Pacing is what you need to do when recovering from injury in order to get yourself back in control and on the right track. For example, have you ever been off work for a while because you've injured yourself, then started to feel much better and gone straight out to do something like for a long walk only to then feel like you're right back at square one? It's so frustrating and can really get your down. Here at Physio Mon we see lots of people coming to us for physiotherapy after an injury who struggle to learn how to pace. People send to swing from doing too much on good days and then crashing because the symptoms flare up as a result.
The key (and it's easier said than done!) is to learn to pace yourself :-)
So, think about whatever your goal is - we'll carry on with the walking example. If you know that on a bad day you can walk for an hour but that at that point you're in pain or exhausted - that is your maximum time.
Next you need to work out what 3/4 of your maximum is - in this example this would be 45 mins - so you make sure that every day you walk no further than for 45 mins - whether today is a good day or not - be strict and stick to the 3/4 rule.
After a week or so if you can manage this consistently then begin to add on 5 -10 minutes or so over time until you reach your target. This way you build your confidence and fitness whilst making sure you don't get frustrated.
Same principles can be applied to any activity - work out what the maximum you could do is on a 'bad day' then do 3/4 of that amount and stick to it, only increasing gradually over time.
Simples :-) well sort of, we all know its hard to stick to this advice but it really can help. It also helps to set yourself small rewards to keep you motivated. Your physiotherapist is one of the best people to help you set goals and help you work out how you can pace your activities better so you can get back to your best you!