It happens to the best of us – injuries can happen to any of us when we least expect them. Injuries can mean lost time at the gym, sitting out of your favorite sport, or keeping you from other activities or exercises you enjoy. Injuries can even cause difficulty in your regular lifestyle, whether it’s walking up the stairs or doing the dishes. No matter what your passion is, our goal at The Center is to get you back to what you love to do as quickly as possible. Here are five tips to help you get back to what you love after sustaining an injury.
Get a Diagnosis
If you suffer any sort of injury, it is important to have the injury evaluated by a medical professional. This will take all the guesswork out of the equation. You’ll know for sure if the type of injury is something that will heal on its own, or if it will require further medical attention. Don’t try to “walk it off” or “play through the pain” – you might end up making things worse. If your pain continues for several days or gets worse, it’s time to call an orthopedic doctor.
Come Up with a Plan and Stick to It
Another great reason to work with a medical professional is that they will be able to build a customized treatment program based on your individual needs and specific injury. Physical therapy or home exercises can be an important part of your recovery. Seek advice and supervision when it comes to your recovery instead of trying to figure it out on your own.
Never Underestimate the Power of RICE
After an accident, you can relieve pain, reduce swelling, and counteract the body’s initial response to injury with the RICE Treatment. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation can speed up healing and reduce pain and swelling. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also aid in reducing pain and swelling. For a detailed how-to guide on the RICE Treatment, click here.
Take Your Time
Follow your recovery plan closely and slowly work your way back to your pre-injury self. You can’t rush the healing process, and overdoing it can prolong your injury or make the problem worse. Gradually return to your regular activities and be sure to listen to your body as you do so. If your pain returns or gets worse, you probably pushed too hard. Keep track of any new symptoms and have them evaluated.
An injury doesn’t necessarily mean you’re destined for a couch potato lifestyle! You can focus on other areas of the body while avoiding your injury to make your return to your regular lifestyle that much easier. Stabilization, core, and flexibility exercises are beneficial and will likely be included in any plans created by your physical therapist. Be sure to check in with your doctor first to make sure certain forms of exercise are approved for your injury.