Featured Image Caption: Pre- and Post-Surgery Rehabilitation Treatment
Injuries are fairly common among both professional and amateur athletes. If an athlete wants to go back to what they love doing as soon as possible, then rehab is a must. How long it will take an athlete to recover from their injuries, though, will depend on the extent of their injuries.
Here, we will focus on what athletes should know about pre-and post-surgery rehabilitation treatments.
The Different Stages of Rehabilitation
The first stage consists of rest in order to prevent the injury from getting worse. Pain and inflammation serve as the body’s natural response to an injury as it attempts to heal itself.
Joint mobilization and soft tissue stretching will help you slowly but surely regain your range of motion during the second stage.
In stage three, the focus will shift towards regaining your strength. Pool exercises and/or stationary riding can help minimize power deficits and muscle loss during the third stage of rehab.
During stage four, the focus will shift towards recovering your functionality. The goal will be to enhance your agility and speed, as well as restoring your balance and coordination, via a series of exercises that are tailored to your skill level and sport of choice.
Pre-Surgery Rehabilitation for Athletes
Joints, bones, and muscles need to be in optimal condition prior to surgery in order to reduce the risk of complications, accelerate the recovery process, and lessen joint stiffness and muscle loss post-surgery. Your physiotherapist will prepare you for surgery by prescribing exercises that enhance blood circulation and augment mobility.
You will also need to get ready emotionally and mentally for the operation. You have to be in the right state of mind prior to the operation, and need to mentally prepare for the recovery process that lies ahead. Speaking to a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist may help you prepare for your surgery.
Having a pre-surgery checklist may help promote a better long-term outcome after your procedure. You need to work on weaknesses by setting realistic and attainable goals. It is important to keep moving in order to enhance your range of motion.
Change your stance and perform exercises that target the problematic area in order to optimize blood circulation and strength. Swelling must be managed properly, as congested tissue will take far longer to heal.
Compression pants, socks, and sleeves may help manage your swelling. You should also get an assault bike, or obtain access to one. An assault bike will help you recover quickly after your operation, as you can still maintain a respectable level of fitness.
Additionally, it is paramount that you make the necessary lifestyle changes. For example, eat a healthy and balanced diet, drinks plenty of water, and gets 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep per night.
General orthopedic physiotherapy is also something to look into in order to prepare yourself for your surgery.
Post-Surgery Rehabilitation for Athletes
Post-surgery rehabilitation consists of being patient and prudent. Give your body the time it needs to recover properly. Follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter, and follow up as needed.
Caring for an athlete post-surgery involves putting them in the driver’s seat. They need to have a sense of autonomy. Provide them with realistic long and short-term goals that will help keep them busy and motivated.
Keep their energy levels high in order to prevent depression. Foam rollers can be used to reduce their pain. The athlete should take the medication that their doctor has prescribed in order to help reduce their pain. They also should get lots of rest and eat a healthy diet that is rich in protein and vitamins and low in processed sugar and sodium to accelerate the healing process.
In the end, the athlete knows their own body better than anyone else. As such, they need to be taught to listen to their body. If they overextend themselves, they will only reinjure themselves and return to square one.
The goal is to ease back into their normal routine instead of rushing into things. As long as they take their medication as prescribed, visit their physiotherapist on a regular basis, and get plenty of rest and nutrients, they should be able to return to their pre-injury levels of performance in due time.
Taking the First Step
Physiotherapy allows athletes to move correctly in order to reduce the risk of injuries. The athlete will be taught the proper weightlifting techniques as well as good posture so that they will be able to train and maximize their performance levels without concern.
From landing and swinging to sprinting and jumping, the athlete needs to be taught how to move while training and exercising, as one wrong move can sideline them for the season, or may even force them to retire prematurely.
It should also be noted that a licensed physiotherapist will test and assess the training regime of the athlete that they are working with. They will evaluate the present state of the athlete and discuss what their long-term goals are with them.
Heredity and health issues will be assessed in order to form an accurate prognosis. Based on their test results and medical history, the physiotherapist will prescribe a custom-tailored set of exercises that will improve their muscle strength, range of motion, and balance in order to reduce the risk of injury while they train or perform.
In fact, one of the key tenets of physical therapy is to augment the strength of a targeted muscle group in the body. When the athlete performs these exercises, the muscles will become overloaded, which will lead to muscle fatigue.
When the muscles become fatigued, newfound muscle growth is created, which, in turn, will improve the core strength of the affected areas. It is also possible for physiotherapy to negate the need for an operation. In other words, it can prevent a minor injury from becoming worse and needing surgery.
By Erin Gregory
who is a blogger in Toronto. She is currently working as a Community Manager for several small businesses. She has graduated with honors from the University of British Columbia with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.