How to Safely Recover From an Athletic Injury


If you’re an athlete, chances are at some point in your career, you’ll have to deal with an injury. It’s part of being physically active and pushing yourself to reach goals, but that doesn't make it any less stressful or uncomfortable. Recovering from an athletic injury can be confusing and intimidating when trying to determine the right course of action because the healing process is different for everyone — so how do you know what's best? In this blog post, we'll look at a few key tips on safely recovering from a sports-related injury without taking unnecessary risks that could prolong your recovery time.


1.  Don’t Do PRICE Too Soon

Image showing injury cascade and production of inflammation.

Injuries can be a tricky thing to handle, and PRICE (which stands for protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation) has been long-advised as the go-to solution. Although this advice may have served us fairly well for many years, it's important to note that following it too soon after an injury can lead to rather adverse effects. You see, our body’s natural reaction to an injury is inflammation. Don’t be fooled by this – inflammation isn’t necessarily bad! In fact, it helps clean up injured tissues and encourages their reproduction so that your body grows stronger. Don't do PRICE too early: let your body take its natural course and heal itself in the most efficient way possible.

2.  Get Imaging- MSK Ultrasound

Not only can MSK ultrasound pick-up sports injury tears, swelling, and edema but also a DVT.

If the pain or swelling associated with the injury does not improve after following the RICE protocol for a few days, it is important to see a doctor. A doctor can determine whether the injury is more serious than initially thought and may recommend further treatment, such as physical therapy or surgery.

If you've been suffering from an athletic injury, chances are it's a soft tissue-related issue. But how do you confirm the diagnosis? Enter MSK Ultrasound – with no radiation and unbeatable imaging of muscle, ligament, tendon, or nerve issues in real time! Not to mention that it costs much less than an MRI – so get on board this game-changing diagnosing tool today!

As an athlete, you want to ensure your diagnosis is spot on. MSK Ultrasound can help confirm any issues with muscles, ligaments, and tendons without the cost or radiation of X-rays or MRIs – saving time, and money and giving peace of mind!

3.  Get Sports Physical

Seeing a Doctor in Physical Therapy can be an extremely effective treatment for many athletic injuries. A physical therapist will work with you to develop a customized rehabilitation program to help you regain strength and range of motion in the injured area. According to the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, there is a drastic difference in clinical outcomes seeing a sports physical therapist versus a traditional physical therapist.

Whether you are a professional athlete or an amateur sports enthusiast, physical therapy can be the perfect solution to get back to top form after injury. A specialist will work with you directly to create individualized rehabilitative plans tailored just for your unique needs and goals – so that no matter the setback, recovery doesn't have to slow down your progress!

4.  Consider Surgery- As a Last Resort

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damage caused by an athletic injury. However, surgery should always be considered a last resort after all other treatment options have been exhausted.

5.  Return to Activity Gradually

Once the pain and swelling associated with an injury have subsided, it is important to return to activity gradually in order to avoid re-injuring yourself. Start with gentle exercises and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts as your body allows.

If you find yourself feeling down about an injury, remember these five tips to overcoming it. And if all else fails, call us- we're here to help! We hope you never have to use these tips, but if you do, we know they'll help get you back on your feet in no time. Let us know how it goes, and stay safe out there!

Bonus Tip: Fix the Cause, Not the Symptom

At Back In Motion Physical Therapy & Performance, we're invested in helping people go beyond simply treating their symptoms and getting to the root of any athletic or sports injury. Our 3-step Gray Method™ helps us quickly discern if it's a strength, stability, or mobility issue that is causing your aches & pains – oftentimes when there is an area that moves too much. Get on the path to finding relief today with our Certified Practitioners!

Overcome Your Sports Injury Today

If you’re an athlete who has recently suffered a sports-related injury, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to ensure a proper and safe recovery. While the healing process is different for everyone, following these simple tips can help set you on the right path toward getting back out on the field or court pain-free. Requesting an appointment with one of our skilled sports physical therapists is also a great way to jumpstart your road to recovery — we can develop a personalized rehabilitation plan tailored specifically to your needs. We offer Physical Therapy in Fort Myers, Physical Therapy in Cape Coral, and Physical Therapy in Estero. Don't let an injury keep you from doing what you love — contact us today and let us help you get back in the game!

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