How to manage an injury in the midst of a global pandemic

When sport plays an important part of your life, it can be heart-breaking when your body tells you that you have to stop.

Emily Oakshott
23rd December 2020
When sport plays an important part of your life, it can be heart-breaking when your body tells you that you have to stop.
Injury can often feel like the end of the world for an athlete.

For many, when life gets hard, they turn to sport for stress relief. But what can you do when it is your lack of ability to exercise that is generating the stress in the first place?

Throw in a global pandemic, and the forecast for being injured during 2020 looks even more bleak.

During the Covid-19 crisis, the services that are usually a lifeline for injured athletes have been forced to close or to offer reduced or online alternatives.

GP surgeries have switched to remote consultations, physios have been forced offer reduced or remote appointments, and pools – often the last resort for injured athletes – have closed during periods of national lockdown.

While the pandemic has provided a significant challenge for side-lined athletes, there are still ways to stay positive and to optimise recovery.

Make the most of remote opportunities

Although remote consultations are widely considered to be a second best to in-person appointments, they still allow you to discuss your injury with a medical professional – something that is essential to aid recovery from a serious injury.

Methods for accessing virtual injury support vary between services and it is always worth contacting your local GP or Physio therapist to find out what services are available.

Supplementing professional advice with blogs and videos created by athletes who have been through the recovery process can also be a great way to understand more about your injury, and how to combat it at home.

Focus on the things that you can control

When you are injured, it is often easy to dwell on all of the things that you can’t do.

However, it is important to take a step back and to consider the small changes that you can make to your lifestyle at home that will allow you to return to competitive sport sooner and stronger.

These changes may involve considering your nutrition, working on your flexibility, or adding some rehab and strength training into your daily routine.

Take time to recover fully

One positive of being injured during a global pandemic is that there is no pressure to rush back to peak fitness because there are simply very few races or fixtures to train for.

While many events have been rescheduled for 2021, there is still a lot of uncertainty about exactly when these events will be able to resume.

Therefore, the pandemic provides a unique opportunity to recover from an injury in the absence of a deadline. This means that it is possible to take time to address all underlying issues that caused the injury and to slowly build back up to full fitness.

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