The Psychology of Injury: What does the recovery process look like?

4th October 2021

While I’m not a sports psychologist (and certainly don’t pretend to be), I do understand a lot about the ways in which the body and the mind interact.

Injuries can vary greatly and so can their impact on our lives. For some people, coping with an injury means that they have to stop doing the sport they love, for professional athletes  injury can mean a loss of career or even identity, and  for others it can mean that they’re scared to start moving again or causing themself further pain.

Injuries can make us feel isolated, helpless, and let down by our bodies, but recovery is a process I am very familiar with, and my job is to help you get back to feeling your best. As a Graduate Sports Therapist, I see first-hand how injuries affect people both mentally and physically, which is essential for putting together the best recovery plan.

If you’re suffering with an injury or know someone who is, here are 4 things you should know…

Learning to trust your body again

Without realising we actually put a huge amount of trust in our bodies every day, to stand up straight, to move without pain and to keep us doing our daily activities.

Learning to trust your body again is a big part of recovery!

Holding back one

For many people who experience an injury, they head into avoidance mode and retreat from anything that causes pain – and that’s a natural human reaction. But in some cases, injuries that aren’t dealt with can cause people to give up the things that used to bring them joy – and that’s no way to live!

A recent client I worked with was super active – running, golfing, cycling but he stopped them all because he was experiencing back pain. After we worked through a recovery programme together, he was able to return to the things he loved. You don’t have to give up the things you enjoy, in fact your recovery programme should al opping can make your body even more vulnerable to injury – you just need to do it in a safe way.

Managing the load

I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase ‘no pain, no gain’. T – in fact I had one client who was running on an injured knee for 8 months, so being able to identify what is a ‘good’ pain and what is a ‘bad’ pain is very important.

If you push yourself too hard you could end up injuring yourself more or putting yourself back at square one if you’ve started to make some recovery progress.

It’s not a straightforward journey

People think that recovery is a simple point A to point B process but more often than not it looks a bit like this…

And you know what? That’s completely normal! Recovery looks different for everyone, but the most important thing is that you stick with it.

At times I hold my clients back even when they feel like they can get back into action, and at times I push them forward. It involves a lot, that’s why I work 1:1 with my clients so we can create the best path to full recovery together.

If you’ve experienced an injury, ache or pain and would like some support getting back to feeling your best then please get in touch! I offer a free 20-minute consultation where we can talk about your concerns and figure out a plan of action that works!

Get in touch today!