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Recent injury? How Long Should You Wait To Return To Exercise?

Recent injury? How Long Should You Wait To Return To Exercise?


If you injure yourself it is important not to return to exercise too soon. It is not always easy to know when it is safe to return to your usual exercise regime because each athlete and each injury is unique. If you return too soon, you can increase your risk of re-injury or you may be at risk of developing a chronic problem that could result in a longer recovery.

It Takes Time To Recover

Here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic, for many sprains and strains we recommend that you follow the principle of R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression and elevation) during the acute phase of recovery. You should also limit your activity and allow yourself some time to heal. If your injury is somewhat severe, treatment may include medical care, surgery, bracing, or physiotherapy treatments.

During recovery, you should aim to try alternate forms of training such as swimming, cycling or rowing in order to maintain overall conditioning. One of our Chartered Physiotherapists can design a training programme for you that will help you to regain your range of motion and strength. This can be done through various forms of functional training and core strengthening exercises. By using discomfort as a guide and avoiding movements that cause pain, you will have the ability to pinpoint where exactly your pain is coming from and what exercises are best for you.

Listen To Your Body

In general, you should listen to your body to know when it is best for you to return to exercise after an injury. The main guidelines are:

  • You are free of pain
  • Your full range of motion has returned
  • You have no swelling
  • You feel that your injured side is almost as strong as your uninjured side

We would often encourage gentle movement such as walking before you’ve reached these milestones as exercise can help reduce pain and improve movement. It is vital to remember to take it slow when returning to exercise and to allow your body and brain the time they need to begin communicating again. Remember that pain is the body’s signal that you have gone too far or done too much.

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