Getting sidelined by an injury is frustrating, but it's possible to come back strong if you focus on recovering well. Here are some tips for recovering from a sports injury.
Surround yourself with a good medical team.
Find a doctor and physical therapist that you trust and listen to them. If they tell you to refrain from certain exercises, take heed! Be prepared to ask what you can do to support recovery. Depending on your injury, there is usually something you can do to help you stay fit while you recover.
Don't stop the rehab.
Once you are released from physical therapy, don't abandon your rehabilitation. Use compression and continue to ice or heat your injury post-workout. Keep doing your exercises. Most rehab exercises are designed to help you resolve muscle imbalances which may have led to your injury in the first place. This is the work that will make you a stronger, better athlete in the long run.
Coming back from an injury is a process. Return gradually to your sport, adding time and intensity slowly. If it becomes frustrating, set some short-term goals and focus on those. Take things one step at a time. You will get back to your pre-injury fitness but don't rush it.
Focus on the positives.
Don't fall into the trap of negative thinking. Do your best to stay positive and involve yourself in your sport in other ways while you recover. Volunteer to coach or help out at a sporting event. Use affirming self-talk. A great deal of sport is mental, and training yourself to stay positive will not only help your recovery but will make you a mentally stronger athlete when you do make your come back.
Stop if it hurts.
If something begins hurting again once you start pushing harder post-injury, back off. Athletes are often taught to push through pain, but in the case of returning from an injury, it's important to listen to your body. Understanding the difference between pain that can be ignored and pain that shouldn't be is key to coming back strong and staying strong.
Contact us for help finding tools that can help you return strong from an injury.