Sustaining an injury or having a physical disability results in limitations involving flexibility, range of motion and reduced strength. Understanding your physical limitations means that you know how much movement is possible before you begin to incur more damage. You must learn why the limitation exists and then begin to understand just how much activity or exercise is allowed to help nurture healing without causing further damage.
Understanding Physical Limitations
Restrictions Due To An Injury or Disability
There are several restrictions a person with a disability or injury will have to deal with. They include:
- Limited mobility – in ability to move freely
- Limited range of motion – Inability to extend an appendage to its fullest stretched out position
- Limited flexibility – inability to move in flex and contract muscles or muscle groups
- Reduced strength – inability to pick up normally manageable weights
- Reduced stamina – inability to maintain a constant pace
Accepting each of these limitations will prevent further injury or pain. In some cases, such as after an injury or illness, working within these limitations will give the body the amount of time it needs to continue the healing process. It is extremely important to remember to not over exert or force any movement that causes pain or discomfort.
As strength builds, you will be able to gradually increase your range of motion and regain flexibility. If you continue to work at a gradual pace, the limitations will slowly and gradually disappear until they no longer present a problem. For individuals with a disability, the disability may not go away, but your strength, stamina and ability to function to the fullest extent will be dramatically improved.
Possible Consequences of Pushing Too Hard
Pushing too hard or placing too much stress or strain on an injured area can and will result in an injury if you do not respect the fact that the limitations are there in an attempt to allow the body to properly heal. Not only do you risk re-injuring already damaged joint or other body part, you can also cause lasting damage that will prevent it from healing completely in the future. Once pain and discomfort are felt, you must immediately stop what you are doing and determine the reason for the pain. Instead of immediately resuming your workout or other type of activity, take a break and try to determine if the pain is caused from the injury or if you are overcompensating in an attempt to protect the affected area.
Individuals with a physical disability can also cause an injury if they attempt to move past their body’s existing limitations. Understanding how far they can go and to what level of fitness they can actually achieve, will help them discover their physical limitations and do what is necessary to make their workout successful without risking their own health and safety. In this case, working with a personal trainer or other physical therapist is very beneficial.