Pole2Pole Magazine Health and Fitness Magazine

Rehabilitation through learning and further education: a guideline to dealing with injuries.

Since I started teaching pole dancing 5 years ago I have injured and had to rehabilitate my left shoulder, my right hip flexor, my left hamstring and my right hamstring twice. It is a long an arduous process that can be frustrating and demoralizing. The first time you injure yourself it might even be scary because you have not had the experience before. You have no idea what to do next or how long it will be before you will feel good again. And all that progress! Out the window, usually in one moment when things seemed to be going so well, all forward momentum stops and you must enter into rehab. Nobody wants to go to rehab but it seems to do some people a lot of good.

So what does one do in rehab? Well if one has health insurance or some other financial means the first thing to do is see a doctor. If you do not have the means to see a doctor for what you are hoping and praying is a minor set back the best thing you can do for yourself is listen to your body. The rule if it hurts don’t do it applies at all times but it is especially important here. It is also helpful to know how you got hurt. If you did an exercise you don’t normally do and now are hurt it could be that exercise. Make sure you are mindful of all movement surrounding the injured area as little “twinges” and pangs could also be a clue as to what exercise to use for healing injuries.

In the cases of hip injuries it can be helpful to attempt to locate the pain sight and look at anatomy diagrams to see what possible muscles you may have affected. Once you narrow down the injured sight you can begin rehabilitation exercises. Usually rehabilitation from overstretching or a sudden force of more than one's range of motion is ready to handle will take a lot of time. One should still stretch the affected area but stop at the point of pain. Stretching will minimize loss but can also help keep scar tissue from forming which could prevent further gains.

In shoulder injury cases because of how unstable and delicate the shoulder joint can be, it can get way more complicated. Many shoulder injuries are due to rotator cuff injuries. Most people do already know this so they look for exercises to strengthen the rotator cuffs and begin their regimen. The only problem with that is the part of the shoulder known as the rotator cuff is one name for four different muscles. They are: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor. Each muscle has it’s own function. If you just do general rotator cuff exercises such as the popular LYT or LYPT circuit or “empty can” exercise because that is what you found on the internet under “rotator cuff exercises” you could not only not fix the injury but you could actually hurt yourself even worse than when you started. To find your injured muscle you may need to look up each individual muscle, find out what it does and where the pain is when that muscle is injured and find the appropriate exercise for that specific muscle.  While you may be doing rotator cuff exercises, you may not be doing the exercise your muscle needs for rehabilitation. Again, the most important thing is to listen to your body.  If the exercises for rehabilitation aren't working, there are no improvements, more research may be needed.  

Thank you for reading.  Feedback is welcome.   

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September 2nd, 2011