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4 tips for recovering from a sports injury

Sports are fantastic for physical and mental health, not to mention feelings of wellbeing. Some people take their love of sports even further and turn semi or fully professional. Injuries are a fact of the sporting life, though, and in some cases they can be debilitating. These simple tips will help you return to the field of play, pain free, fitand ready to compete again.

#1 Don’t rush the recovery

No athlete wants to be sidelined, especially with an injury that’s slowto heal and requires a lot of rest. It’s tempting to hurry the recovery process and return to action as quickly as possible. Some athletes even engage in the mistaken practice of “running off” their injuries, hoping that problems will simply disappear. That’s never the case, though, and returning to sport too quickly risks a relapse. If you aggravate your injury, you might even have to start rehabilitation from the beginning, lengthening your time of absence. As difficult as it might seem, rest, apply ice, and only take light exercise when your body is ready and your doctor advises.

#2 Don’t neglect your diet

Athletes are some of the healthiest individuals in the world and that applies to their diets, too. If you’re laid off injured, though, it can be tempting to let that carefully crafted diet slip. Snacks and treats are more tempting when you don’t have an exercise regime to focus on, but a bad diet equals slow recovery. Rather than lapsing into poor habits, maintain a diet that’s high in vitamins and minerals (fruit and vegetables are excellent choices) and protein (the likes of chicken and fish will serve you well in that respect) to give your body the raw materials it needs to heal.  

#3 Research treatment options

Massage and physiotherapy treatments are commonly used to alleviate the pain of a sports injury, but there are plenty of other options available. Hydrotherapy is growing in popularity, and even alternativetreatments like acupuncture have their place and can work wonders where other options have failed. Stem cell treatment for back injuries is an area of special interest. Using stem cells spinal cord injuryrecovery times can be shortened and long term symptoms alleviated, having a big effect on quality of life. Spinal injuries are common across a range of sports, leaving many athletes with long term symptoms that they believe will be permanent. That doesn’t have to be the case, though, and it’s always important to research different treatments before resigning yourself to a life of pain.

#4 Set realistic goals

An injury can be demoralizing, but goals help you to stay focused and positive. Setting unrealistic goals will have the opposite effect,though, and missing targets is upsetting. Instead (and in consultation with a physician where possible) set out a realistic timetable of what you want to be able to accomplish and when. That might be something as simple as walking without crutches, or when you would like to resume training. Keeping these goals in mind (as well as the steps needed to reach them) will give you a tangible path towards full recovery.

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