Acute injuries is the last thing you would want to end up with if you are a fitness geek or buff. Whichever sport you embark on, if you do not take careful precautions to prevent getting injured or re-injured, the injury you’ve suffered might eventually become chronic. Hence should you conduct a physiotherapist and get diagnosed with an optimal rehabilitation plan, learning some extra recovery exercises from this article will go hand-in-hand with medical treatment for a speedy and healthy recovery.
The following are the recommended exercises for the most common injuries.
Knee joints are one of the most used parts of your body, thus susceptible to wear and tear. Although exercising injured knees might seem unreasonable, it can actually aid your recovery process if you do the right exercises. Immobility can cause them to stiffen as well as weaken your thigh muscles, hips, and hamstrings.
If you’re facing a condition like bursitis or arthritis, gently perform these lower-body stretches to revive the range of motion.
Suggested Reps: 3×10, 45 seconds rest
Straight Leg Raises
Lay down on the floor with one leg straight and another bent. Raise your fully extended leg from the surface until it reaches the height of your arched knee. Keep it there for five seconds. Then, slowly lower it to the floor.
You can do hamstring curls by sitting or lying down on your stomach. Keep your torso still and feet hip-width apart. Lift the affected leg, bend the knee and bring it towards your buttock or as far as it comfortably goes. Pause for five seconds, then restart.
You can also consider getting a suitable treadmill to keep your legs moving if you’re well on the road to recovery.
A sprained ankle may sideline you to bed quicker than anything else. You should resort to rest and ice massage for the first 72 hours. Then, you can start walking with some weight or a crutch, depending on the injury’s severity. But, avoid pushing yourself if your injury is still not healed enough.
Most patients can independently try out these easy stretches on the fourth day. Don’t be hasty to include strengthening and balance exercises just yet.
Suggested Reps: 10 only, progress to 20
Calf raises improve the stability of the posterior chain and ankle joint. For this, you require a chair, tabletop, or any other support for hands. Place your feet slightly distant, lift both heels off the ground, then come back to the starting position. Don’t overdo as a mild stretch is intended.
You can limit yourself to the towel stretch only. It’s a simple way to build up your calf muscles and Achilles tendons. Sit with your affected leg outstretched and wrap the towel around the ball of your foot and hold on to it with both hands. Keep the towel gently pulled for 15-30 seconds. You can use resistance bands instead of towels as well.
Shoulder and neck injury is a dominant climbing injury among mountaineers and boulderers alike. Shoulders bear a massive chunk of tension and connect your body. Undoubtedly, daily workouts and warmups mitigate the risk of getting injured.
However, remember that exercises come at a later stage of the recovery process. Once inflammation bids farewell to the affected area, these soothing exercises will reduce the residual stiffness and tightness. Moreover, they’ll help tendons and cuff rotators to resist reinjury.
Suggested Reps: 5x 30 seconds, interval training
Place your hand on a table, and let the injured arm hang freely by the side. Use bodyweight to swing your injured arm back and forth, side to side, and in small circles. Keep in mind not to use your shoulder muscles, to avoid tensing your arm. The basic movement of your arm will work for this exercise.
In a standing position, place one arm across the chest. Use the other hand to push the forearm inward. The elbow of the straight hand should remain parallel to its shoulder. A good stretch will help your tenseness and flexibility – preserve it for thirty seconds. Do it five times a day.
Back injury severely affects spinal ligaments. But a timely treatment can avert chronic pain. You have to train your core – a powerhouse consisting of abdominal and lower back muscles. A solid and stable core maintains a proper spine curvature under pressure.
These exercises can aid in recovery from a back injury. Nonetheless, practicing them regularly even when you’re healthy will better equip your core against the challenges of sports and a sedentary lifestyle.
Suggested Reps: 2×10, 45 seconds rest
It strengthens multifidus muscles along with your core and glutes. Lay down on your back with bent knees in a manner that your soles and palms are touching the mat. Then, lift the lower back up for a minute. Imagine your pelvis as a water bowl that’s spilling towards your belly.
Continue with the same setting as pelvic lift. But place your hands behind your neck or across the chest this time. Raise your shoulders off the floor without compensating with your arms. Stay like this a little while, exhale and repeat.
Warm-up and cool-down
A rehabilitation workout carries the potential risk of afflicting new injuries altogether. Therefore, a 5-10 minute warm-up session is crucial before diving into the main aerobic course.
Low-impact cardio exercises rev up heart rate and body temperature, gradually increasing blood flow to the affected tendons and ligaments. It also makes these muscles more flexible and welcoming to injury recovery endeavors.
Similarly, the cool-down phase is significant as well. It wards off the subsequent stress by resetting pulse and breath to pre-exercise rates.
Points to Remember
Physical exercises are a time-tested tool for recovering from an injury and preventing recurrence. However, you should tailor a rehabilitation plan with experts’ consultation. Generally, soft tissue injuries are cured with the RICE method – short for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Listen to your doctor and your body! Commit this rule to memory, and set the intensity of your recovery regimen accordingly.
Injuries plague your lifestyle when you least expect them. Thus, get yourself covered with suitable insurance if you constantly have to travel. Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, managing a balanced and nutritious diet is also a good precaution to live a long and healthy life ahead.