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The Benefits of Active Recovery After a Sports Injury

Sports injuries can be frustrating, painful, and extremely de-motivating. But the good news is, there are ways to speed up the recovery process and get back to playing as quickly as possible. While some may tell you that you need complete rest to recover, for most injuries this is not necessarily true. Staying active through your recovery can assist with soreness and stiffness, preventing muscle atrophy, and improving overall fitness levels. Active recovery involves low-impact exercises and movements that stimulate blood flow, improve range of motion, and help reduce pain and inflammation.

Muscle Soreness & Stiffness

When we are injured, our bodies often become stiff and immobile as we try to protect the affected area. This can lead to tightness and discomfort in surrounding muscles. Active recovery exercises, such as gentle stretching, walking, or swimming, can help to increase blood flow to these muscles, bringing much-needed oxygen and nutrients to the area. This can help to reduce soreness and stiffness and improve overall mobility.

Muscle Atrophy

Active recovery can help to prevent muscle atrophy. When we are injured, we may be unable to use certain muscles or perform certain exercises. This can lead to muscle wasting or atrophy, which can further prolong the recovery process. By engaging in low-impact exercises and movements, we can help to maintain muscle strength and in turn prevent atrophy. This can make it easier to get back to our normal routines once we are fully healed.

Fitness Levels

Even though we may not be able to perform our usual high-intensity exercises, we can still engage in low-impact activities that help to keep our bodies moving. This can help to improve our cardiovascular health, build endurance, and maintain muscle tone. By staying active during the recovery process, we can ensure that we are in the best possible shape to return to our sport once we are fully healed.

Active recovery is an important aspect for most sports’ injury recoveries. By engaging in low-impact exercises and movements, you should see your mobility improve and soreness decrease, you will help to prevent muscle atrophy and overall, your fitness levels will not decrease as much as they would if you were to rest completely. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about incorporating active recovery into your recovery plan.

Please note: we are not healthcare professionals. If you are injured, we highly recommend you see a doctor and discuss recovery with them. The information we have included in this blog is only a suggestion. Every injury is different and will require different treatment.

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