How To Train Clients With Chronic Injuries

Ongoing social distancing practices have made it very difficult for many people to keep going to the gym. While millions of people want to exercise in order to remain in shape, they justifiably fear large crowds and crammed indoor conditions, leading them to shun their yoga classes, weight training routines, and other exercise endeavors that often entail the company of others. We’ve thus seen an increased interest in personal fitness training, as athletic gurus can coach clients on a one-on-one basis that isn’t nearly so dangerous as a crowded, indoor training session that includes several people. 

Many personal fitness trainers are nevertheless struggling to deal with clients who are suffering from chronic injuries. Luckily, some tips can help you overcome these issues while enabling them to reach their personal athletic goals. Here’s a review of how to train clients burdened by chronic injuries.

Understand that you can’t wish injuries away

For many personal trainers, the chronic injuries of their clients represent a serious financial risk. Many personal trainers need to be constantly booking workouts and advising sessions with their clients in order to make ends meet, for instance, but those clients who are struggling with chronic injuries or chronic pain may want to only occasionally exercise to diminish their stress levels. It’s imperative to understand that you can’t and shouldn’t wish away the chronic injuries of your clients. This means you have to be realistic when assessing how frequently they can work out, and that you must be careful not to push them beyond their limits in the pursuit of heightened profit margins.

Some personal trainers shy away from referring their clients to medical professionals because they fear that, in doing so, they’ll lose the business of that client. Nothing could be further from the truth, however, as clients are more likely to employ your services in the future if you’re straightforward with them and ensure they receive the medical care they need. You can actually increase the overall amount of business you do as a personal trainer with doctor referrals, as long as you review a helpful guide on this subject in order to do it properly. 

Besides frequently referring clients to physicians and a reputable prosthodontist when they’re suffering from chronic injuries, you must also become familiar with chronic pain management. This is because many of your clients will be incapable of completing their exercise routines without the assistance of pain management strategies. While some rely on opioids and other painkillers, this can be incredibly dangerous, as these substances are often highly addictive. Unless you’re a medical professional with excellent qualifications, never recommend that clients take painkillers or other medication in order to supercharge their workout routines. 

If you believe that your clients are incapable of achieving their workout goals because of their constant struggles with pain, consider reviewing the CDC’s module on treating chronic pain without the assistance of opioids. This may help your clients find relief without subjecting them to the perils of addiction. Organizations like Seattle Pain Relief can also help your clients overcome pain-issues that are thwarting their athletic efforts. 

Know the signs of a chronic injury

It’s incredibly important that you learn to recognize the signs of a chronic injury, as you may inadvertently exacerbate the injuries of your clients if you push them beyond their limits. Severe pain, constant swelling, and numbness in the afflicted area is one common sign of chronic injuries. If your clients can’t place their weight on a certain limb, that’s also a common sign of a chronic injury. You should constantly be on the lookout for joint abnormalities. Never hesitate to direct a client to a medical professional if you fear that they may be suffering from an undiagnosed chronic injury. 

You should also be looking out for your own personal health. Many personal fitness trainers ignore their own pain issues because they think it’s simply part of the job. In reality, the pain you’re feeling could be a sign of your own chronic injuries that could thwart your long-term career ambitions. Far too many personal fitness trainers have ignored their own injuries only to exacerbate them, and in doing so cost themselves their livelihoods. Don’t fall victim to the dirty secret of personal fitness trainers – instead, carefully look after your own body if you want to convince clients that you can help them look after theirs. 

Always be extraordinarily careful when designing the schedule of a client who has a chronic injury. Overworking them is much easier to do than you may imagine. Listen to your clients carefully, and understand that not all of them will be forthcoming about injuries they’ve sustained in the past for a wide variety of reasons. Keep this information in mind, and you’ll soon be helping your clients achieve new athletic heights despite the chronic injuries they’re dealing with.

Brett Sartorial

Brett is a business journalist with a focus on corporate strategy and leadership. With over 15 years of experience covering the corporate world, Brett has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, analytical and insightful journalist. He has a deep understanding of the business strategies and leadership principles that drive the world's most successful companies, and is able to explain them in a clear and compelling way. Throughout his career, Brett has interviewed some of the most influential business leaders and has covered major business events such as the World Economic Forum and the Davos. He is also a regular contributor to leading business publications and has won several awards for his work.