Get Back To Exercising After An Injury With These 5 Tips!

Injuring ourselves is often a devastating blow to our exercise regime. Many people are told by doctors, family or friends, or even Google, that they are not to continue with their fitness program, to stop doing the activities they love, and to rest the injured area until its better. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be this way! We understand how important exercise is to you, and that’s why we’re giving you 5 tips on how to get back to the activities and workouts you love in no time!

When we hurt ourselves, we often feel that the best thing to do is to rest the injured muscle or joint. And while this may sound like good advice, the truth is that taking a “rest time” might actually be setting you back even more!

That’s right. Take, for example, an avid runner who accidentally sprains his ankle and is unable to run for over 2 months. He decides that resting the ankle is the best thing for it. Yet, while he puts it up on the sofa, his muscles stiffen, the ligaments tighten, he loses movement in the ankle, AND his fitness level drops considerably. Now, after two months of rest, his recovery period has doubled while his endurance has halved.

All too often we see patients going through the same problems as the example above. Why? Take a look.

Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when they injure themselves:

    1.  They rest the area for too long, thus causing their recovery time to increase significantly whilst their fitness levels drop accordingly.  
 2. They take prescription medication to mask the pain rather than address the root cause of the problem. In this case, the pain endures and is often aggravated as a result.
     3.  They ignore the issue: back problems, ankle problems, and even neck problems are often swept to the side, thereby aggravating the issue and actually delaying the recovery process.

If you see yourself in any of the above three scenarios, you already know that nothing has worked and your still not out there running your marathon. This really isn’t the ideal situation, right? In fact, resting the area of injury for prolonged periods of time can, more often than not, have adverse effects. Now, that’s not to say that we want you up and running the day after you injure your ankle; we just know that there are ways to overcome your injury WITHOUT decreasing your activity levels or effecting your fitness regime. We’ll give you tips that actually help you get back to the exercise you love IN THE SHORTEST AMOUNT OF TIME. Take a look:

     1.  Just because you’ve inured your ankle, it doesn’t mean you can’t exercise at all! While you may not be able to move your ankle much, you can still do Pilates, core work, or yoga in order to maintain your core strength and overall fitness. Movement equates recovery. We don’t want you to make your injury worse… we want you to hit the ground running once you’ve recovered!

2.  Do NOT turn to painkillers. If you’re tempted to reach for prescription painkillers to mask the pain, please don’t. Painkillers do very little but hide the pain, thereby disguising the core problem and causing the patient to ignore and AGGRAVATE the issue further. Not only is the pain only made worst over time, the painkillers adversely affect the patient’s health. Painkillers are not the answer. Why not try alternating between hot and cold packs for a safer option?

   3.  Mind what you eat. Remember the saying “food is medicine, and medicine is food?”. Well, it’s as true now as it ever was.  Hydrate and feed your body properly by drinking enough water and making sure that you get enough protein, iron, carbs, and vitamins. Keep your joints lubricated and energized by changing your diet accordingly!

   4.  Anti-inflammatory foods can help you recover faster. Food high in anti-inflammatories, such a blueberries, dark leafy greens, and coconut milk can help you recover faster by reducing the inflammation in the affected area. Another wonderful anti-inflammatory is turmeric; this spice can be eaten in delicious curries, warm honeyed milk, and even in ice cream! Why not give it a go?

    5.  See a specialist to speed up your recovery. Without a doubt one of the FASTEST ways to get back to the exercise you love is to visit a qualified, professional physical therapist. Physical therapy allows you to heal the core issue, thereby speeding up your recovery time and allowing you to maintain a pain free workout and lifestyle.

You see, pain and injury all too often take a hold of our lives; it’s time to change that. UTILIZING recovery time is the key to fast-tracking the healing process. Avoiding painkillers, seeing a physical therapist, eating well, and maintaining movement, exercise, and a fitness regime ALL contribute to rapid recovery. We want to see you get back to running, cycling, swimming, playing golf, or even fishing as fast as possible, and we’re confident these 5 tips will get you there sooner rather than later.

Don’t let ankle, neck, back, or shoulder pain keep you from doing the things you love. And don’t delay your recovery process by masking the pain, believing it will disappear, or resting the area for long durations of time. There is a much easier, more effective way. Fast-track your road to recovery by clicking here and filling out a simple form to speak to a physical therapist (for free!) today.

Dr. Jamie So

Jamie So, PT, DPT, is the owner and physical therapist of Manual Therapy Effects.


1587759187 e1649445700843
1587759079 e1607862518789