Every sportsman in this world has been through a sorrowful injury at least once in his entire career. Looking at the level of competition and the amount of practice and efforts that go into it, a bodybuilder or an athlete is bound to injure him at some point of time. While injury is a common scenario, it must not be taken for granted. A sports injury is not like a childhood wound that fades away in just a few days without hassling you much. A sports injury is a very serious matter and at times, it has been responsible for bringing an entire career to a halt. It takes a lot of patience, perseverance and efforts to recover from an injury and even more efforts to start your career again and take it back to the same heights post recovery.
Anil Gochhikar, our start athlete from Odisha is right now going through a tough phase in his career. He has succumbed to a dreadful knee injury and is right now recovering from it so that he can work for the events coming ahead. When we came to know about it, we immediately got in touch with him to wish him well and also to congratulate him for reaching the Top 5 in 70 kg category at Mr. India 2016. We also wanted to know from him more about sports injuries and how a person can avoid it and can gain a quick recovery from it. We thank you Anil for being able to give us time even in this tough situation.
You must be thinking that only amateurs fall prey to injuries however that is a serious misconception. Any athlete or sportsman can get injured. There could be several reasons for it – over exertion, fatigue, long break etc. Anil Gochhikar is an international level athlete and is right now coping up with his knee injury.
Here are some advices from Anil Gochhikar on how to avoid injury and if you do get injured how to recover from it. Here is an extract of our conversation with him:
How did you get injured?
I have a very rigorous work out routine. I barely take weekly offs or have cheat days. I was preparing for Mr. India 2016 that was held in March earlier. Since it is one of the biggest events of the year, I had pushed myself of my limits preparing for it. After the success of the event, I got back to the gym to prepare for the upcoming events. I was following my usual routine and was doing squats when the mishap happened. (Let us remind you that Anil squats with weights as high as 220 kg). While I was doing the last set of squats, I ended up breaking my knee socket.
According to you, what could be the reason behind your injury?
Well, a lot of people ask me about sport injuries, why athletes get injured etc. To be honest, I did nothing out of my routine to invite an injury however; it could have been my form that led to the trouble. Out of the many causes that cause injuries one is being relaxed after a big event. In my case, I had practiced rigorously for Mr. India as that was my big goal. After the event concluded, I got relaxed both physically and mentally. When this happens, you tend to do your regular exercises with a lesser serious mind frame as you have just achieved a goal. That is why I ended up hurting my knee.
What could be done to avoid injuries?
See, you need to understand that no matter how we planned you are; suffering from an injury is always a possibility. It is a part of every sport and can happen with anyone. All you can do is take precautions so that you stay away from major and frequent damages. Firstly, you should work out with full concentration. Secondly, you should not work out alone; always have a partner who has a good knowledge about work out routines. You need to have a support when you’re especially in your final sets and during repetitions. Injuries are a part and parcel of bodybuilding so you must not let it overpower your spirit.
What should one do on getting injured?
First thing that you should do is apply ice on the injured part. This prevents swelling and inflammation from affecting a larger area. If there is no ice then at least pour sufficient water over the area. Also, do not let the injured person sleep immediately. Talk to that person and help him to feel that he is alright and there is nothing serious. This might not have a physical impact but it surely helps the person mentally as injuries affect a person psyche deeply. Do not self medicate yourself. Consult your doctor and follow his advice.
What are you doing to recover from your injury?
Post injury, I was completely bed ridden for 20 days. However, now I can move around although it takes efforts to do so. I am giving my body complete rest to ensure that I recover fast. I have made some changes in my diet after the injury. I take protein rich stuff for breakfast and take little carbohydrates in my lunch. I also have boiled vegetables in the evening. I have lots f milk both in the night and during breakfast. One more very important thing is that I never miss on my medications. If you are injured and you want to recover fast, you must never miss your medications.
What advice would you give to our aspiring athletes regarding post recovery work outs?
I do know and accept that resuming your work out session after a long break due to an injury could be really difficult. Firstly, do not let an injury damage your spirit. Do not let it affect you mentally. The best way to do is to keep in touch with your roots even while you are injured. Visit your gym regularly, watch your friends work out, cheer for them. This lifts your spirit and motivates you to recover fast and get back to the game. To keep myself in the high spirits, I watch motivational videos on YouTube.
Once you have recovered and are planning to hit the gym, be careful in planning your routine. Do not do exercises that involve the injured part for a few days. Once you have resumed your normal routine, and then slowly begin working out on the just-recovered part. This will gradually bring you back into the game.
When will you be coming back?
Well to be honest, it would take quite some time for me to get my form. A knee injury is quite troublesome when you have a career that involves lifting heavy weights. So I might take a couple of months to recover completely. However, I am taking this as an opportunity to spend some quality time with my family. I will definitely get back on the stage soon.
I want to tell all the sportsmen to stay safe. Not for yourself but for the people who are waiting for you at home. I am glad to be part of Indian Bodybuilding and share my knowledge with the readers.
After you have seen the recovery plan of Anil, we want to give you an insight about common sports injuries, their causes and possible preventions:
- Back injuries:
Working out, lifting weights, squatting, pushups, pull ups, every possible routine has its impact on your back. Long office hours and the unhealthy sitting posture weaken the back muscle to a large extent. Post this, when a person hits the gym, he is likely to exert a lot of strain on his back as the muscle is not functioning optimally. This most likely causes a back injury.
Precaution: Stretch your back at regular intervals to give the rounded back muscles much required movement. While lifting weights, put the pressure on your legs and not on your back. Since you sit a lot at the office, try to do more of standing exercises.
- Shoulder Injuries:
Shoulders naturally have a large range of motion. However being at the office or being at the gym largely makes of inward shoulder motion. This over exerts a group of muscles way more than the others. Adding to this is the wrong sitting posture. All this leads to sore joints, cramped muscles and may lead to dislocation too.
Prevention: Give your shoulders a movement in both the directions i.e. inwards as well as outwards. More importantly, if you are experiencing pain, do not ignore it. Take a break from your routine and let your shoulder rest. Wall pushups, cables pulls, shoulder presses help in strengthening your shoulder muscles.
- Foot and Ankle:
This is another injury that can be attributed to faulty posture and over exertion of a muscle. When you sit with a wrong posture for long hours and then get up, your entire weight falls on the front of your feet. When you work out in such a state wearing your shoe with a considerable fall, you end up straining your ankles and feet.
Prevention: Firstly, wear shoes that do not have a high fall. This is to ensure that whenever you are standing; your entire foot takes the impact and not just the front or the ankle.
- Knee Injuries:
This is the most common sports injuries that you will come across. No matter what sports you are involved with, being fit and agile is one of the most crucial requirements. Hence, your knees are constantly subjected to stress. Even when it comes to working out, your knee joints take a lot of weight and pressure. The knees also suffer if you do not have strong pelvic muscles.
Prevention: Get into routines that use the pelvic and the knee muscles simultaneously like lunges. This would prevent over exertion of the knee muscles and would allow strengthening of both the muscle groups.