An injury can be a very traumatic or inconvenient process for many people. Learning how to properly exercise after an injury can have many mental and physical benefits for your wellbeing.
A gentle swim or walk could be a great way to ease back into your normal exercise routine. By swimming, the buoyancy takes pressure off of the body, helping to create less pain. Low impact exercises, such as walking, can help strengthen your body during the healing process as well as many other benefits.
Benefits of exercising after an injury include:
- Keeps the body limber and flexible
- Reduces Inflammation
- Helps decrease scar tissue
- Strengthens muscles and joints
- Enhance Range of Motion
- Improve Balance
- Create prevention from Re-Injury
- Enhance Circulation
Things to Keep in Mind
Always check with your primary care provider or chiropractor before starting a new exercise after an injury. They will be able to offer recommended exercises and educate you on what is safe enough to do after an injury.
Exercising too soon could make recovery time longer or make the injury indeed worse. Staying consistent with your workout routine can help create a much happier experience after an injury. But there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an exercise or performing one.
Proper posture is always important. To ensure good posture, you must try to focus on relaxing the shoulders and keeping the spine long and straight. Choose low impact exercises that are less challenging than the routine that was done pre-injury.
For example, for those that have experienced injury in the knee area, it is recommended to only squat down as low as possible before pain is felt and to lower the weight of the squats. When a back injury has occurred, the muscles and joints need to stay relaxed by performing non strenuous back and abdominal exercises. Soft tissue therapy offers an effective way to treat tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and plantar fasciitis.
Hot and Cold Post Workout
Cold temperature applied to the injured area can come with many great benefits. When applied to the neck, a cold compress can help reduce symptoms of pain. A dip in a cool pool, or cryotherapy are also effective options to relieve a sore neck.
Cryotherapy is a technique for healing in which the body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures for a certain amount of time. Doing this therapy can help decrease headaches and migraines.
Using heat therapy, a hot shower, or warm compress can help stimulate the blood flow to the muscles and ease tightness. This could indeed improve range of motion and help with muscle strains.
Some people experience a hard time and find that they are limited when trying to find a comfortable exercise after an injury; in this case, you should contact a physical therapist that specializes in the area affected by pain or injury. Moderate low impact exercise could be just what the body needs to speed up the healing process.