4 Tips for Your Best Exercise Injury Recovery

Posted on: 20 January 2017

Serious exercise injuries can stop your life in its tracks. Once your initial recovery is complete, you may ask yourself if you will ever be competitive again. In some cases, there is nothing you can do to have a full recovery, but in others, it really depends on your dedication and commitment to your continued physical therapy.

Keep Moving Forward After Therapy 

After your physical therapy is over, you may feel abandoned and lost as to what to do next.  Rehabilitation to as close to 100 percent as you can get can't stop after physical therapy. If you stop trying to progress forward, you will likely never get back to your best, in fact, you may even regress over time. Even if you feel like you are making very little progress, you must appreciate the small gains and keep working toward your goals to grow stronger and get back to the activities you love.

Keep Your Physical Therapy Lessons Handy

Just because physical therapy is over doesn't mean you can abandon the lessons you've learned. Physical therapy's main goal is to restore range of motion and give you a strength baseline from which to progress. Maintaining mobility is your primary concern for at least a year after therapy. Continue with mobility routines that worked well for you during therapy. These can be great pre-training, warm-up exercises.

Light Weights and High Reps Are Best for Rebuilding Strength

Once you can perform basic strength building routines including bench presses, deadlifts, and squats, you may want to go back to your previous level. Unfortunately, you may find your strength just isn't up to the task. Resistance bands are an excellent tool to rebuild your strength slowly while still building your range of motion. Band training is especially good for hip and knee injuries. Even though it isn't the most exciting way to work out, and can be time-consuming, it keeps you from pushing yourself too hard and risking re-injury.

Isometrics Is a Great Strength Building Tool

Isometrics builds muscles through tension. One of the most common and recognizable isometric exercises for knees and hips are wall squats. In a wall squat, you build muscles not by moving them, but by putting them into a certain position and holding it. The wall provides a means of support in case your muscles fail. There are dozens of isometric exercises that may or may not involve weights, and while upper body isometrics are less common, there are some that are very effective such as using dumbbells for weighted holds to strengthen shoulder muscles.

Physical therapy is just the first step in full recovery from an exercise injury. To ensure you reach your full potential, follow these guidelines. If you feel your recovery is not progressing as you hoped, contact a physical therapist like those at Eastern Shore Physical Therapy to help you work out a program to move you forward.