Can Martial Arts Help with Injuries?

Injury recovery is a hot topic and for good reason. No one wants to be debilitated and limited in his or her abilities. Injuries can come from anywhere and they can be unexpected; preventing you from going to work, helping around the house or pursuing your hobbies. Martial arts may seem counter-intuitive to injury recovery, at first, but it’s quite the opposite.

 

The martial arts don’t solely focus on sparring or contact. Many of the traditional art forms are based on forms and movements and the mental benefits of training can help tremendously. Here are some of the many ways martial arts can help with sports injury recovery.

 

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is an important part of sports injury recovery that is beginning to get more and more attention. The effectiveness of psychological intervention following sport injury is being studied, while the benefits are making more and more professionals look at the art of a mindful recovery in sports injury. What scientists are finding is that guided imagery and relaxation are shown to be associated with improved psychological coping and reduced re-injury anxiety. Micro-counseling skills, acceptance and commitment therapy, and written disclosure were found to reduce negative psychological consequences of sports injury recovery.

 

With the immense focus of mindfulness in many martial arts, the mental exercises that help sports injury recovery can be quite simple to achieve. Many martial arts schools practice meditation as a way to become one with the present. This will help students not only cope but should also help those with light and moderate injuries get back to normal more quickly.

 

Mental Strength

Whether it’s pain tolerance or the discipline to stay on track with your sports injury recovery, mental fortitude is a trait that the martial arts teach students quite effectively. Just like how martial arts can help fight addiction or ADHD, martial arts can help train the mental fortitude you need to overcome your sports injury in an effective manner. Need some help instilling discipline in your students? Check out this blog post.

 

Forms and Alternative Exercise

With any physical activity, we strongly urge you to talk to your doctor before beginning a routine. Depending on the student’s injury, even light activity could set them back, if not within the right circumstances. That being said, when it comes to an injury like a broken arm or a sprained wrist, you’ll be able to work through forms enough to allow students with injuries some physical activity, while also increases the other drills and maneuvers they are able to practice. The low impact nature won’t interfere with sports injury recovery but it will help an injured student stay active and positive.

 

If you have an injury that won’t allow you to be physical at all, alternative exercise might help you. By alternative exercise, we mean choosing exercises that won’t affect the immediate area around the injury. For example, Stephen Curry has quickly catapulted himself to becoming one of the best NBA players of all time. He credits an ankle injury to his presently unparalleled success, as it taught him how to work smarter and allowed him to work on things like ball handling while he couldn’t walk. Work on the things you can. If you have a leg injury, work on your punches. If you have an arm injury, work on your kicks.


Stretching

Flexibility is an important part of both martial arts and  sports injury recovery. The right type of stretching can help speed up recovery and is a core part of many rehabilitation programs. Many different martial arts have a long list of potential stretching exercises, ranging from basic light stretches to incredibly deep stretches with a partner. Flexibility can really help prevent future injuries so you can more effectively improve your sports injury recovery techniques, along with aiding in avoiding potential injuries down the road. Make sure to warm up before stretching and keep in mind the need keep the warm up injury friendly.

 

What was the biggest injury you or a student has had to recover from? How did you utilize martial arts to help with the recovery? Let us know on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Google+ to stay up to date with all of your ChampionsWay news.