1. Protect the Sports Injury
The first step in recovery is to minimize the possibility of any further damage and to allow the body to begin the healing process. Regulating inflammation, managing pain, and protecting the injury can make for a smoother recovery. This phase of your recovery will likely include:
- The use of ice packs
- A protective cast, sling, or tape
- Anti-inflammatory or analgesic medication
2. Recover Motion
Swelling and pain can make moving the injured area difficult, but through soft tissue and joint mobilization training, you can begin to establish a range of motion. In addition, using flexibility training geared towards your specific injury increases your body’s ability to heal.
3. Recover Strength
Sports injuries and the time it takes to recover can lead to weakness in the muscle and have a significant impact on muscle endurance. Therefore, during your recovery, it is crucial to integrate strength exercises that minimize aggravation and maximize the benefits of your rehabilitation plan.
4. Recover Function
The final step in the recovery process is to regain sports-specific functionality. This may include restoring coordination and balance, improving speed, and regaining agility and skills that gradually progress from simple to complex.