Regardless of if you experienced shin splints while running or tore your ACL while making an epic slam dunk, if you have been on the bench for a while, you may find it a bit scary to get “back out there.” While this is true, you may also be eager to get moving again, but you know you must use caution.
To ensure you do not cause your injury to get worse, there are a few tips you should use. Keep reading to learn what those tips are.
Get Clearance from your Doctor
Are you really ready to “get back out there?” You may believe you are, but you should check with your doctor before lacing up your sneakers. Even if you believe their answer will be yes, you need to be sure.
If you have been working with a sports medicine professional or a physical therapist, ask them for their opinion, too. Your therapist should teach you specific moves that will stretch and strengthen the area you injured.
Do not return to your selected activity or sport until the stiffness, swelling, and pain have improved. If you push yourself too hard, too soon, it may cause your recovery to take longer and make the injury even worse. Make sure you get the green light to get moving again from the experts.
Prepare Yourself Mentally
After your doctor and therapist clear you for action, spend some time thinking about what caused your injury to begin with. Also, figure out ways you can do things differently the next time you find yourself in the same situation.
Did you push your body too much? Were you not wearing the right protective gear? Did you not take time for recovery and rest? Even if you did nothing wrong, you might be able to learn something from your mishap.
Try to stay positive, but make sure you avoid making the same mistake again. This will ensure you don’t find yourself sitting on the sidelines all over again.
Start Out Slow
Before your injury, you may have run five miles per day or were the star on your softball team. Now, though, you need to be patient to get back to where you were before. By starting slow, you can avoid a re-injury.
Try Something New
Consider cross-training or doing several activities that work all different parts of your body. By doing this, you can stay fit while the injured part of your body regains strength. You can also do this to avoid suffering another injury.
Listen to Your Body
While a little discomfort is fine, if it gets too bad, you should stop – right away. You should never be in severe pain – if you are, stop what you are doing or risk another injury.
Getting up and getting moving again after an injury is important; however, don’t try to do too much, too soon. By using the tips here, you can enjoy being active, safely, and avoiding another injury.