I’m still recovering from my injury the other week, so I’ve been reflecting back on the advice I’ve received from teachers, mentors and doctors over the years about the process of recovery.
How do you know when it’s time to stop resting and get back to the activity? Sometimes it’s difficult to know. This last Friday I was feeling like I might be ready. The pain had stopped, and I had full range of arm motion, though it seemed like I might have some residual stiffness that needed to be worked through. I warmed up slowly and thoroughly, so my muscles would be warm and flexible. I spoke to my teachers about my concerns and what had been going on since I last saw them. I then very slowly and mindfully worked my way up to executing a trick. First, I approached the static trapeze (reachable from the ground), and just tried hanging to see how it felt. It felt ok. Second, I did a plain old swing (no trick). That also felt ok. Next was a trick, so I gave my pullover pump shoot a try. It went just fine the first time. Second time on the pullover pump shoot was not as good. So, upon the advice of my teacher I took a few minutes to lay down and allow the adrenaline to leave my system so I could see how my body really felt before I tried to go back up again. I noticed some pain unfortunately, so I decided to quit for the day.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know when it’s time to hop back into an activity, be it flying trapeze or playing the flute. At times rest is necessary, especially if there has been tissue damage. In this instance there was inflammation. If there is inflammation, what I’ve heard over and over from doctors and teachers (and confirmed in my own experience) is that it’s important to treat it ASAP (definitely within 24 hours). Ice is always my first choice for helping to reduce inflammation. Upon my doctor’s advice, I am also using ibuprofen which has an anti-inflammatory effect when taken at a dose of 600-800mg. Since ibuprofen is a Cox-2 inhibitor, it also helps with pain. Large doses of ibuprofen may not be a great choice if you’re going back to your activity, as it could prevent you from receiving important messages of pain from your body; but during my period of rest from activity, it’s working well to keep me comfortable 🙂