Is an injury preventing you from exercising? You need to read this

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Steph Prem (nee Hickey), was a world class snowboarder, and Olympic athlete. But, just weeks after she competed for Australia in the Vancouver Olympics, she was left horribly injured after a crash on the snow. The accident ended Steph’s snowboarding career, but through the recovery process, she found a new calling. Steph is now a clinical pilates instructor, and has just opened her first studio in Melbourne, Premium Performance. We asked her to share some of the biggest lessons from her journey:

Nearly all of us have been to a physio or massage therapist because of an injury, a niggle or pain in your body. The physio gives you a good rub, a crack and a stretch, then sends you away with a sheet of exercises to help mend your injury.

Yes you know that sheet of exercises? The one you find under the front seat of your car two weeks later?

It seems like we are happy to pay the medical specialist for a so called ‘quick fix’, but we rarely do the homework afterwards. Do we like being in pain? Are we too busy? Do we honestly believe the injury will just get better on its own?

Too many times, I’ve had awkward conversations with my physio, because I’m seizing up or struggling. And the reason is always the same. I haven’t done the basic exercises I needed to practice in order to heal.

It is possible to make a change though.

Whether you’re suffering chronic pain, soft tissue injury or just an ongoing niggle, remember these things.

1. Take it slow

Rehabilitating your body post injury is about progressive mobilisation and gradual exercise (gradual being the operative word). So if you have been to the Physio or Chiro and had one treatment (quick fix) you might wake up feeling good the next day, but going for a run or straight back to the gym to lift weights is not the smartest idea. Gradual strengthening is key – unless you’re a professional athlete, there is no need to push yourself. So relax and use this time to heal slowly but properly.


2. Remember RICE

For soft tissue injuries like sprains and strains you can’t go pass the good old “RICE” rule. Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. Never apply heat to the injured area during the first 24 hours after you’ve hurt it.

3. Get help

It’s so important to get a good specialist to help you and keep you accountable. And I don’t mean just googling the closest osteopath or masseuse to your house.

Do your research. Get recommendations and referrals. Often the best people don’t have an available appointment on that day or in your lunch break. The good ones are normally worth the wait time.

Would you go to a different hairdresser or doctor just for convenience? Choose wisely. It’s your health!

4. Try something targeted

Do pilates! Clinical pilates is great because it specifically targets your injury. Your instructor (who you found through a recommendation or researched) can run through all your exercises with you and keep the rehab fresh and varied (other than just your four physio exercises). They’ll also ensure your abs and core strength are kept in check! (Bonus, hello summer bikini body!)

5. Enlist a friend

Nominate a rehab buddy to keep you accountable for healing your injury. A friend, family member or partner is a sure way to keep you on top of your exercise schedule and make sure you’re attending your scheduled physio appointments. Swap your weekly coffee catch-up and get your friend to do your exercises with you. This will keep you motivated.

Do you have any tips for a speedy recovery?

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