Suffering a sports injury can be a challenging and frustrating thing to go through. The experience of getting injured can sometimes have more of an impact on you than you might think. Once you’ve seen a medical professional to confirm your injury diagnosis, here are things you can do to help you through the recovery process.
Learn to accept rest
One of the hardest things to deal with after an injury is to go from an active lifestyle to one of rest and inactivity. When you’re used to playing a sport or going to the gym on a regular basis, breaking your fitness regimen to recover can feel like the absolute worst thing in the world. However, an injury is a sign that your body needs to rest and recover. While your injury rehab probably doesn’t mean you have to be completely immobile, it’s a good idea to take things a little easier while you’re on the mend. Your body will thank you if you allow it to heal, and this can also help you avoid re-injury or prolonged recovery (especially if you’ve had surgery).
Depending on your injury, you may have alternative options of activities you can do to stay in shape while you recover. Staying active with swimming, walking, exercise bike, and yoga. If you haven’t already, ask your physical therapist or your doctor about what activities you could do to stay active safely.
Acknowledge your emotions
This is a big one, folks. However, it’s not often talked about. Injuries obviously take a toll on your body, but they can also affect your psyche as well. It is very common for competitive athletes and student athletes who experience an injury to have an emotional response to their situation. According to the Sport Science Institute, typical emotional responses to injury include:
- Lack of motivation
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep pattern changes
It’s not as common with minor injuries, but more serious injuries can have life-changing implications. From season-ending injuries such as ACL tears to career-ending injuries such head trauma–– for competitive and student-athletes, injuries can foster a lot of emotions. If you are having a severe emotional response to injury, you might be feeling hesitant to seek treatment for something other than your injury. However, speaking to someone such as a counselor or therapist is not a sign of weakness of any sort.
Set big and small goals
Progress after a sports injury is different for everyone. Obviously, you’ll have the main goal of recovery and to hurry back into your sport. However, your doctor or physical therapist will help you set small goals so that you can see your progress – and celebrating those small milestones is important! Sometimes all it takes is seeing a little improvement to give you the motivation you need to stick to your program and get back to your healthy, injury-free self.
Thanks for reading! – OSI Physical Therapy
How to Bounce Back from a Sports Injury