Rehab after a sports injury also encourages healing in a couple of ways. The proper methods can increase circulation and cellular metabolism. Damaged tissue heals faster for a shorter recovery period.
Spending too long resting after any injury causes muscles to weaken. The longer you allow this, the more likely atrophy will occur. Rehab after an injury prevents muscular atrophy, strengthening the muscles while increasing range of motion and flexibility. Muscular spasms are also common after a sports injury, though rehab can relieve this problem.
Other benefits of rehabilitation include stimulating joint receptors and increasing lymphatic drainage. Connective and supportive tissue becomes more elastic so you can stretch or extend them comfortably.
Keep in mind that the benefits you’ll see during rehab depend on the injury you’ve sustained and the recommended therapy. Not everyone requires the same type of physical and restorative therapies. It’s best not to assume what works for others will work for you. For the fastest results, follow the advice of your medical team.
There is no set time limit on how quickly you should start rehab after a sports injury. When to begin rehab depends on the type of injury you’re dealing with and how serious the damage is.
Regardless of the injury, rest is recommended before any therapy begins. For some, this rest period can last only 72 hours. If the injury is more severe, your physical therapist may recommend ten days or more of rest. Be sure to follow the advice of your medical team to avoid causing further damage to the injured area.
Once you’ve rested for the recommended timespan, you can start your physical therapy. You’ll likely begin with range-of-motion exercises, with more exercise options added as you regain your strength. Rehab after a sports injury can last between a few weeks to several months. The more motivated you are, the faster you’ll reach your recovery goals.