Going Back to Sports

After suffering from an injury, the main concern of an athlete is “if” or “when” it is ok to return to sports.  The length and type of rehabilitation varies as the nature of injury and process of recovery are unique to each athlete. 

A brief rehabilitation time for a more complex injury may lead to other serious conditions, prolonging the recovery process while an extended period of rehabilitation may cause a loss of physical and muscle strength.

Recovery Process

There are several ways in which athletes, or simply people that are into sports for leisure, can improve their recovery time in case they experience injuries. One factor that affects the recovery process from an injury is the body’s conditioning prior to the injury.

A body that has been conditioned to achieve physical fitness, flexibility, and muscle strength and stability will have a higher possibility of a reduced recovery time and a more straightforward rehabilitation program. People with poor body conditioning are expected to have lengthy recovery periods.

In order to keep the body in its best shape, regular workouts and an effective training are recommended. Individuals must also be aware of underlying signs and symptoms of injuries. As soon as an injury is detected, activities must be discontinued to prevent further injuries.

Next, determine the location and the cause of the injury to begin treatment.  The standard first aid procedure that must be followed immediately on the onset for injuries is called the RICE procedure. R.I.C.E. stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation.

Treatment of injuries by medication must be done under the provisions of a health care professional. Aside from treatments through medications, injuries may be treated through surgery, physical therapy and cautious physical fitness activities in order to maintain other areas of the body physical fit during rehabilitation by training non-injured areas through walking, swimming or weight training.

For example, if the ankle is injured, swimming or exercising on stationary bikes can be an option. If an upper body part such as the shoulder or the arms is injured, cardiovascular exercises such as walking, climbing, biking and elliptical are doable. 

As always, it is standard procedure to consult a physician or a therapist before undergoing any exercise regimen especially when in the process of recovery from an injury.

Before Going Back to Sports

Before an individual returns to sports, there are guidelines that must be met in order to safely begin sports related activities. Common guidelines set by physicians are:

  • Absence of pain on the injured site
  • Absence of swelling or inflammation
  • Ability to perform full range of motion
  • Ability to exert effort without pain
  • Ability to lift weights and perform throwing motions

Always remember to take precautions when performing sports activities after full recovery avoid re-injury.

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