If you've been training for some time, you know what it means to encounter an injury. It doesn't matter how big or even how small, an injury can ultimately put you out of commission depending on what part of the body is injured and to what degree. One of the hardest injuries to come back from is an injury to the shoulder. If you think that's bad, think about an injury to the knee.
Many times, when training, you find that one arm, or leg, is stronger than the other and that particular body part will usually be the one you favor. For instance, if you are right-handed, more than likely, you are stronger on your right side because it's considered your dominant side. The same holds true if you are left-handed. Which ever side you favor, you tend to be strongest.
When it comes to injuries, the dominant side is not always the side that suffers the injury first. Many times, you may have an injury and still continue to train, almost in the same manner as having no injury because your dominant side remains stronger. The problem with training while injured is that before long, the dominant side tends to become overcompensated. This happens when you "baby" the injury and train the dominant side full force. Soon, you come to realize that training full force could potentially create injury to the dominant side since it's pushed repeatedly without adequate rest. Also, with a weak or injured body part, the drive to persist and continue with gains and power tend to override the fact that you're training the dominant side harder mainly because the weaker or injured side cannot sustain the same stress level. Unknowingly, you are placing more stress on the dominant side, as the injured side will not allow for the same rigorous training.
So, what happens when you already have an injured shoulder or knee and now have to deal with an injury to the dominant side? Well, that can be quite the challenge, especially when you are use to training hardcore. Having to take it easy and "baby" both sides of the body can be very frustrating. However, among the frustration, continuing to train can exacerbate the problem even further. While it is true that mentally, it's not easy to take time away from training when you are used to hitting the gym and hitting it hard every time, rest is much required if you want to truly heal.Without it, you will find that the injuries take much longer to get better and sometimes can get even worse.
Overcompensating and overtraining go hand in hand. If you are overcompensating, you are usually pushing yourself to a max that you may not be aware of at that time. Either way, you will soon begin to create an even greater issue if you fail to step back and take care, although, it may be hard to do..