If you’re a runner who’s experienced a recent fracture, working out with a leg injury will pose to be a challenging feat. You might have a hard time getting back into your routine and on schedule.
You see, you’re probably going to be using a walker or crutches for three months, slowly building up to the point where you can walk again. Once the walker/crutches have been discarded, you’ll need to use a cane and, at first, you’ll have a noticeable limp.
Most doctors tell you not to run for six months after the fracture occurs. And the truth is, you may not be able to run comfortably even a year later. Some people have neuropathic pain in their fractured legs especially if they had a rod placed inside surgically.
So, you may look fine and, most of the time, you may feel fine. But when it comes to working out with a leg injury, you’re not going to be able to do everything you could do before…at least not for a while.
The good news is, there are tips you can use to help you overcome these challenges and get back into your favorite routine.
Most people want to go back to their previous, high-impact workouts as soon as possible. This is understandable. Running gives you the well-known “runner’s high” as do other high-intense workouts which involve dancing, jumping etc.
But remember that your body needs time to heal and come back to normal. Do what you are capable of and don’t rush it.
Sometimes, people believe they can work through the pain. They think that if they just bear the pain for some time, they’ll get used to it or it will go away.
Unfortunately, this is not how pain works. If you push that leg too much, the pain is only going to increase and intensify. Instead, you have to listen to your body.
There’s a difference between pushing yourself in a healthy way and pushing yourself so much that you experience pain.
A certain degree of stiffness is normal after a workout, but the pain is not. Also, don’t try to wrap up your leg with an ace bandage and then attempt workouts which you can’t do. This will only worsen the situation.
If you’re experiencing pain several months after a fracture, it might be neuropathic pain, which means that the nerves in your leg have been affected.
There are certain medications your doctor can provide for these instances. Therefore, consult your medical provider rather than pushing through the pain.
In some ways, a fracture in one part of the body can be a blessing in disguise because it can push you into trying different workouts.
For example, instead of running, you can try the cross-training or elliptical machine, which is very easy on the joints but still gives you an intense workout.
Or you can do more upper-body exercises, like rowing or lifting weights. You could also do more ab work—crunches, plank pose etc. Or, simply try biking everywhere instead of driving.
You might end up working out parts of your body that you’ve ignored until now.
The thing that hurts most after an injury, especially a leg/foot injury, is a high-impact workout. Rather, you can try to substitute a longer low-impact workout in its place.
So, if you used to run for 45 minutes, walk for an hour and fifteen minutes instead. There are ways to make a long walk more interesting—take a hike somewhere beautiful, listen to some music, go with a friend and have a long chat, etc.
Weights are also low-impact. So is yoga. But remember not to strain the part of your body which you have just injured. If you fractured your leg, it will be some time before you can do the warrior poses again.
The good news is, you can overcome the challenges of working out with a leg injury by simply implementing these tips in your new routine. By being patient with your healing process and trying low-impact yet highly effective workout exercises, you’re taking the necessary steps to get back into your running routine!
Our Sworkit app offers several workouts to help you get back at it! Download it today and get it free for 30-days. You’ll be amazed at the different options available for working out with a leg injury or fracture.