It’s been a little over 2 weeks since my tragic injury at Jumpology – yes, you heard that right. About 2 weeks ago, when attending a kid’s birthday party, I broke the 5th metatarsal on my right foot at a trampoline joint. The doctor called it a spiral fracture, a dancer’s fracture, and it was most definitely an injury from trauma, not stress. Having attended countless of these parties this winter with our son, and even jumping on the trampoline in the past, I am clearly not an experienced jumper! Seriously, after merely 3 minutes of jumping in place on my square, I came down wrong and suffered the first fracture of my life! This, just 24 hours after completing a PR at the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k in Richmond, Virginia. That afternoon, I was outfitted with a gorgeous new accessory – a medical walking boot/aircast. For the next 6 weeks, I would be in that boot for all walking. And there would be no walking or running for exercise. Ugh. If you’re a runner or fitness junkie like me, the idea of being sidelined from cardio or working out for nearly 3 months is maddening! Coming back from injury was going to be a real challenge – how would I do it?
Today, at my first follow up appointment with the sports injury specialist, I was given pretty good news – the bone was healing appropriately, based on the x-ray. BUT, I was given a lengthy lecture. Wear the boot all the time for the best healing. I realized I am not the best patient, but my motivation is to get back on the road running. So I will heed that advice! Additionally, I was told that I can get back to some cardio – either in the pool or on the bike! This is huge, and I can’t wait. But what its the right amount? How do I ease into it? Here’s what I have found are the best ways to come back from injury and set yourself up for a sustainable return to fitness.
Coming back from injury – Our 5 Tips
- Go Slow – Even though my injury is in my foot, my entire body has been affected. My brain and my body need to reset their communication through the healing process. Therefore, when I am pushing myself in an early cardio workout in the next few weeks, I need to take it slow. My brain may not be signaled when I am pushing too hard. I need to make a conscious effort to go slow. I am going to focus my efforts at doing 60-80% of what I was doing before the injury and then move up. So while I want to sign up for a spin class tomorrow, I may just get on the bike for 30 minutes to start.
- If it Hurts, Focus on Healing – We use our feet for everything. With this injury, even if I am not working out, I am working out my foot. From the Foot and Ankle Center in Washington, “One of the reasons that many foot problems heal slowly is that feet rarely get a chance to rest. Even If you are trying to take it easy, you still spend a lot of time on your feet.”
- Focus on Recovery – This one is hard for me. But I have adopted it. Perhaps this injury happened for a reason and I need to take some time off as a runner. Running has caused me some serious glute pain, which has caused other issues throughout my body. While I am not great at stretching and recovery, I have taken this time to spend more time on physical therapy and squeezing in some targeted massages.
- There’s No Quick Fix – We all want it yesterday. That diet pill, that cortisone shot. The human body is truly amazing. It can take a beating. And post injury, the best thing we can do for it – give it time.
- Work with a Professional – Not only am I following the advice of my orthopedist, but I am under the care of a physical therapist as well. She has already been guiding me through my injury, particularly the effects of wearing a walking boot. These professionals can ensure that I have the best recovery possible, without incurring additional injuries.
This fitness junkie will be back at it shortly. 6 weeks is a short time to recover and rest; which may be the best thing for my overall fitness. In the meantime, you will catch me keeping up my strength training (which I don’t have to limit, and is the best exercise for women), and slowly getting back to cardio – on the recumbent bike or in the pool. Thanks for your support and stay tuned for the next update!
**The material provided on this blog is our opinion only and isn’t medical advice. Should you need specific medical device, contact a physician or you emergency room immediately.***