Recovering from Sports Injuries

Sports injuries can be severe and leave an active individual with chronic pain and a lowered quality of life. Athletes usually want to get back to doing what they love and often rush their recovery to get back on the field or in the gym. However, a proper recovery using NY physical therapy at a sports injury clinic can be the difference between a future as an athlete and living with debilitating pain for the rest of your life. Read on to learn some proper techniques for recovering from a sports injury. 

Cold Therapy

Many athletes and physical therapists swear by the effectiveness of cold therapy. Depending on the severity of your injury, cold therapy could be beneficial to your recovery. An extreme version of cold therapy involves submerging an injured athlete’s body in ice to shock the system and reduce inflammation. However, there are degrees to cold therapy from icing a sprained ankle to full submersion. Before practicing cold treatment, it is essential to consult with a doctor as even experienced athletes may not know how long or how frequently they should ice an injury.

Exercise After an Injury with Caution

After you suffer from an injury while playing sports, you may want to continue exercising to maintain your strength and endurance even if you can’t play on the field. While you may feel like it is ok to work out as long as you are conscious of your injury, you must check with a doctor before returning to the gym. Your doctor may allow specific exercises such as swimming that don’t put pressure on the injured area. However, your doctor may want you to stop working out entirely for some time, and you must listen. Failing to comply could mean more severe complications down the road.

Restore Strength and Range of Motion

Consistently visiting a professional physical therapist in NYC is arguably the most crucial component of your recovery. A licensed physical therapist will practice exercises with you to help restore your strength and range of motion and will assign workouts for you to do at home. You must do these exercises as instructed to aid your recovery further, rebuild strength, and regain your range of motion. If a joint has limited motion, it may be dangerous to return at full intensity to athletic activity as the risk of injury exponentially increases.

Regain Endurance

An individual can lose their endurance relatively quickly once the level of activity decreases. Attempting to return to training or playing at the same endurance level as before is a recipe for repeating an injury. Instead, work on regaining your endurance at a sports injury clinic before you step back on the field. Running in water, biking, or rowing can be great, low impact exercises to perform to keep your cardiovascular system healthy and regain your endurance after a sedentary period of recovery.

Regain Skills

If an injury has stopped you from training with the rest of your team, you must work on honing your skills before you jump back into a game. Your skills will not be as sharp after a period of recovery, and you should never beat yourself up over this minor setback. Training on your own will allow you to slowly work on regaining your skills before you try to play competitively again.

Mentally Prepare

Recovering from a sports injury can be both physically and mentally exhausting. An athlete must be careful and it can be easy to lose a sense of identity. It is very common for athletes suffering from an injury to slip into a depression.

Learn about your injury. Knowledge is power, and a clear understanding of your injury and prognosis can help keep anxiety at bay. Never be afraid to ask your doctor or physical therapist follow up questions. Understanding your injury and your road to recovery will give you confidence and make you feel more in control.

Use the Mind to Heal the Body

Research shows a positive attitude has a profound effect on the body’s ability to heal itself. Imagine yourself fully recovered and once again playing the sport you love. You may be tempted to self-isolate, but this is the worst way you can cope. Instead, seek out the support of your teammates and your coach to encourage you in your recovery and keep you updated on the sport you love. Show up to games and cheer on your teammates from the sidelines. Staying involved is a great way to ensure you don’t slip into a depression.

A serious sports injury doesn’t mean the end of your sports career. With proper rehabilitation under doctor supervision, you can once again play the sport you love.