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5 Tips To Help You Heal From A Sports Injury

by Stella Robinson

Recovering from a sports injury can be a frustrating time, especially as you begin to feel better. You want to be out moving and participating in your sport or exercise of choice, but your body still needs time to finish healing. Getting back in the game too soon can result in a more severe injury, but sitting on the sidelines is hard. The following tips can help you recover well and recover as quickly as possible.

Tip #1: Don't Self-Diagnose

It can be tempting to diagnose and treat your own injuries, especially if it is similar to an injury you have experienced before. Unfortunately, diagnosing your injury incorrectly can lead to more damage and a longer recovery time. For example, you may think you simply pulled a muscle, when you actually tore it or damaged a tendon. See your doctor for a proper diagnosis so you can get on the correct treatment plan. This will get you back to your favorite activities much more quickly.

Tip #2: Follow Your Treatment Plan

Sports rehab depends on properly following all aspects of your treatment plan. Not only does this mean keeping all physical therapy appointments, it also means following all of your therapist's and doctor's recommendations. Don't try to perform beyond the amount prescribed too early. If your therapist says you need to stay off the injury, then stay off of it – even if you are feeling better.

Tip #3: Use Warm Water Soaks

Soaking in a warm bath is especially helpful for muscle injuries, since the warm water helps relax your muscles. Warm water also increases blood circulation, which is why you often look flushed when you get out of the bath or a hot shower. Better blood circulation means better healing.

Tip #4: Return Slowly

Chances are you will be given the all clear to return to exercise or sports with some caveats. You may be advised to avoid certain maneuvers or to simply "take it easy" for a few weeks. The way to do this is to aim for duration over intensity when you train. Start by walking or jogging slowly and work your way back up to running or intense circuits. Opt for low-impact over high-impact until you are 100 percent sure you are back to your pre-injury self.

Tip #5: Stretch

This won't just help you avoid stress to your current injury, it will also help prevent future injuries. Make sure you stretch thoroughly and warm up before exercising or playing your sport of choice. Speak with your rehab therapist about the best warm up and stretching exercises for your specific activity and injury propensity.

For more information, contact a clinic like Staten Island Physical Therapy PC.