It is so important for athletes to follow a protocol for healing. I have seen too many athletes who take a hard fall, brush it off and just keep going like nothing happened. Granted, often times falls, bumps and bruises need little more than some ice and arnica.
But what should you do if you fall and you know you did more than get a bruise? Below I have listed 3 essential steps to follow:
1. Any kind of harsh jarring to the body warrants a quick trip to visit your local chiropractor. A chiropractor who can perform myofacial release is the best. (Myofacial release will be another blog post)
I cannot stress this enough. I have seen too many athletes take a hard fall, not do anything about it and then it leads to other injuries. Think of a row of dominoes. One thing leads to another.
The human body is incredibly resilient. Because of this it will start to over compensate to make up for the injury, this leads to overuse and stress. Now the next weak link will break and then more compensation. You can see where this is going.
All this can be avoided by seeing a skilled chiropractor to put everything back in to alignment.
2. Work with a coach to correct bad technique. Most of the time figure skating injuries result from bad body mechanics. Work closely with your coach to figure out what went wrong and how to correct the issue. Learning from your mistakes is key to making progress and preventing injury.
3. Forgive yourself. Often times athletes become sad and upset that they injured themselves. Go easy on yourself. Know that because you are attempting great things falls sometimes happen. Remember that people who sit on the coach do not fall because they are not doing anything.
In summary, when an injury happens, take care of your body first. Get rid of any physical trauma by seeing a skilled chiropractor. Work with your coach to fix bad body mechanics. Forgive yourself, you are doing great things and making great progress!
PS- Of course, work with your doctor and health professionals and follow their advice for rest and recovery.