Written by Alex Clark MCSP, In-House Physiotherapist at Neo G
Getting injured is one of the worst things about working out or taking part in a sport, and it’s more common than you might think, with more than one-in-ten of us having had an exercise-related injury in the past 12 months.
You’ll probably be eager to get back to it as soon as possible after an injury, and while there aren’t any quick fixes, there are key things you can do to ensure your rehabilitation process goes more smoothly.
So, whether you’ve got a strain from an over-zealous Zumba class or are a professional athlete with a recurring injury, these are my top tips for injury-proofing your workouts and recovering faster.
Don’t swear off exercise completely
Depending on your injury, your favourite activities and sports might be off the table for a couple of weeks or even a few months. However, this doesn’t mean you should sideline exercise completely. Low-intensity activities such as a walking, swimming or even a gentle cycle are perfect ways of staying active, without exacerbating your injury, and will be valuable tools in the recovery process. A study of rugby players who completed low-intensity exercises during their usual rest period found that these exercises didn’t have an adverse effect on their physiological recovery, but did have a beneficial effect on them psychologically, helping them to relax. This suggests that when it comes to rest and recovery from your injury, adding in some low-intensity exercise could not only have positive effects on your mental health but also help keep you active physically.
Go hot and cold
Hot and cold therapy can be a great way of reducing your pain and optimising injury rehabilitation, but many people get confused by which type of therapy is best for them. Heat Therapy is ideal for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMs) as heat can warm the sore muscles and increase blood flow to the area, as well as helping prevent pain from occurring in the long term by increasing flexibility. Cold Therapy, on the other hand, can help slow the rate of inflammation, while numbing sore tissue and reducing pain – ideal for muscle tears, bruising and swollen joints.
Get the proper support
Not only can the right support help to prevent injuries occurring in the first place, but they can also help you when you’re looking at getting back into exercise after time off. The right support can help you get over minor aches and pains that often occur when you’re trying to return after an injury. For example, knee pain during exercise can be caused by the continuous impact on the floor, so a support that contains silicone pads – such as the Neo G Airflow Plus Stabilized Knee Support with Silicone Patella Cushion – to help dampen these impact forces would be ideal. When trying to return to exercise after an injury, it’s vital to listen to your body. Dull aches after an activity are unlikely to be any cause for concern but anything during activity or straight after may require speaking to a medical professional.
For more information about Neo G’s medical grade supports and rehabilitation therapy products visit: www.neo-g.co.uk