Recovering from an injury can be one of the toughest athletic struggles anyone can face. Although you may be physically ready to get back to your active lifestyle, the looming fear of a possible re-injury can be one of the toughest obstacles to overcome. The most important thing to remember is to take it one day at a time.
You won’t be able to perform many movements like you used to and the last thing you should do is rush your recovery. Follow this incremental stretch schedule for a speedy and safe recovery!
First 3 Days
Avoid stretching! The most common mistake in injury recovery is becoming mobile too soon. Instead, you should follow the R.I.C.E.R. regimen.
R – Rest
I – Ice
C – Compression
E – Elevation
R – Referral (for necessary medical treatment)
As rudimentary as it may seem, it is the best way to monitor a recent injury. Your tissues need to rest before they go through any strenuous movements. You should not start stretching until 4 to 5 days after sustaining an injury.
Next 2 Weeks
During this time, there are two forms of low-impact stretches that can aid you on your road to recovery: static and passive.
Static stretching is a form of stretching that allows you to focus on the afflicted muscle while leaving your body at rest. You need to place your body in a position that puts the injured muscle(s) under some sort of tension and slowly move your body to a position that increases the tension. You will hold this position 30 seconds at a time.
Passive stretching is very similar to static stretching but includes a partner. Your partner serves as the outside force that applies the pressure to the injured muscles to increase tension. This is the type of stretching physical therapists perform on their patients.
Remember to keep the stretching as light as possible. This should be your first time stretching the muscle and you should allow it slowly regain strength.
Following 2 to 5 Weeks
This is the most crucial part of the recovery process. During this phase, if completed correctly, you regain all of your flexibility, strength, range of motion, balance and other abilities. You can still perform the aforementioned static and passive stretches but you can also add another stretch to your routine.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) Stretching is a more advanced stretch that is similar to passive stretching being that it includes a partner. For this routine you need a partner to apply the same resistance to the afflicted muscle, so that you can push back on their downward force. This increases the tension and allows you to fully stretch the targeted muscle.
At Pumpfit Club Fort Lauderdale, we value the importance of staying healthy. Join us for a free class to discover what your body can do!