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How do you respond to injury?

Categories: Injury

Understanding how you respond to injury is a huge step when it comes to planning training programmes.

I’ve spoken in the past about being injured not only affects you physically but also psychologically as well.

You’ll potentially find you go through different phases along your injury cycle. The phases I discuss below all come from the Grief Response model.

  • Denial – where you’re avoiding the idea of being injured and confused about the situation
  • Anger – frustrated that the injury has happened and anxiety levels may be higher
  • Depression – you’re overwhelmed by the injury and feel helpless
  • Bargaining – struggling to find meaning and what to do next, you might start to ask for help from other people
  • Acceptance – getting a new plan n in place so you can move forwards

Looking back to when you’ve been injured, can you see yourself going through these phases?

Now there are a lot of other aspects to look at when you’re injured, this is where the cognitive appraisal model and the integrated model of psychological response to sports injury come into play.

They start to take in other personal factors, for example:

  • your personality
  • self motivation
  • sporting identity
  • mood
  • injury history
  • overall health

and situational factors, for example:

  • the type of sport
  • competition level
  • influence of teammates
  • rehabilitation environment

This is where psychology plays such an important role when determining each individuals response to injury. As you can find two different people who have the same injury can respond very differently to recovery due to the other personal and situational factors.

For example somebody who identifies themselves as a runner, when they find they’re no longer able to run could have dramatic affects. They may find themselves that they’ve lost their friendship group as they can no longer run with them, it might have been their free time away from the kids, it might be their stress relief from work. They could then find they are in the denial, anger and depression phase longer which can negatively impact the recovery.

This is where is is important to have the right support network around you, so you can get advice and help from friends, family, trainers and therapists when you’re ready.

I’d love to know if you can identify with going through these phases and how you’ve coped.