Injuries are the worst. They hurt, they keep us from doing the things we love, and it always takes longer than we think it should to recover.
While you don’t have control over the first two things, you actually do have some influence on how long it takes to get back to 100%.
More often than not, we unknowingly lengthen our recovery time from injuries by not doing the right things.
We push ourselves too hard or do the wrong exercises.
We try to get back to our normal activities before we have properly retrained our muscles and our movements.
Or we don’t do anything at all for fear of reinjury.
But when it comes to rehab, there are definitely some key things you should know that will help you get back as soon as possible.
How to Speed Up Your Recovery Time
When it comes to injury recovery, there are a few key ideas to know:
1) Movement is usually good
While ice and rest are great immediately after you get hurt, you actually want to start moving again as soon as your swelling comes down (maybe even sooner depending on the injury).
The key here is to not let your joint get stuck in one position. It is only going to make the recovery time longer. So, if you twist your ankle, doing some small (pain free) ankle circles the day after can really help your healing time.
2) Go for range of motion before strengthening
For larger injuries or recovery from surgery, working on full range of motion in your joints is key. Since we are going to be talking about the knee today, let’s use this as an example.
If you have meniscus surgery, you are going to hopefully be sent to a physical therapist. They are going to give you exercises to do while you are with them, but more importantly, they are going to give you homework.
The homework is there to reinforce the mobility that you gain in your sessions. So if you want to recover faster, be diligent about your homework!
3) Don’t stop your rehab work after physical therapy ends
This is the most common reason I see for injuries that never fully recover. Too many people go to physical therapy, get 80% better, then “graduate” because they now have full range of motion (but not strength).
Then as soon as they are done, they stop doing anything to keep improving! The truth is that just because therapy has stopped does not mean you are back to where you were. You still need to keep doing the work from PT and you now need to add in strength exercises.
This is where working with the right personal trainer can be a huge help. When you have someone who knows how to properly rebuild strength after injuries, you will be able to get the right exercises, with the right form, and build back up your strength while maintaining your mobility.
This is why I wanted to share this video today, because if you are recovering from a knee injury and recently got out of physical therapy, you probably do not know what to do next.
Here are just a few examples of things you can try, but please run these by your physical therapist before you try them. Or, if you are in the area, come by Mint so we can help you know what is best to do for your personal situation.
With that said, here are some great exercises for the knee that we use with our post-rehab clients all the time!
Now if you think that having a coach to walk you through some of this stuff would be helpful, we are here to help.
There is nothing worse than going through 8-12 weeks of physical therapy, only to backslide after you’re done because you don’t know what to do next.
But when you have the right coach, you don’t have to worry about this. Just think of it as your graduate's degree in physical therapy. You completed the undergrad requirements, now it’s time to finish the job.
So if you have recently finished physical therapy or are going to soon, I would encourage you to reach out and see if we are a good fit for your needs.
Just click the "schedule a call" button in the upper right and book a time to chat with us today!
Mint Condition Fitness empowers people to take control of their fitness and fully enjoy the life they have built.