Getting injured while playing sports is no fun. One minute you’re training, competing, and giving it your all, and the next thing you know you’re debilitated and left feeling helpless. It can be discouraging to not be able to do what you want to do when it comes to exercise and fitness, but if you overexert yourself, you can compound the problem with added setbacks. Here are some key things to focus on for effective sports rehabilitation.

The 5 Pillars of Effective Sports Rehabilitation

1. Proper Sleep

Everything starts with a proper night’s rest. Sleep is the cornerstone of physical and mental health and something that gets overlooked far too often. Your body needs the proper amount of sleep, which can range between 7-9 hours depending on your age, to help your body recover. People tend to focus on diet and exercise, not realizing that proper sleep is just as important. When you sleep your brain releases hormones that promote healing.

2. Adequate Nutrition

Most people know the importance of a healthy diet but it’s especially important when recovering from injury. For one, you likely won’t be as active as you normally are and won’t be burning as many calories, so you need to avoid a surplus of empty calories. You also need to avoid excessive sugar and processed foods as these can cause inflammation which puts your body off-kilter and slows the healing process.

3. Sufficient Hydration

Plain and simple, most people don’t get enough water. Living in a dehydrated state has many negative effects on your body including low energy, low blood pressure, and headaches. Your body can’t function at its optimal level when it’s not properly hydrated. Your cells need water and it’s recommended that you drink anywhere from 8-10 glasses per day. Strive for your urine to be a light shade of yellow or close to clear.

4. Avoid Stress

Nobody likes to be stressed, but we are now learning just how negative the effects of living a stressful life can be. When you are stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. In small doses, this isn’t such a bad thing, but if you are consistently stressed, high amounts of cortisol will lead to inflammation which is detrimental to the healing process. If you’re feeling stressed often, look into trying different breathing exercises and meditation.


5. Get the Blood Flowing

Depending on what kind of injury you are recovering from there are going to be some limitations on what kind of exercises you can do. But it’s important to do what you can to get your body moving and your blood flowing. Being active stimulates blood flow and delivers nutrients to your muscles and joints, while at the same time reducing inflammation. It doesn’t matter how you move your body, just do it. Even a 20-minute walk will do wonders.

Following the advice above is a step in the right direction but to accelerate the recovery process it’s always a good idea to talk to a professional. Call Andersonville Physical Therapy today to see how we can help get you back to your active self as soon as possible.