What to Expect from Sports Injury Rehabilitation - An online health& Fitness Blog to know more about health, fitness & food.

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What to Expect from Sports Injury Rehabilitation

Nothing can be scarier for an athlete than being on the field and hearing a nasty pop or random pain begin to occur. A serious injury could be career-ending. Getting rehabilitated after an injury is an important part of the healing process.

Here is everything you need to know about sports injury rehabilitation and what you can look forward to.

Common Sports Injuries

Sports injuries are more common than you think. Around 9 million individuals experience a sports injury every year, though this number may drop with the 2020 sports year being mostly canceled.

The most common sports injuries are those of strains and sprains. While the two injuries are often used interchangeably, they are in fact different.

A sprain refers to the ligaments that connect bones with a joint. A sprain can be broad and refer to either an overstretched ligament or a torn ligament. The most common place for a sprain to occur is the ankle.

A strain refers to an overstretching or tearing of muscles or tendons. This can happen to any muscle, whether it be back muscles, thigh muscles, or even arm muscles. The most commonplace for this to happen is the back or thigh.

As we age, the more likely these injuries are to occur. This is because as we age, the ligaments and muscles don't repair themselves as easily, leading to a decrease in the body's ability to repair itself. When this happens, the body becomes more vulnerable under stress, making it all that much more important to be careful when participating in sports.

What Is Sports Injury Rehabilitation?

Sports injury rehabilitation is the process of getting on the road to recovery, without the risk of reinjury. The first step in sports injury rehabilitation is understanding the extent of the injury.

For instance, if you think you tore your ACL and the doctor thinks so as well, you will first need to go through reconstruction surgery. Once the area has healed after surgery, you will then begin a series of different exercises to start getting mobility back into the leg.

These exercises are beneficial for two purposes. They first allow you to start strengthening the area after surgery, as the increase of trauma from both the injury and then surgery can set the leg back even further. Exercising also increases blood flow to the injured area, which can help with nutrient delivery, leading to an increase in recovery time.

The second reason is because of mobility. Between the injury and surgery, scar tissue can start to build up, leading to an even further decrease in mobility. The ligament will need to start getting used to a wide range of mobility, so as to prevent the injury from occurring in a short period of time.

Beyond exercises, there are also massages that will be used to help speed up recovery times. These massages accomplish the same thing as exercise, with the idea of getting more blood flow to the injured area. They also serve as another method to break up scar tissue that could form.

The purpose of this rehab is to ensure that your ligaments and muscles come back stronger than ever. The chance of reinjury is high for those that do not take precautions, so keep up with the exercises that your doctor recommends, even after treatment is finished.

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How Long Does the Process Take?

The process from injury to getting back on the field is not a quick and easy one. In fact, if you find a doctor that says they can get you back onto the field in no time, you should stay away.

Rehabilitation can take anywhere from 3 to 12 months, depending on the injury. This all comes down to the severity of the injury itself. A minor strain, that was as simple as an overstretched thigh muscle, may only take around 3 months to get fully back to normal, if not sooner.

Compared to a complete tear of an ACL ligament, which first requires multiple doctor's visits, surgery to reattach the ligament, and then rehab can begin, can take upwards of a year.

Preventative measures post-rehabilitation never truly ends, however. Stopping preventative measures is a sure-fire way to watch the injury occur again, which not only takes you off the field again but also can make sure that you never go back.

Preventative Measures

Preventative measures can come in a variety of different options. The most common way is to continue the exercises that your rehab team recommended. These exercises were centeredaround ensuring you got the most range of motion possible, while also strengthening the muscle.

Proper nutrition and dieting are also important. Weight-gain post-injury is extremely common. When you put on extra pounds, it makes it harder for your body to recover and increases the chance of reinjuring yourself.

While you don't have to get strict with your regime, it is important to give your body the proper nutrition that it needs. This means taking in adequate amounts of protein, good fats, and a combo of complex and simple carbs.

Getting a massage that focuses on the injured area is another common way to help with prevention. Whenever you do play sports or exercise, you are still creating microtears in the muscle, which can lead to scar tissue build up over time. Getting a massage is a great way to break up that scar tissue to ensure that there is maximum blood flow to the damaged area.

Use Therapy to Help You Get Back on the Field

By seeking sports injury rehabilitation, you are taking the first step to getting back on to the field. Taking the proper precautions and steps to ensure your injury is completely healed is important. While it may set you back, a sports injury does not have to be the end all be all.

If you want to learn more about staying on top of your health, be sure to check out the rest of the blog. If you know someone with a sports injury, be sure to share this article with them.

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