Returning to exercise after an injury can feel daunting: you might be frustrated by losing your progress, or nervous to get moving again in case your injury worsens. Whether you’re a dedicated athlete or you just enjoy a gentle jog once in a while, getting back to your routine can be intimidating - but with the help of an experienced Physiotherapist, a good strategy and support from your clinicians, there’s no reason you can’t get back to it stronger than ever.
Here are our team of experienced Physiotherapists and Osteopaths’ top tips for returning to exercise after an injury.
Get an expert’s opinion
The first step in understanding your injury and formulating a plan for returning to exercise is to consult an expert. A good Physiotherapist will take the time to assess your injury, and understand your body as a whole, including what kind of exercise you do, your activity level, your injury history and any other relevant information. This helps them to put together a rehab strategy designed specifically for you, your needs and your goals.
Take your time
It’s normal to feel impatient to return to your pre-injury fitness level, but it’s really important to take your time after an injury. Going straight back to the same level of intensity or frequency is a sure-fire way to exacerbate your injury, or re-injure yourself. Your Physiotherapist will help you decide on a plan for gradually increasing intensity and frequency in a way that supports your injury rehabilitation and keeps your body safe long-term.
Trust the process
Often, after an injury, it can feel like you’re moving backwards - you might have a really good session, and then struggle in the next one. Progress isn’t linear, and it’s important to trust the process. You’ll get there, even if it feels slow, and it’s much better to take your time than rush your progress.
Explore new ways of moving
While you’re recovering from an injury, you might be restricted in the kinds of exercise you’re able to do, and your favourite activities might be off-limits or come with modifications while you recover. If you find this difficult, why not take the opportunity to explore new activities and exercises? Finding new ways of moving can be a great way to support your rehabilitation, by building strength, flexibility and balance, and you might find something new to love!
Listen to your body
This one is true whether you’re working with an injury, returning to movement after a break, increasing your intensity or frequency - really, it applies to anyone! Tuning in to your body and what feels right is always a good idea: it’ll help prevent injuries in the first place, and ensure that you don’t push yourself too hard during your injury recovery.
If you’re dealing with an injury - or you’d just like advice and support to prevent injury happening - you can book a session with one of our experienced Physiotherapists, who’ll guide you along the recovery process every step of the way.