How to Recover From a Long-Term Injury
If you work out, you’ve been there. You’re making great progress. And then something pulls the wrong way. It’s easy to think, “Why me? Why now?”
Injuries can shake your confidence and make you feel like you’re losing all the work you put in. If you’ve suddenly found yourself sidelined by an injury, don’t worry – it’s normal to feel this way.
While injuries can be disruptive to your lifestyle (both physically and emotionally), there are always steps you can take to get back on the field, court, or mat.
What’s the best way to shake off the frustration of a long-term injury and get healthy again? Here are a few of our top tips:
1. Acknowledge the reality of your situation.
It’s easy to focus on the “what ifs.” No one likes getting hurt. Don’t spend too much time or energy thinking about how you could have avoided it. Your injury may have interrupted your goals, but if you accept where you are, you can make a plan to move forward.
2. Set realistic goals.
As you begin the recovery process, you may have to re-assess how you measure success. It may mean that you have to rebuild arm or leg strength and endurance. Keep focused on your new goals and take practical steps forward. You shouldn’t expect your body to be able to keep up and move the way you could pre-injury. Specialized coaches and trainers can help set realistic goals for long-term injury recovery.
3. Take an active part in your recovery.
Be as motivated in recovery as you were in your training. That means being consistent with physical therapy. Meet with someone who can help you make a plan for when it’s safe to move again. Follow your doctor’s or trainer’s advice closely without cutting corners. If your injury allows you to continue any part of your training, do so. If not, stay the course of your physical therapy exercises.
4. Be patient.
Rushing the healing process so that you can get back a week or two earlier isn’t worth it. You need to allow yourself enough time to heal properly. If you’re over-anxious to get back in action, it’s easy to rush the healing process. That’s a great way to set yourself up for another, more serious injury – and cost yourself even more recovery time. Impatience can put you at risk for developing a chronic injury that does lasting damage. Remember: Sometimes the fastest way of coming back is the slowest.
Recovering from a long-term injury can seem like a setback. What you need to know is that the right attitude goes a long way toward recovery. Discipline yourself to maintain a positive focus on your performance, and find a coach or trainer who can help you get back on track.
If you’re looking for guidance on how to recover from a long-term injury, see what Accel can do for you. Our Return to Play program helps you get back on track and moving toward the best you.