It may have taken you a while to develop the motivation to play your sport or to exercise regularly. There are many psychological hurdles to jump before you feel comfortable enough to put on gym clothes and go out in public. You may have felt as though you weren’t fit enough to take part, or you might have body confidence issues. Frankly, not everybody enjoyed sports at school, and for many, the traumatic experience lasts well into adulthood. But exercise and fitness are an important part of our lives. Regular exercise keeps your heart healthy and your blood flowing. The endorphins you produce from your sessions have propelled you forward, and you got a groove going. And then the worst thing possible; you get a sport’s injury.
Dealing with a sports injury can be very difficult. Especially when you add to the mix all of the above considerations surrounding even starting in the first place. An injury can set you back to square one. You may not wish to continue.
For minor injuries, with the right advice and support, you can continue playing or training throughout. For example, you might want to use a knee sleeve or ankle support. Whereas, with more severe injuries, you may need to take some time out to recover.
The most important thing with any injury is to get advice. If something is causing you a large amount of pain, you need to get seen by a doctor or your local emergency unit. Understanding the type of injury you have early on can significantly enhance the time it might take to heal. But if left untreated your injury might get worse.
If your doctor tells you to stop playing your sport while you heal, it is vital that you do so. It is also worthwhile pointing out, that to disregard the doctors advice and continue playing, may invalidate any insurance policies whilst putting yourself at risk for worsening the injury.
You may need the help of a physiotherapist who will be able to give you lots of advice in your rehabilitation.
For lesser injuries, consider visiting a sports masseuse to deal with any muscle and joint pains you may have.
Find An Alternative
If at all possible, while you away from your sport with an injury, try to take up an alternative. This will keep your mind occupied whilst keeping you fit. For impact injuries from running, for example, you may want to consider swimming or yoga instead.
Looking after yourself when you are injured is vital. You need to make sure that you are eating well and providing your body with sufficient nutrients from all of the food groups to help heal quicker. Drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest. Try and not be too hard on yourself. Accidents happen, and it might be unfortunate and inconvenient, but letting yourself get overcome with anger or worry over your injury will not help your recovery. Talk about your injury with others and about how it makes you feel. Accept that it has happened and allow yourself the time to mentally recover as well as physically.
There is a lot that can be said for positive thinking. Telling yourself that you will recover can be hugely beneficial. Make sure that while you are recovering, you try to make time to relax, socialize and enjoy other hobbies. Looking after your emotional wellbeing will have a great impact on your physical recovery.
Be completely realistic with the time frames for your recovery, but speak with your doctor or physiotherapist and agree on a set of recovery goals. If you know where you need to be by a certain time, then you will know what you have to work on to get there. Resist the temptation to try to push yourself too hard to meet a goal, so make sure that anything that is set for you, is achievable. If you fall behind and miss your goal, don’t give up. Setbacks are not out of the ordinary. Mentally prepare for the eventuality that your body does not heal as soon as expected.
Stick To The Plan
Set a recovery plan, and make sure you stick to it. If you are given daily exercises to build up strength around the injured area, then you have been given these for a reason. Speak with your doctor or physiotherapist if you have an issue performing any of the exercises you are given.
If you were injured whilst actually playing your sport, you might have some anxiety about returning. If you are a member of a club or team, speak to others within the group who have suffered a sport’s injury previously. You will probably find that there are quite a few people out there who have. They will be able to help you with understanding a lot about how you feel. Coaches can be quite sympathetic to the needs of those returning from injuries. Speak with your coach and let them know your worries surrounding returning. They might agree a phased return allowing you to rebuild your confidence slowly. If you play a team sport, then they might be able to put you in a more comfortable position or play you less during the game if the sport allows.
Building up your return slowly is critical, and it is necessary to make sure that you are always realistic with yourself. Don’t push your body too hard straight after returning from a sport’s injury and remember that your mind is the part of you that brings your resolve to achieve results, so you need to make sure that you allow this to recover too!
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