Sports Injury Rehabilitation Stages


All athletes experience this at some point. Maybe everything is going smoothly then something pops or someone crashes into you and next thing you know, you are on the sidelines for a month or maybe more.

Whether you are a professional athlete or injured yourself during your weekly game of outdoor basketball, you need to understand the sports injury rehabilitation stages in order to know how soon you can get back out there and prevent the injury from ever occurring again.

Stage 1: Reducing Pain and Swelling

Out of all steps of the process, you have to remember patience. It will pay off in the end. During this time, rest and ice are crucial. The whole idea is to get the pain down, light exercise, physical therapy, and other methods may be used.

Stage 2: Restoring Mobility and Range of Motion

Think about a golf swing or baseball throw. All sports rely on certain ranges of motion that may have been reduced by the injury. During this phase, the goal is to restore mobility without creating feelings of pain.

This work should be started as soon as pain has reduced to a manageable level and this is where you want to ensure you have the right therapist. An aggressive approach may cause additional harm, while a too cautious will result in stiffness.

Stage 3: Getting Back Your Strength and Endurance

During the healing process, it is likely you have lost muscle mass due to the area being rested. During this stage, the rehabilitator will gradually help you build muscle strength by increasing the load through different forms of conditioning. This is where charting your progress is essential as it can be used to assess the state of your injury.

Stage 4: Getting Coordinated

This is particularly important if a set of muscles were injured. Damage to the musculoskeletal frame can cause changes in the body’s coordination system. During the rehab process, each muscle has been more or less individually strengthened, but now it is time to get everything working together again which is determined on an individual basis depending on severity and type of injury.

Stage 5: Getting Back to Your Sport

Each sport has their own unique movements and now it is time to get back to them. This is the final phase of how you get back to where you were and able to do these complex movements. There is not a set amount of time that this takes, but it is determined by the individual’s capacity for getting back to the shape they were in.

Have the Patience to Get Healthy

If you have the patience and do the work in each phase, you will be able to get back to playing your sport of choice. It is all about staying motivated and following the guidelines of your therapist. More than anything, in the future you should focus on injury prevention.

Simple things like staying hydrated, doing the right stretches and keeping a healthy diet can prevent an injury from ever happening so you never have to worry about time off the field!

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