferably all, days of the week. Moderate-intensity physical activity is an activity that is energetic and raises your heart rate, but doesn’t make you too breathless, such as fast walking. If you are pregnant, have been previously inactive, or suffer from any medical conditions, it is recommended that you seek medical advice before commencing vigorous physical activity. For best results in achieving a healthier lifestyle and reducing your risk of developing a chronic disease, combine physical activity with healthy eating.
Make time to be physically active and schedule it as you would an appointment. Set a date for when you will start. Write the date down and stick to it. One idea is to make an activity planner so you can put the times and days you will do each activity. Don’t give up before you start to see the benefits. Be patient and keep at it.
For those wanting to maintain their exercise regime whilst in recovery, you could consider the below alternatives: (2)
High Squats – High Squats are a great exercise for when those are experiencing an injury to their hips or if hips are feeling stiff and sore. By decreasing the range of hip flexion, the High Squat will be less aggravating on the hip joint. Once the pain/injury is feeling better, it’s back to full-range squats.
Floor Press – This is an excellent alternative to the traditional Bench Press for those with sore shoulders. By lying on the floor, you are decreasing the range of motion, meaning there will be less stress on the shoulder capsule as well. You can do this exercise with or without weights, depending on how your shoulder is feeling.
Sore knees require a re-focus from dominant knee movements such as Squats and Lunges to more hip dominant movements like Deadlifts (and variations), Back Extensions & Good Mornings. The more vertical shin angle during these exercises means less knee flexion and more hip flexion allowing different aspects of the lower body to be trained when knees aren’t being friendly.
How can an Exercise Physiologist help your recovery?
Exercise Physiologists are Allied Health professionals who have the skills to support your rehabilitation and recovery from a physical, mental, emotional and social perspective. An Exercise Physiologist can:
- Help you understand your diagnosis and condition, and how this may impact on your ability to perform your daily activities and your work
- Assist you with setting goals for your everyday life and your work life
- Prescribe you with the right type of exercise to help achieve your goals
- Help you develop a plan so you can independently continue your journey to recovery
If you would like further guidance on which exercises may be appropriate, or are interested in a program tailored to your own condition and abilities, feel free to contact the Revitalize team on (03) 9016 3415.