You know that anyone who participates in a certain sport on a professional level is exponentially more at risk for suffering from a sports injury. In fact, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to suggest that every professional athlete will suffer from an injury at some point, whether that is a relatively minor injury from overexercising or something more serious like a fracture. If you too are an athlete (just not at a professional level) you understand that the risk of potential injury also exists for you. If you are currently suffering from a sports injury, it is worth looking at how the pros deal with their injuries and taking notes. In this post, we will take a look at a few recovery tips from the pros to help you come back strong and fully heal as quickly as possible.
Don’t Underestimate The Power of Cold Therapy: You don’t need to be a pro athlete to know that one of the most common ways that people treat a sports injury such as a sprained ankle or bad knee is with ice. The difference between pro athletes and amateur athletes or just anyone else who stays physically fit is that the latter categories don’t know how to use cold therapy the right way. Far too many amateur athletes do not apply ice as frequently as they should or for as long as they should. Pro athletes, on the other hand, have the advantage of working with pain specialists and doctors who can show them exactly how much cold therapy they need in order to see better results, and a full, expedited recovery. You may not be able to afford the kind of doctor that a pro athlete can, but you could potentially use the same techniques and cold therapy equipment that the pro athlete does. For example, it is worth looking into a cold therapy machine or reading up on different icing techniques for better pain management, inflammation reduction, and other healing benefits.
Consider Using Electricity: Something that has been used by pro athletes for quite a while and is now even being used by people who are not professionals is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS. It should be noted that using transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is not a way to speed up the healing process, however, it doesn’t reduce some of the pain that you might be experiencing during your recovery. This is a particularly great option for anyone who wants to manage the pain of their injury without using any prescription pain medication. You could find a TENS machine online to use at home anytime your knees flare up from too much long-distance running or a sore muscle caused by overextending yourself with strength training.
Get to Rehab ASAP: Part of the reason pro athletes experience faster recoveries is by getting physical therapy as soon as possible. Obviously, if your sports injury requires surgery, you can’t start physical therapy the day after your operation. But, if you’re suffering from a less serious injury, you could start some rehabilitative exercises right away. If you can’t afford to go to a physical therapist several times a week for several weeks, try doing your own rehabilitative exercises at home. If you plan to do some physical therapy exercises at home, focus on doing movements that improve flexibility and range of motion while increasing your strength. Anyone with an injury that is considered a more serious than a sprained ankle or sore muscle should first consult with their doctor about physical therapy. Generally, if your injury is serious and you’ve never had physical therapy before, you should see a licensed physical therapist at least a few times before considering doing rehabilitative exercises by yourself. A licensed physical therapist will show you how to warm up and cool down during your therapy session and introduce you to the appropriate exercises that will heal and strengthen your injured body part without causing more pain or further damage.
Bench Yourself: You know what happens to a pro athlete (or any athlete) when they injure themselves? They get benched. And it’s not for disciplinary reasons, obviously. Their coach benches them because they are in no condition to play. Even if you aren’t a pro athlete or athlete at all, but you are suffering from an injury, one of the best things you could do is bench yourself. This goes beyond just the common “rest” advice you’ll get. To bench yourself means to keep your injured area rested until you have completely healed. For example, say you fracture a small bone in your foot. After several weeks of being in a cast, your feeling better and tempted to move around more. Many people make the mistake a putting pressure on their broken foot (even when they are still wearing a cast) simply because they are feeling stronger and the pain isn’t as bad. But any medical professional will tell you that you need to keep your foot off the ground until the cast comes off. In other words, bench yourself until you get the green light from your doctor to start using your injured body part again.
Speed up Your Recovery by Acting Fast: Pro athletes tend to have speedier recoveries because as soon as the injury occurs, they are getting treatment for it. Once you have injured yourself, don’t stall the recovery process; implement it right away. The sooner you address the problem, the sooner it will go away. Instead of ignoring a minor injury, take care of it before it escalates into something more. For example, if you twist your ankle running or playing soccer, the best thing that you can do is immediately start icing it and compressing it. Additionally, keep your foot off the ground. Don’t try to ignore the pain or get back on the field since this will only lead to more severe problems. Pro athletes understand that by acting right away, they could subtract several days off their recovery time, allowing them to heal sooner and get back to business. The same could be applied to you. For less serious injuries, rest, ice, compression, and elevate the injured area. For more serious injuries, don’t postpone a trip to the doctor’s office to get the proper diagnosis and treatment. You’ll thank yourself for it later.