What Happens When You Get Injured

Published on: Nov 01 2015 by
What Happens When You Get Injured

What happens when the unthinkable happens…What happens when you get injured?

For me, and I’m sure I’ll find a lot of support in the audience here, pole is like a lifeline. It’s a lifeline to everything I can be, everything I want to be, everything I am capable of doing.

It makes me calm, happy, excited. It lets me be free of everyday drudgery and it just centres me. So when I finally had to concede defeat to a pulled, prodded, stretched and then un-stretched teres minor it felt like losing a very good friend. My partner even felt compelled to intercede on behalf of my shoulder muscle, championing it’s right to have some R&R.

I went through the full 5 stages of grief, every one more desperate than the last –

Denial: “I’m fiiiiiiiine, just let me pole. C’mon. Let me. C’mon. I’m totally ok, look, I can even reach my arm up like…..” OWWWWW

Anger: “You just don’t understand. No one understands. My stupid arm. Stupid shoulder. Stupid body. How can this be happening!???”

Bargaining: “Ok, if the shoulder stops hurting can I just do a couple of spins? Just one? Ok, just let me touch the pole….” to “I’ll be good. I’ll never push a muscle again, just let it heal up. C’mon shoulder, you can do it”.

Depression: “There’s just no point in doing anything. Ever. Why bother” *sigh*

Acceptance: *sigh*

It’s been a month and a half and the closest I’ve allowed myself is to gently stroke it as I pass by…..

So, How Do You Cope When This Happens?

Aside from throwing a full-scale wobbly about not being able to pole, one of the first things I agreed to do was see my GP, who promptly booked me in for an MRI scan and gave me the following advice:

  • Hot & cold treatment
  • Gentle stretching
  • Keep it as active as you can without “overdoing it”
  • Take ibuprofen to minimise the inflammation in the area
  • Stay off of the pole

Aside from immersing myself in pole YouTube, this is how I’ve been managing myself:

Firstly, I had to look at the reason I exercise. As anyone who reads my blog will know – my primary reason for exercise is to help me manage depression. Can you go without exercise? Sometimes allowing yourself a short break to fully recuperate is what is required. For me going without isn’t an option, so I had to accept that some sort of fitness had to be in my schedule.

Next I spent some time working out what my goals were for the down time. Ok, so you can’t pole but you can still stay active and having goals during this time was very important for me. I decided to focus on maintaining strength in the areas that COULD be used – using cardio to maintain my stamina (low impact endurance style cardio, which for me has been hiking).

How Can You Stay Fit?

Here came the work. So I’d chosen to keep working out, as it’s part of a delicate balance for me, and the next thing I had to do was to work out HOW to keep working out and to meet my goals.

First came working out what “acceptable” exercise was and how that fitted my goals. I’ve always needed to keep a little cardio in my routine to help with my mood management, so reverting to using cardio seemed like the best management technique, but I have a lot of strength goals. How can I preserve them?

Firstly I asked myself which muscles I couldn’t use….luckily it’s very localised to the teres minor. Naturally, the progression from this is working out which muscles I CAN still keep active. From doing this, I have created my own programme to maintain strength in the uninjured muscles so that I can have max pole performance when I’m back! The programme focuses on core strength, such as leg-lifts, lower body work – unweighted squats, (can’t hold a barbell on my shoulder) using the stairs to add in some plyometric work and focus on the good shoulder and arm such as one armed push-ups (I’m using an incline on the wall to aid me here!) and hanging using my good arm.

As time has passed and the shoulder has started healing I’ve started building in very small blocks of time concentrating only on using my non-dominant side for pole. It gives me the feeling I’m poling but without the strain to my shoulder.

Where Next?

For me, it has been very important to stay positive, to plan my return to pole (I don’t mean Backstreet Style), rather, planning small amounts of time using the pole and testing what can be done pain free. It’s also important as it has been tempting just to jump straight back into a full training routine as soon as I felt better, but that could be devastating to full recovery.

Additionally, keep training the bits you can train via cross-training! It’s been easy to feel like doing nothing (if I can’t do pole!), but in terms of psychological health and maintaining muscle tone, doing the bits I CAN do has been my saviour!

In summary: get better and don’t give up!

Happy poling and stay safe.

Category: Discussion, Tips

About MichelleS

Hi, I'm Michelle, otherwise known as Squidgeypaws (I'm a polEr bear you see ;) ).

The short version? I'm a pole addicted fitness magpie!

The slightly longer version? I'm a pole dancing, endurance hiking, WoW playing, psychology trained fitness geek. I wasn't always this way, a few years ago I was over 200Ibs and miserable. Then I got bitten by the fitness bug and haven't looked back! I first got into pole after waiting over a year to sign up for a class because I was too nervous to do it - within the first hour I was hooked. I love the strength and grace of pole dancers, it's pure, raw strength which you rely on your body to carry out complicated patterns. Dancing removes everything in the world around you - it's like having a silent space to chill in!

If you want to know more about me, check out my blog @ www.trailsandtribulations.co.uk. All of the monetisation of my site goes to charity, so come and have a look :)

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2 Comments to “What Happens When You Get Injured”

  1. Jenny says:

    Ive been recovering from a subluxed shoulder. Thats a partial dislocation, the thought of not being able to pole or silk again… makes me sad. But i think im over thinking it, i hope i am. I want to get back to it.

  2. Larissa Kirby says:

    I started poling, and continue to this day, with a frozen left shoulder. Talk about one sided everything! I’m just getting some range and strength now after a year of pole, and 2 years of being frozen. Finally I can do the dork side! Lol. It’s frustrating to say the least…. listen to your body. And your GP. The alternative is not poling even longer from RE-injury. That’s not an option, right? Love your articles and thank you for this one. ❤

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