You do not need to be an elite athlete to suffer a serious sports injury. In fact, amateurs who push too hard or too fast are often more prone to injury than highly-trained pros. But, both pro athletes and weekend warriors can suffer painful sports injuries that limit their range of motion. The following four tips will help to get you back in the game.
Consult With a Sports Rehabilitation Therapist
As you recover from your injury, don’t push yourself too hard. A sports rehabilitation therapist can recommend gentle, appropriate exercises to work the injured muscle, tendon, or joint. These exercises are designed specifically for you, to gradually and safely increase your range of motion, without reinjury.
You may also need to have private sessions with your sports therapist. During these sessions, they’ll guide you through the motions, and also assess your progress. As your injury heals, they’ll add new exercises to further increase your range of motion. Soon, you’ll be back in the game.
Eat to Feed Your Muscles, Tendons, and Joints
Athletes know they need to eat right, but when you’re recovering from an injury, it’s even more important. A diet rich in quality protein and collagen will help to rebuild muscles, ligaments, and joints. You’ll also need plenty of Vitamin C, which helps the body to produce and rebuild collagen.
Zinc also plays an important role in healing injured tissues. Finally, if you’re recovering from a broken bone, get plenty of calcium in your diet, along with Vitamin D; Vitamin D helps the body to absorb and use dietary calcium.
Watch Your Weight
As you heal, you’ll be far less active, and thus, burning fewer calories. You may also be tempted to eat out of boredom. Now is the time for peak, low-calorie nutrition. Along with your protein, eat plenty of vegetables. Vegetables are not only packed with phytonutrients, they’re also high in fiber. You’ll feel full and be less likely to binge on junk food.
Get Plenty of Rest
In addition to the exercises your sports rehabilitation therapist prescribes, also get plenty of rest. Sleep is naturally the time your body takes to heal and recover. Sleep helps every part of your body, including injured muscles and broken bones.
Be patient with yourself, a serious sports injury takes time to heal, and taking it easy is not a sign of weakness. Once you’re back in the action, you’ll have a better appreciation for what your body can, and can not do.