How to Prevent and Recover From Injuries

No matter if you’re a weekend warrior or competitive athlete, injuries can be discouraging. But with the proper knowledge on preventing and recovering from them, staying active, healthy, and in shape becomes much easier.

1. Be proactive about injury prevention

The best way to stay safe is by anticipating potential injuries and taking preventive measures before they happen. This may include selecting the appropriate activity, practicing proper form, adhering to safety protocols and using equipment safely and correctly.

2. Take Time to Rest After An Injury

It may seem counterintuitive, but the first thing you should do if you’ve injured yourself is take a break. Ideally, allow at least several days of rest before consulting with a physical therapist or doctor for further assessment and advice.

3. Ice the Injured Area

Ice can be an effective pain reliever and swelling prevention technique that should always be used when recovering from an injury. Apply ice, crushed ice or frozen veggies to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time.

4. Warm Up Before and After an Exercise

Stretching is important not only to increase flexibility, but it’s also a great tool for healing and strengthening muscles. Make sure the stretches you choose are appropriate for your fitness level – ask your doctor or physiotherapist what they suggest and make sure you follow it accordingly.

5. Exhale Slowly

Dr. Casey Cooper, a sports psychologist in Orange County, Calif., recommends breathing slowly during workouts to help your body absorb oxygen and reduce joint strain. This method may also prevent injuries due to overuse, according to Dr. Cooper’s advice.

6. Don’t let negative emotions interfere with your recovery

Negative thoughts can make it more difficult to heal an injury. Our bodies actually react to stress or anxiety by sending chemicals into our bloodstream that could further aggravate an existing injury. 6. Maintain positive outlooks

Don’t let negative thoughts hinder progress

Negative thoughts can make healing more challenging.

7. Reach Out for Support when You Need It

When injured, it can be easy to feel alone or isolated. But having a support system in place can make managing pain and stress of an injury much easier, according to Dr. Lufkin. Plus, having someone there for support gives you time to think about your own mental wellbeing – essential for successful rehabilitation.

8. Don’t strain yourself too hard

It can be tempting to push through an injury in order to make up time or meet a personal goal, but with proper management from a physiotherapist, healing can happen quickly and safely.

9. Avoid Recurring Injury

Recurrent injuries, or those that return after a short time, are one of the most common sports-related accidents. To reduce their likelihood, always wear appropriate gear – including protective gear – and take necessary precautions during exercise. This will help ensure you remain safe during exercise.

10. Extend Your Range of Motion Before and After an Activity

It is essential to warm up before any kind of exercise, and cool down afterwards. Warm-ups should last 3-5 minutes, while cool-downs allow your muscles time to fully relax.

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