Even people who can’t understand the fascination of sports have probably wondered what it would be like to be a champion, leading a team to victory and being cheered by hundreds of millions of fans.
Fewer have likely wondered what it would be like to recover from a serious sports injury. Why would we? Recovery can be a frustrating, laborious, and disheartening process that can last years — long after our dreams of sports heroism have ended. But for the athletes (men and women) who get hurt, it is a stone-cold reality.
Here’s a look at the six necessary components of a successful sports injury recovery.
1. Time to heal
When a sports professional gets injured, the first instinct is to work toward recovery. And that’s understandable. These are competitors who are mentally and physically trained to perform, not to take things easy and let their bodies mend.
But that’s precisely what they should do following an injury. For a successful long-term recovery, both the body and the mind need time away from the game and off the damaged body limb or joint. Instead of jumping into physical therapy immediately, the best way to prepare for recovery is to plan out a time of rest and recuperation in consultation with doctors, trainers, coaches, and so on.
The last thing a player should do is rush his or her recovery, and risk exacerbating an injury and returning to the injured list even longer.