Been there? I have a recurring injury all the way from high school. I was leaving a volleyball game in a hurry to get to my boyfriend’s soccer game. I slipped on a door mat and jammed my neck into the divider between two doors. It hurt for days until I decided to go see a chiropractor! I had many treatments over the months to take care of it and even continued for a few years following. While it’s generally not a pain, there are times in my life when it gets irritated and starts to act up. I am quickly reminded of exactly what happened that night! Now that I’ve entered the “long distance” running world, I’ve accumulated a few more injuries. It’s never ending!
Here’s a few things I have learned about injuries:
♦ You need time to recover. There are some that may take 2 days and others 2 months, but we all need recovery.
♦ You have to get help from someone whether in the form of advice or physical need.Thank goodness for my chiropractor and bags of ice! Imagine trying to allow a sprained ankle to heal on it’s own with no wrap or ice. Uh. It wouldn’t happen.
♦ They hinder performance. When my neck starts acting up, my range of motion is limited which affects not only lifting weights and running, but also how I work around the house and interact with my kids. If you have a knee with tendinitis, you’ll feel pain while running which will slow you down.
♦ You need a plan to avoid a repeat occurrence. Do you think I tread cautiously when I run by a door mat? You better believe it. For those of you who struggle with shin splints, your prevention is strengthening and stretching the shins regularly. You obviously can’t be 100% on this as there will always be situations you can’t plan for, but do your best in prevention.
♦ Even after treatment, the injury can return. We all know that if we’ve done any damage to our body, it’s a little bit weaker than it was before. It can return with less force than the original instigator presented. If I manage to pick up my kids in an odd way, or reach for something that requires major stretch, I irritate my neck. If you fell and broke your wrist, I can guarantee the next time you slip and catch yourself on that same hand, you will feel pain.
I don’t have to ask. I know you’ve been injured—emotionally. If you have a beating heart, you’ve been hurt. Let’s examine the first bullet points with a little twist.
♦ You need time to recover and heal. Maybe you need to distance yourself from certain people, things or triggers, but give yourself some time to heal. The process will go much quicker than if you jump right back into the same activity.
♦ Get some help! There’s no shame in asking for some advice or a shoulder to cry on. Maybe the injury is deep. Maybe instead of a splint, it requires surgery. Don’t be afraid to reach out to professional counseling. You can’t get healthy if the original pain is an open abyss of infection.
♦ Hurts hinder performance! I know for my own life that when I’m really struggling with something, it’s hard for me to be the best wife, mom, friend and Christian that I can be. It doesn’t just hurt me, but it hurts everyone around me because I’m not able to focus on the important things and put my energy towards it. If anything, heal your hurt so that others around you can be encouraged by your life.
♦ Get a plan to avoid repeat occurrence. Let’s be honest. Don’t we set ourselves up for injury sometimes? We put ourselves in bad situations or hang out with the wrong crowd of people. We know we are going to get injured in the first 5 minutes, yet we linger. Evaluate. What do I evaluate? Everything. What you listen to, who you talk to, what you eat. You name it.
♦ Be aware of it’s return. Once you’ve been injured, it’s that much easier to get injured again. There are certain areas in your life that will always cause pain to some extent. Areas where you are weak in and that will be subject to pain. Be on guard. Take extra precaution. And if it happens again, you can do it– get back up.
Remember that ultimately only Jesus can heal our wounds. Listen to one of my favorite songs.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” Psalm 147:3
There’s good news to our injuries…we’re in good company! Did you forget that Jesus was wounded too? But His wounds were for a greater purpose. He used His as a sacrifice to the Lord. Because of His wounds, we have eternal life!
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds WE are healed.”
Thank you Jesus for using your wounds for my life. May I use mine for Yours…..