Athletes are tough, but injuries are tougher. Some athletes think all they need to recover from an injury is rest, but this is not always best. Recovering from a sports injury is a complex process. Sports physical therapists may have many forms to fill out and talk in rehab terminology, but don’t let that put you off. There are many rehabilitation benefits for professional and amateur athletes.
Preventing Further Injuries
It’s easy to get right back to exercise when pain levels go down. This can be just the wrong thing to do as this can aggravate the old injury. It can also cause injuries to other parts of the body that have been resting. Rehabilitation work helps keep the whole body fit without causing additional harm.
Getting a Look at the Whole Picture
The main benefit of using sports rehabilitation centers is that they get to look at the whole picture of the athlete’s life. Sports specialists look at warm-up routines, coaching practices, equipment used, health histories, and the way the individual moves in order to find the best rehabilitation and therapy practices in order to speed recovery and prevent further injuries. They study how the body moves in order to find therapies like massage and stretching exercises to help speed recovery.
There are two kinds of sports injuries: acute and chronic — and each requires a specific treatment plan. The best ways to treat these conditions are with noninvasive techniques, like light exercise, stretching and an overall healthy diet. If you were recently injured, you should speak to a professional to help you set up a plan. Before you go to your doctor, here are some things you should know about the basic components of rehabilitation after a sports injury.
1. Talk to a sports medicine specialist
- Before you begin any pain management activities, you should
find physical therapists in your area who specialize in
- sports injuries. The experts at a doctor’s office will be able to tell you the best pain management activities for your type of injury.
2. Practice low impact activities
There are lots of physical therapy activities that can keep you active while improving your baseline pain level. If you can’t run or participate in your usual physical routine, you can still go on regular walks. This is a low impact activity that isn’t harmful to your joints. If you have a chronic injury, which is the result of playing a sport for a long time, you should look into activities that target different muscle groups and won’t irritate your injury.
3. Stretch regularly
A sports physical therapy clinic will be able to tell you about some stretches that can aid in your physical and sports medicine and rehabilitation plan. You shouldn’t stretch too much but it’s important to keep your muscles loose and working, because decreased flexibility can result in more injuries. Check online or as your physician for the best stretches to do, because there are lots of resources for people with joint injuries or chronic injuries. If you have an acute injury, which happened suddenly while you were playing a sport, you should probably avoid stretching for a while until you take a few days to recover.
4. Practice techniques to reduce stress
Stress reduction is important in making sure your joints and muscles are healthy. High levels of stress activate your sympathetic nervous system which can trigger and an inflammatory response, and this can be detrimental to your health by causing redness, swelling and pain. You might want to consider activities like yoga and meditation, which are relaxing and easy to learn. You can even practice things like reading a book at home or taking up a new hobby, like cooking, because these things allow you to let go of your daily stresses and focus on the task at hand. If you want to adopt a new hobby, try out a few activities before settling on one choice.
5. Maintain your overall health
In addition to learning about pain management activities that are targeted to your injury, you should learn about how to maintain every aspect of your health. This includes healthy eating, which is especially important if you are limited in the exercise you are able to do. You should have a healthy weight in order to reduce stress on any injured body parts. If you want to adopt a healthier lifestyle but you’re not sure what the first steps are, talk to your doctor about how to eat healthy. You should think about incorporating more vegetables and fresh fruits into your diet, and it’s a good idea to reduce your intake of soda and sugary foods.