The Single Key Factor to Avoiding Injury

Have you ever been injured and missed a race? Have you trained months for the one defining event of your athletic career, and were consistently hampered by a nagging, painful injury?

I'm an athlete, and I've been in your shoes.

It sucks.

I've had piercing, unrelenting low back pain keeping me out of the rowboat, missing key weeks before a national race. I've had sciatica that shot all the way down to my toes keeping me out of a basketball game. More recently it's the knee pain that time and again won't let me get through even a 2-mile run without hobbling. My doctors and physical therapists tell me "you need to take a few weeks off."

Any of you who are more than an armchair athlete hear those dreaded "few weeks off" words and you'll be the first one to ignore that advice and just keep pushing. Right?

So what do you think happens? More injury, slower times, frustration and heartbreak.

You're not alone. Your very same injuries happen to professional athletes in baseball, soccer, basketball, rowing, football, and even table tennis! (Ping Pong?!? Yes!)

These are the 10 top injuries encountered by pro athletes:

  1. Runner's Knee
  2. Hamstring Strain
  3. Concussion
  4. Shin Splints
  5. ACL Tear
  6. Lower Back Strain
  7. Sciatica
  8. Shoulder Impingement
  9. Tennis/Golfer's Elbow
  10. Ankle Sprain

Time and time again, the one simple thing that makes pro athletes succeed is that they have a physical therapist, doctor, and rehabilitation team that intimately knows your sport.

Do you want to rehab like a pro?

If you have a nagging injury that is hampering your success (much less keeping you from the playing field altogether), do your research and search LinkedIn for a physical therapist that participates in your sport, and interview them to understand their specialty before working with you. If you can't find one locally, reach out to somebody outside your area.

Earlier this year I was approached by a rowing athlete in Boulder, Colorado, who had been seeing a physical therapist for 2 months with ZERO improvement in her numbness, tingling and weakness in her hand. With my having been a rower for 16 years, setting a Guinness World Record rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, and racing nationally against the elite rowers headed to the Olympics, I've made rowing and rehabilitation my passion and study. Within just a couple weeks, we turned a conversation and some specific exercises and alterations to her rowing stroke into symptom-free rowing and a win at the San Diego Crew Classic.

Be like a pro, rehab like a pro, and find a rehabilitation expert who knows your sport.

If you have questions, please reach out or leave me a comment.