Injuries are an all-too-common occurrence in physical activity and athletic endeavors. Fortunately, an injury does not have to mean the end of your season. At Free Body Physical Therapy, we offer sports rehabilitation to identify your injury, address it with proper care, and potentially reduce your time on the sideline. Participating in a structured athletic rehabilitation program can help speed up your return to play and improve your overall performance. Continue reading to learn more about the stages of sports rehabilitation.
Injuries Treated with Sports Rehabilitation
Any sport can be taxing on your body and lead to numerous unfortunate injuries that hold you back from achieving your goals. No matter the injury, our team at Free Body Physical Therapy can appropriately diagnose the severity and design an effective treatment plan to help you move forward. Some of the most common sports injuries treated at our facility include:
- Joint problems.
- Overuse injuries.
- Sprains and strains.
- Back injuries.
- Neck injuries.
- Fractures and dislocations.
Stages of Sports Rehabilitation
Your recovery time will largely depend on the severity of your injury and your compliance with rehabilitation. Healing can take anywhere from a few days to weeks for some injuries. In other situations, your recovery could take significantly longer. It is possible for phases to overlap when appropriate. For example, stages 2 & 3 can occur in the first week- accelerating the healing process. Regardless of the duration, sports rehabilitation is critical and effective for managing sports injuries. Here are some of the stages of sports rehabilitation:
Stage 1 – Pain Management and Protection
The first stage of the rehabilitative process will generally focus on managing any pain and swelling and protecting the injury, so no further harm is caused. This allows for proper healing to begin and aids the initial responses to an injury.
Stage 2 – Improving Flexibility and Range of Motion
After giving you time to rest and allowing the swelling and pain to come down, the second stage of sports rehabilitation concentrates on increasing your flexibility and range of motion in the affected areas. This process can involve joint mobilization, therapeutic exercises, and muscle strengthening to support the movement. Our team will utilize a gentle approach to ensure you avoid further injury and pain. Our dedicated therapists will guide you on proper flexibility training to promote better function and restore your range of motion.
Stage 3 – Improving Strength
In the third stage of rehabilitation, more attention will be given to improving your endurance and strength. Tissue that has been damaged and replaced after an injury is not as resilient, so you may experience fatigue and lack of stamina after an injury. Our therapists will prescribe cardiovascular exercises to preserve your endurance. Low impact exercises with proper form can help promote better recovery. We will gradually increase your strength training to build muscle strength and endurance.
Stage 4 – Gradual Return to Activity
As your muscles and joints continue to recover, stage 4 involves a gradual return to activity. Sports tend to involve an array of complicated movements that require proper body mechanics and awareness. An injury can affect your ability to perform these movements correctly and maintain balance. Our team will implement sports-specific training exercises and carefully progress you to higher-skilled activities as you heal and improve your athletic performance.
Stage 5 – Injury Prevention
The injury prevention stage is often overlooked with sports rehabilitation. Injury prevention involves identifying and managing injury risk factors during and following an athlete’s return to play. Staying on top of your training and rehabilitation can help you stay on the field and avoid painful re-injury.
At Free Body Physical Therapy, we specialize in sports rehabilitation for athletes of all levels. If you are looking to get back to the activity you love, don’t settle for subpar care! Be sure to contact us today to learn more and request an appointment!